Christian News Suggests That Teaching Bible Classes in Public Schools Might Be OK… Because It’s a Tradition

Earlier this month, Friendly Atheist featured a story about several public elementary schools in North Carolina that are teaching Bible classes – and about the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s insistence that the school district puts a stop to that.

I just read the remarkable take on that situation over at Christian News. The publication first lays out the facts fairly. But then, three-fourths of the way into the article, author Heather Clark veers into this:

The first textbook used in the American colonies even before the nation’s founding, “The New England Primer,” was largely focused on the Scriptures, and was stated to be popular in colonial schools for at least one hundred years. It used mostly the King James Bible as reference, and spoke much about sin, salvation and proper behavior.



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Instead of Building the First Public High School in Morinville (Alberta), They’ll Build a Fourth Catholic One

The growing community of Morinville (Alberta, Canada) has a burgeoning youth population; fully one-quarter of the area’s citizens are under 18. Schools in the area are feeling the pinch, and it’s stirring up a holy controversy around the touchy subject of religious accommodation… or the lack thereof.

You see, Alberta is one of the Canadian provinces that still retains both public and Catholic school boards, a vestige of historical agreements made to appease a wary French-Canadian population who feared the takeover of their culture by English Protestantism if they joined the Confederation. Now, students in Morinville have two school boards vying to serve them.

Both boards recently applied for government funding to build a new school, given the overcrowding in the area’s existing schools: the Catholic board wanted another elementary school, while the public board hoped to create the city’s first secular high school. But when Premier Jim Prentice unveiled plans for the new building, only one was slated for Morinville.

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Delegates in UK’s Student Union Vote Against Condemnation of ISIS… Because Islamophobia

When advocacy organizations adopt motions to praise or — more typically — condemn this or that, it’s a symbolic, well-intentioned act that rarely changes anything. Sometimes, the more horrific and farther flung the actions being protested, the more inadvertently comical the proudly announced statements of disapproval become.

Such was the case when the left-leaning U.K.-based National Union of Students condemned the bloodshed by ISIS terrorists the other day, in a motion that made the Islamist butchers quake in their boots.

Oh wait — neither of those things happened. The NUS couldn’t get the required votes for its anti-ISIS motion, despite the language being relatively weak and more than a little mealy-mouthed (you can read the full text here).

The bill called for the Union — which claims to represent UK students — to support unity between Muslims, condemn the bloody terror of ISIS (also known as the Islamic State), and support a boycott on people who fund the militants.

But the motion offended Black Students Officer Malia Bouattia, who said: “We recognize that condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for war and blatant Islamophobia.



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Patrick Henry College President Resigns Following Pushback from School’s Mishandling of Sexual Assault Cases

Back in February, Kiera Feldman wrote an incredible story in New Republic about the sexual assault problems at Patrick Henry College, a fundamentalist Christian school known for sending a disproportionate number of graduates into political fields. Feldman wrote that reports of sexual abuse were not taken seriously even after female students came forward with their stories.



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After School Newspaper Misrepresents Atheists, the Secular Students on Campus Finally Have Their Voices Heard

Earlier this year, the student newspaper at Ferris State University (in Michigan) published an opinion piece that featured this jab at atheists:

I’ve always found atheists to be a rather unfriendly lot of people, what with their unsolicited “science-based” tirades and my-way-or-the-highway attitudes towards the rest of the world.

However, when looking at the way their opposition usually behaves it’s not hard to understand the bitterness. Still, you’d think they’d want to be more welcoming considering they’re fighting a battle they can’t help but lose (and this writer hopes they do.)

It plays right into the already-nasty stereotypes about atheists and the writer never gives concrete examples of what he’s talking about. Hell, he makes it sound like religious people never think they’re right…

Anyway, what made the comments especially hurtful was that there’s a Secular Student Alliance group on campus and he never bothered to talk to them first.



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