The Atheist Lobby’s New Leader is an “Unaffiliated Christian” Who Wants to Reach Across the Aisle

In May of 2012, the Secular Coalition for America hired a new Executive Director who certainly made a lot of heads turn because of her resume. Edwina Rogers was a Republican who had previously worked for some very conservative politicians. It was an odd choice, at least on paper, to represent mostly liberal atheists on Capitol Hill. But if she could do her job effectively, open doors previously closed to us, and convey the thoughts of millions of Secular Americans to politicians, then her label, I felt, could become an afterthought.

Many of you disagreed. A lot of atheists I’ve spoken to simply never warmed to Rogers in large part because of her political affiliation. Then, in mid-2014, for reasons that are still being debated, Rogers was unceremoniously fired from the SCA. She later sued the organization for wrongful termination and defamation; the lawsuit still hasn’t been officially resolved.

For the past year and a half, the SCA has been under the leadership of interim director Kelly Damerow as its board looked for a new Executive Director. Today, they’re announcing their selection: Larry T. Decker.

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Michael Newdow Has Filed Another Lawsuit to Remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. Currency

Michael Newdow, the atheist who fought all the way to the Supreme Court to remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, has just filed another lawsuit to remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency.

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The federal lawsuit, which was filed in Akron, Ohio, may be unique for relying not on the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, but on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). In essence, Newdow takes the same argument used by Hobby Lobby to get out of covering contraception for its employees and says that the U.S. Treasury can’t push God onto atheists without a “compelling governmental interest,” which he believes they don’t have.

Newdow wrote about his strategy last year on this site:

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Alabama Newspaper Slams Justice Roy Moore, Calling Him a Bad Politician with “Delusions of Grandeur”

Last week, Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore told all probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to gay couples, essentially overriding what the Supreme Court said was perfectly legal last year.

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Now, the Birmingham News has issued a blistering editorial against him:

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We Can’t Ignore the Cultural and Religious Roots of the Cologne Sexual Assaults

On New Years Eve, in the city of Cologne, Germany, what was supposed to be a night of celebration turned disturbing very quickly.

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We’ve learned that hundreds of women may have been sexually assaulted or had their property stolen that night by anywhere from 400 to 1,000 men. So far, hundreds of criminal complaints have been filed — and there are likely many more who haven’t done that yet.

How does this sort of thing happen?

Many of the women filing reports pointed the finger at men of “Arab or North African origin” — in other words, the same breakdown as many of the immigrants coming into the country.

It’s unclear whether this was coordinated, though with that many people allegedly involved, it very well could have been.

The whole situation has left German media outlets and politicians trying to figure out how to report this. They have been one of the countries most welcoming to refugees, and yet, this problem may be the result of that generosity. On the flip side, law-abiding Muslims are doing their best to distance their community from the actions of those who may share their faith.

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Non-Religious Montana State Rep. Says Gubernatorial Candidate Shouldn’t Have to Answer for His Faith

Greg Gianforte, the wealthy Christian whose family foundation has donated a lot of money to Christian causes including the Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum (a Creation museum), is considering running against Montana Gov. Steve Bullock in 2016.

But Daniel Zolnikov (below), a Republican State Representative who supports Gianforte, says he doesn’t want to see the candidate campaign on his faith.

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The reason? Zolnikov is not religious and he doesn’t think faith is a good reason to vote someone into office.

I repeat: A non-religious Republican politician is calling for a fellow Republican to tamper down his faith rhetoric. There’s a sentence I never thought I would type…

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