The Kansas Board of Education (Seriously) Just Got Sued for Promoting the Teaching of Evolution in Science Classes

Somehow, the Kansas State Board of Education is being sued for — I can’t believe this — promoting atheism by way of evolution. You can’t even say “Kansas” and “Science” in the same sentence without including a chuckle, but this is really happening.

The group Citizens for Objective Public Education, Inc. (COPE) has filed the lawsuit because they believe the new science standards adopted by the Board of Education, which include the teaching of evolution, are endorsing an atheistic worldview:

The Complaint alleges that the Kansas Board’s adoption on June 11, 2013, of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (the F&S) “will have the effect of causing Kansas public schools to establish and endorse a non-theistic religious worldview” in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Riiiiight. Because if you’re not teaching Creationism or Intelligent Design, you must be pushing anti-Christian ideas… To be fair, the truth of evolution only allows for God’s fingerprints if you twist your theology, but the state standards are by no means pushing atheism. If you come to that conclusion because of what you learn in science class, you did it on your own.

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School Board in Kansas Unanimously Votes to Allow Student-Led Prayer At All District Events, Including Football Games

This past Tuesday, members of the Unified School District No. 480 school board (in the misnamed city of Liberal, Kansas) lost their minds.

They voted unanimously to “allow student-led prayers at all activities in the district”:

I think that’s one of the greatest things we’ve ever done,” said board member Tammy Sutherland-Abbott, who seconded board member Nick Hatcher’s motion.

“I would like to see us bring prayer back to the games,” he told his fellow board members, after expressing admiration for the LHS Redskins football team. “I have struggled with that — not having prayer at our activities — because it’s ‘not the thing to do,’ but if the board thought it was important enough that they would support it, and defend it if the time came, I’d like to ask that we do that at our next meeting.”

“Why not do it now?” asked Sutherland-Abbott.

“We do live in a democratic society, and I personally feel like our community would support that decision, regardless of the rest of the world,” Hatcher said.

Just so we’re clear, students are already allowed to pray on their own. But what the school board is saying with this vote is that students can use the public address system to pray before games and all other events.

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Catholic College Cancels Pro-Marriage Equality Lecture Because It’s ‘Fundamentally Immoral’

In a story broken by Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times, a highly-anticipated lecture by a gay speaker at a Roman Catholic college was suddenly canceled this weekend because it doesn’t align with the school’s “fundamental moral principles.”

Dr. John Corvino, chairman of the philosophy department at Wayne State University, has spoken on same-sex marriage at more than 10 Catholic colleges in the country and is a frequent commentator on LGBT issues in religious contexts. He was scheduled to speak at Providence College in Rhode Island this Thursday, an event co-sponsored by nine school departments and programs.

But on Saturday, the college’s provost, Hugh F. Lena, announced that the talk was canceled because “Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles.”

In his e-mail announcing the cancellation, Hugh F. Lena, the provost and senior vice president of Providence College, cited a document produced by the American bishops in 2004, “Catholics in Political Life,” to support the decision. And he said that college policy “dictates that that both sides of a controversial issue are to be presented fairly and equally.”

Presenting both sides fairly and equally, eh? That’s not what this explanation seems to say. A portion of the cancellation announcement reads:

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Even Today, Jessica Ahlquist is Facing Condemnation for Her Successful Lawsuit

The other day, I posted about how Cranston High School West, Jessica Ahlquist‘s old high school, was set to put up a new mural in their auditorium, to replace the religious one that Jessica’s lawsuit helped bring down. (As I mentioned, Jessica wasn’t invited to the new mural’s unveiling ceremony.)

Back when Jessica won her lawsuit in January of 2012, there was no shortage of insulting comments and genuine threats pushed in Jessica direction.

It’s been a year and a half since all that happened. Surely religious people would be a little more level-headed toward Jessica now, right?

Not a chance.

Since the story about the mural unveiling came out, Jessica’s been hit with another onslaught of #ChristianLove. Here’s a glimpse at what she’s had to deal with on Twitter just in the past day or so:

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Christian College Asks Transgender Theology Professor to Leave School

Azusa Pacific University, a Christian school in California, is trying to push a transgendered theology professor out of the school… but they’ll have to find an awkward Jesus-based way to do it now that there’s some media attention on the matter.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey of Religion News Service tells the professor’s story:

Heather Clements taught theology at the school for 15 years, but this past year, he has begun referring to himself as H. Adam Ackley.

Ackley, who is in his third year of a five-year contract, told RNS that he and APU have agreed to part ways as the university said it will continue to pay him through the academic year. But, he said, the university wants other professors to take over his classes. He also said that his insurance was denied when he sought hormone treatment and “top surgery” for his chest area.

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