Despite a Legal Complaint, This Georgia School District is Still Pushing Christianity on Students

It’s been weeks since we learned that Christianity was the glue binding together the Chestatee High School football team in Gainesville, Georgia. The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center even had pictures of coaches involved in a team prayer, a Bible verse quoted on the team’s workout log sheet, and cheerleaders hoisting banners with Bible verses on them.



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Help Me Track Legislation in Every State That Threatens Church/State Separation

I’ve written lots of posts over the years about state legislation that threatens to erode the wall between church and state, whether it’s making the Bible the official State Book or altering science curriculums so that public schools teach Creationism alongside evolution.

Normally, I hear about these bills second-hand, like when a local newspaper reports on it or someone writes a blog post about it — and a reader directs my attention there. There are two downsides to that: Some bills may go under the radar and I may discover these things too late to urge people to take action. I want to be more pro-active, but I need your help. Despite my best efforts, I can’t keep track of all the bills introduced in every state.

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Scholarship Athlete Claims His Coach is Forcing Him to Choose Between Football and God

Most high school and college coaches will make reasonable accommodations for their athletes if there’s a conflict between the game and something else. Have a wedding to attend? No problem. You can leave practice early in order to catch a plane. Celebrating your bar mitzvah on game day? Okay, you can skip the one game.

But those accommodations have to go both ways. The athletes know the practice schedule and competition days in advance. They need to work around those obligations.

In Oregon, Portland State University football player Vincent Johnson hasn’t figured that out. He wants to skip several practices in order to attend church. His coach, Nigel Burton, was willing to let him do that a couple of times, but no more. Now, Johnson is complaining that the coach is forcing him to choose between two things he loves:



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Eleven Pilgrims Killed in Mass Trampling at Indian Temple — One Religious Disaster in a String of Many

The New York Times explains what went wrong in the latest religious calamity in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh:

[S]everal pilgrims offered parikrama, in this case a form of prayer that involves progressing along the path in a supine position.

They don’t walk. They lie prone keeping a piece of coconut in their hand, they stretch fully, and then they get up,” [a police official] said. “This is how they make progress.”

As one pilgrim offered parikrama, another inadvertently brushed against her, and in order to apologize, touched her feet, a mark of respect in India. Though the path was relatively wide, it was so crowded that this sudden halt caused a human traffic jam, ending in the victims being trampled, including the woman offering parikrama.



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Leaving the Christian Right: Harder Than You Think

I didn’t know who Joyce Elaine White was until I read this piece in the American Prospect. I’m still not entirely sure why this piece ran, but I’m glad it did. The article covers her life from about 1973 to 2011 and unravels each layer of her departure — from being a fundamentalist homeschool preacher’s wife and mom in a cultish group, to divorcee and right-wing Christian political leader, to interior designer and conservative political bystander. I think her story is important to read for those on the outside of this world, just to understand how complex it is to untangle yourself from the religious, political, and social ideologies as they interplay in conservative Christian culture.



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