Minnesota Interfaith Group Changes Its Name to Become More Inclusive of Atheists

When you mention the word “Interfaith” around atheists, you often hear a lot of pushback against the word itself. Even if an interfaith dialogue is supposed to represent a conversation between people of all different beliefs, I’ve heard atheists say something like, Atheism isn’t a faith, so “interfaith” excludes us by definition.

Well, a group in Minnesota has finally taken a positive step toward becoming more inclusive.

The St. Paul Interfaith Network in Minnesota hosts a monthly meeting called the “Interfaith Conversation Cafe” (ICC) where different groups come together to talk about whatever that month’s theme is.

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She Went from Attending a Victim-Blaming Christian College to Becoming a Church/State Separation Activist

The New York TimesMark Oppenheimer, who in the past couple of months has profiled atheist author S.T. Joshi and ex-Muslim activist Heina Dadabhoy, continues that trend with a look at Sarah Jones, a staffer at Americans United for Separation of Church and State who only a few years ago was a student at a fundamentalist Christian college:

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Colorado House Candidate: If Atheists Undergo Exorcisms, They’ll Be Fine with Graduation Ceremonies in Church

Last month, a Wisconsin school district was told it could no longer hold its graduation ceremonies in an evangelical church. (The Supreme Court refused to hear the case, effectively ending the legal battle.)

So what does Republican candidate for the Colorado State House Gordon Klingenschmitt have to say about it?

Simple: If atheists just got exorcisms, everything would be just fine.

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Conservative Leaders Say Obama Will Soon Start Putting Christian Pastors in Jail

Guess how many American pastors have been jailed for the “crime” of being Christian?

None. And it’s never going to happen. It doesn’t matter how anti-gay or anti-women they get, the laws will continue to be on the side of free (even idiotic) speech — with the support of most atheists, I would add. No pastor will ever be arrested for refusing to perform a same-sex marriage ceremony or condemning birth control.

But if you listen to Todd Starnes and Tony Perkins, conservative Christians who thrive on promoting the idea of Christian Persecution, you’d think Obama was going to start arresting pastors before his term is over.

In a conversation over the weekend, the men talked about how they should start preparing themselves for life in prison:

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In Response to Supreme Court, Democrats Introduce Bill to Help Women Who Work at Companies Like Hobby Lobby

In 2007, after the Supreme Court refused to hear a case involving pay discrimination, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote a scathing dissent in which she urged Congress to take action where the Court had failed. When President Obama was elected the following year, he took her advice; the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. As the New Yorker‘s Jeffrey Toobin points out, “A framed copy of the bill, inscribed by Obama, has an honored place in Ginsburg’s Supreme Court chambers.”

Over the past week, we’ve seen the Supreme Court fail once again on the issue of women’s rights. Last Monday, five justices — all male — said that Hobby Lobby’s Christian owners had the right to provide less-than-comprehensive insurance coverage to employees because of their faulty belief that certain contraceptives cause abortion. Later in the week, the justices added that it was too burdensome for a non-profit Christian college to simply fill out paperwork saying they didn’t want to directly provide emergency contraception to faculty members and students.

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