Purdue University Allows Donor to Cite ‘God’s Physical Laws’ in Plaque Description

When Michael McCracken and his wife wanted to donate $12,500 to Purdue University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, he asked for a plaque honoring his parents to be installed outside one of the conference rooms:

To those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God’s physical laws and innovation of practical solutions. In honor of Dr. William ‘Ed’ and Glenda McCracken.

Purdue, as a public institution, didn’t want to appear to be endorsing religion (or open the door to other donors making similar demands, I figure), so they said they couldn’t accept the dedication as written.

So McCracken did what any generous donor would do: He threatened to sue, making sure the school’s legal costs would undo any money he ever gave them.

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When Hiring, Some Muslim Schools in the U.K. Practice a Shameless Kind of Gender Segregation

It’s not hard to spot what’s wrong with this picture … unless you’re running a Muslim school in the United Kingdom.

That’s not a one-time slip-up, but a pervasive pattern at some Islamic schools, says the British Humanist Association – even though this kind of thing has been against the law for the better part of 40 years.

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After Filing a Lawsuit Against a Public School District That Hosted a Christian Rapper, an Atheist Family Needs Help

Since we often talk on this site about the need for young atheists to stand strong against religious indoctrination in their public schools, it’s only fair that we also discuss the backlash that sometimes results from that.

One particular story — that has a not-so-happy-ending — began in September of 2011 at New Heights Middle School in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, a place that’s home to over two hundred Christian churches.

I wrote about an assembly held at the school in The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide:

Not only did [Pastor Christian Chapman] use his time to rail against atheism, evolution, and homosexuality, he told the students that “a relationship with Jesus is what you need, more important than anything else.” Christian rapper Bryan Edmonds (a.k.a. B-SHOC) later joined him onstage and performed “overtly Christian songs” for the crowd. Even the principal joined the mix by telling students to attend a local church.

But that wasn’t all. Students were told to sign a pledge dedicating themselves to Jesus Christ and teachers were told to pray with students before returning to the classroom. Afterward, the public school’s own website declared that “[b]efore the day ended, 324 kids had either been saved, or had re-committed their lives to the Lord.”

We know about this incident for two main reasons.

First, B-SHOC idiotically posted a video of the event to YouTube (the relevant portion begins at the 3:04 mark):



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This Christian Sorority Had a Choice: Kick Out Two Dating Members or Lose Its Charter

What happens when two women join a Christian sorority, rise to leadership positions within it, and then begin a relationship?

At the UC Berkeley chapter of Alpha Delta Chi, that’s what happened to Kylie Foo and Sophia Chaparro in the spring of 2012. Their decision to be open about their relationship began a chain reaction that led to the sorority’s national board ultimately forcing the members of the group to choose between their charter and their sisters. Sara Grossman does a remarkable job telling the story in The Daily Californian:



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Despite Supreme Court Decision, Homeschooling Family That Fled Germany For U.S. Is Allowed To Stay

Most people looking for asylum in the United States say they’ve been persecuted in their home country — sometimes imprisoned and tortured. Life-and-death stuff. Real terror, real danger.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are a little different. They hail from Germany, and the worst that happened to them there was that their government told them they were expected to abide by the national Schulpflicht — mandatory state-sponsored schooling for all children aged six and older.

Not wishing to taint their Christian purity with the worldly teachings of Germany’s schools, the Romeikes fled to the United States — and applied for political asylum — on the invitation of a network of Christian homeschoolers represented by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Romeikes’ case, setting off a choir of right-wing voices howling that if we needed more proof of the Obama administration’s hostility towards Christianity, this was it.



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