After Maine School District Allows Christian Ministry to Preach to Students, the ACLU Demands an Apology

When a group called Life Choices Ministry says it wants to offer schools in your district an assembly on subjects like broken relationships and abstinence, how aloof do you have to be to not realize they’re subtly trying to preach Christianity?

And how do you miss the red flags when their sponsors included Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby?

And how are you not tipped off when you see a list of endorsements coming from the likes of President George W. Bush, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and Rep. Todd “legitimate rape” Akin?

And did you miss how the ministry’s website includes a number students can call if they’re “struggling with homosexuality” — a number that leads to, of all places, Exodus International, a group that long claimed it could turn gay people straight?

Somehow, Biddeford school district Superintendent Jeremy Ray missed or ignored all those warning signs when he, along with principals Charles Lomonte and Jeremie Sirois, gave a green light to Pastors Debbie Phillips and husband John Phillips to speak to the students.

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Pennsylvania Legislator Proposes Legislation to Put ‘In God We Trust’ Sign in Every Public School in the State

Pennsylvania Rep. Rick Saccone (R-obviously) has a history of sponsoring and supporting unnecessary legislation to promote Christianity.

In 2012, he sponsored House Resolution 535 to proclaim it the “Year of the Bible.”

That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania in recognition of both the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.

In May of that year, he supported another piece of legislation recognizing May 3 as the “National Day of Prayer.”

Then, a year later, he sponsored House Resolution 17 recognizing April 30, 2013 as “National Fast Day.” The resolution stated that we owed our dependence “upon the overruling power of God” and that the only nations that are blessed were the ones “whose God is the Lord.”

We’re talking about a representative who should’ve been a pastor but went to the wrong table on Career Day.

Now, Saccone is set to propose legislation that would put the words “In God We Trust” in every public school — and possibly every classroom — in the state.

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Christian Group Urges Members to Complain to the White House About Inviting Atheist Group to Interfaith Gathering

It was only two weeks ago when the Obama administration extended an invitation to the Secular Student Alliance to an upcoming “Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge” planning meeting:

There was a little bit of grumbling from the atheist side, saying that the SSA should have rejected the offer because it would lend respect to the White House’s Interfaith outreach. By and large, though, I saw a lot of positive feedback from people excited that atheists were finally being offered a seat at the table, even if they believed the table shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

Makes sense. Who wouldn’t be in favor of more inclusion, right? And having a group that represents some of those 30% of Millennials who aren’t religious seems like a very logical move.

That is, unless you’re the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

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Giant Portrait of Jesus Costs Public School District ‘Nearly Six Figures’ in Legal Fees to the ACLU and FFRF

You may recall that, earlier this year, there was a giant portrait of Jesus hanging in a prominent location at Jackson Middle School in Jackson, Ohio:

After being sued by the ACLU and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the portrait was taken down… and moved to a local high school:

Phil Howard, superintendent of the Jackson City Schools, said [Friday] that the portrait was moved this week at the request of the Hi-Y club, which put it up in 1947 in a building that is now the middle school.

“We have to respect the rights of the club,” Howard said. “Failure to do so might open the district to even another lawsuit — this time by the [Hi-Y] club” — or violate the U.S Constitution by “turning the portrait into government speech.”

Officials have maintained that taking the portrait down would censor students’ private speech.

“It belongs to the club,” Howard said. “It’s student speech, not government speech.”

That made no sense, of course, since it wasn’t like giant portraits of Charles Darwin (for the Science Club) and President Obama (Young Democrats!) would have received the same prominence (nor should they).

The ACLU made clear that it didn’t matter which school the portrait was in — it didn’t belong in the district at all.

At the time, the district decided to settle the case. They were going to lose, so it made sense to cut their losses, get rid of the portrait, and move on.

That was the last I heard of the whole saga… until yesterday.

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Richard Dawkins Hits #11 on New York Times Best Sellers List

Guess who shows up on the New York Times Best Sellers list this weekend?

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