Governor Bobby Jindal is Smarter Than the Republican Party Will Allow Him to Be

Even though Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal was in the news yesterday for saying he would sign an executive order allowing (some) faith-based discrimination against LGBT people, Zack Kopplin reminds us that Jindal also has it out for science education.

But Kopplin points out that his family knew Jindal for years. Kopplin even attended the same school as Jindal’s kids. On paper, this is not a governor who should be supporting Creationism. It’s clearly a political move:

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Judge Rules in Favor of School District Holding Graduation in Church and Including Christians Prayers in Ceremony

About two years ago, we learned that administrators at Mountain View Elementary School in Taylors, South Carolina held a “graduation” ceremony inside of a church.

Maybe they could’ve gotten away with that — other public schools have held ceremonies in similar places — but the event’s program didn’t even attempt to shy away from promoting Christianity, listing two separate prayers:

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Kentucky Woman, Who Says She’s Not a Bigot, Walks Out on Muslim Speaker During Baccalaureate Service

On Sunday night, a baccalaureate service was held for students at Danville High School in Kentucky.

For those unfamiliar with the ritual, these events are a religious alternative (or addition) to secular graduation ceremonies. They’re completely optional for students and as long as the administrators/teachers aren’t involved in the planning or promotion of it, there should be no legal problems.

Indeed, this event seemed to go over just fine with everybody involved.

Except for a couple of parents who were offended that a Muslim student was allowed to speak at the event…

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A Year After Uncovering Several Church/State Violations at His School, a Student is Suing His Former District

Last year, Isaiah Smith graduated from high school after exposing all sorts of religious violations at his school.

For example, after getting bullied for being gay, Isaiah brought a Bible to school to show his classmates why the verses they cited didn’t actually condemn gay people. In the process, he ripped out the pages from Leviticus.

That caused Birdville High School Assistant Principal Glenn Serviente to pull Isaiah from class and warn him that he must not cause a “disruption” by ripping the Bible. (I guess the bullies were not seen as disruptive…?) Isaiah promised not to rip it up any more, but asked for (and received) permission to continue carrying that Bible with him.

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In Commencement Address, Author Ian McEwan Defends Free Speech on Campus, Even if You Disagree With It

In his commencement address on Sunday at Dickinson College, English novelist Ian McEwan spoke about the importance of free speech and not censoring or running away from ideas we don’t agree with.

It’s a pressing issue on many campuses these days, with “safe spaces” and trigger warnings and protests against critics of religion (like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Bill Maher), and McEwan words couldn’t have come at a better time. His comments referenced Christopher Hitchens, the recent PEN Awards, and Charlie Hebdo.

Please take some time to listen to it:

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