Alabama Legislator Proposes Bill to Recite Prayer in Public Schools for Up to 15 Minutes a Day

Have you ever thought to yourself: Alabama is great and all, but what it really needs is more Jesus? I know. Me too. Thankfully, State Rep. Steve Hurst is here to save the day with his new proposed bill:

House Bill 318 would put prayer right back into school. Specifically, Hurst wants teachers to lead their students in the same sort of prayers chaplains (or their guests) recite before sessions of Congress — and he wants schools to set aside up to 15 minutes a day for this purpose:

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Secular Student Alliance Looking for Conference Speakers

If you’re a college student, recent graduate, or faculty advisor who’d like the opportunity to speak at a Secular Student Alliance conference this summer (there are two, one in Arizona and the other in Ohio), they’re looking for anyone who has something interesting to talk about for 20-TED-like-minutes. If your group does an amazing event or you’ve been doing some personal activism that we should know about, let us know! It’s a blast and a wonderful way to spread great ideas. (It’s also my favorite part of the conferences.)



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Did Christians Really Win a Gold Medal in the Oppression Olympics?

A couple of weeks ago, the Pew Research Center came out an extensive and confusing-as-hell report on religious hostilities around the world and found that Christians, more than any other religious group, were the most persecuted:

(Atheists are in there, too, lumped in with “others”)

One conservative website even uses the headline: “Pew Study: Christians Are The World’s Most Oppressed Religious Group.”

But there are two points worth noting.

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The Telegraph Covers Atheism in a Virginia Town

Given that I write about American atheism all the time, it’s always interesting to read how other publications from outside the country cover the same topic. So I’m grateful that The Telegraph (UK) shined a spotlight on atheists in one Virginia town and the difficulties of being non-religious in a religious environment no matter how the demographics are shifting:



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Ohio Christian University, Whose President’s on the State School Board, Gets Taxpayer Money to Teach ‘Biblical Truth’

If you’re a high school student in Ohio, you may be enrolled in a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options Program where you can take courses that’ll earn you college credit (similar to Advanced Placement classes).

But there are rules about the kinds of classes that are offered under this program:

Public and nonpublic high school students may enroll in nonsectarian, college-level courses and receive college credit and/or credit toward graduation from high school.

So let’s say you’re a college willing to take on some high school students. The publicly-funded school districts will help reimburse the cost of tuition. Good deal!

That brings us to the shenanigans taking place at Ohio Christian University, exposed by Carol Biliczky of the Akron Beacon Journal.



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