In Defense of the Student Who Wanted to Hand Out Candy Canes with Biblical Messages on Them

Here’s the setup: Just before the holidays, 6-year-old Isaiah Martinez (below) went to Merced Elementary School in West Covina, California with a pack of candy canes in hand to give to his classmates. Each candy cane had attached to it a religious message that told the “legend of the candy cane” which, believe it or not, has everything to do with Jesus dying on a cross.

His teacher, not wanting to get in trouble, removed the messages from the candy canes, then handed them back to Isaiah to give to his friends, apparently telling him “Jesus is not allowed in school.”

So, of course, a Christian group is threatening to file a lawsuit against the district:

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2013 Was a Terrible Year for Evolution… but Only if You Tried to Teach It At a Christian School

Karl Giberson (below) has a PhD in Physics from Rice University and once held the title of Vice-President of The BioLogos Foundation, a group that attempts to reconcile faith and science. That blemish aside, you can imagine the trouble he got in when he attempted to teach evolution at a Christian institution. Even though the science he taught was sound, the administration, along with parents and donors, wanted him to lie to the students and teach Creationism instead. He refused to do that and had to leave as a result.

In an article for The Daily Beast, he says 2013 was a “terrible year for evolution”, but his story indicates that it was only terrible if you were a professor at a Christian school trying to convince a bunch of people living inside a bubble that they were misinterpreting the Bible at the expense of reality:

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South Carolina Lawmakers Renew Effort to Introduce Prayer in Public Schools, Selling It as a Long Moment of Silence

I wanted to put together a list of all the places where Americans are allowed to pray unhindered, but it occurred to me that I should just present a picture for slower readers. Here it is. I hope this is clear enough:

Prayer is one hundred percent permissible everywhere. In every home. In every office and factory and shopping mall. In every church, mosque, and synagogue. Also, in every car, bus, or train; in every park and every forest; and (get this) in every school and every government building.

If you’re a believer, you may pray quietly any time, any place – plus, if you’re not in a well-frequented library, a classroom, or a theater, you may even talk to your God out loud.

But that’s not enough for millions of Christians. They support what 10 god-bothering South Carolina lawmakers propose to do with House Bill 3526: push communal prayer onto the daily program of every public school:

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VeggieTales Creator Says Christians Fear Teaching Critical Thinking Skills Because ‘Our Kids Will Actually Use Them’

A couple of months ago, Philosophy professor Peter Boghossian released a book with a very blunt title: A Manual for Creating Atheists.

Phil Vischer, the Christian creator of the popular VeggieTales series, discussed the book (with his faith-filled colleagues) on his podcast recently and the discussion around the 40:15 mark is striking for how honest it is regarding the intersection of Christianity and critical thinking:

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Atheist Philanthropist Takes His Own Life, Gave Millions to Catholic Schools

This is a sad and frankly strange story. On Monday, Robert W. Wilson, a multimillionaire hedge fund mogul and philanthropist, jumped to his death from his high-rise apartment in New York, months after suffering a severe stroke, at age 86. The reason this story is here is because Wilson was an avowed atheist, but one whose [Read More...]