Montana Diocese Implicated in 350 Sex-Abuse Cases Discovers Morality, Fires Teacher For Getting Pregnant

Late last week, George Leo Thomas, bishop of the Helena, Montana archdiocese, received an unwelcome surprise: a petition calling out the Catholic hierarchy for the callous dismissal of a pregnant schoolteacher. The statement had been signed by 20,000 people and received national attention.

The case centers on Shaela Evenson of Butte Central Elementary-Junior High School, a literature and phys-ed teacher of eight years. An anonymous letter the school received a few months ago charged that Evenson, who isn’t married, was pregnant; when she confirmed it, the Catholic institution felt it had grounds to fire her.

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If Faculty Members Don’t Accept Young Earth Creationism, This Christian College May Fire Them

Here’s how you know the college you go to is a really shitty one: Administrators force faculty members to sign pledges that they won’t teach real science.

That’s what’s happening right now at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s named after William Jennings Bryan who defended Creationism in the Scopes Money Trial nearly a century ago.

The current Statement of Faith that professors at the school must adhere to says this:

[We believe] that the origin of man was by fiat of God in the act of creation as related in the Book of Genesis; that he was created in the image of God; that he sinned and thereby incurred physical and spiritual death;

If you believe in theistic evolution — that God started the process but evolution took over after that — you could twist that statement to suit your needs.

But on Friday, school officials told faculty members they had to sign a clarification to that statement, one that would eliminate theistic evolution as a possible interpretation:



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After Long Battle to Form High School Atheist Group, Student Bows Out After ‘Numerous Threats’ and ‘Verbal Attacks’

Over the last month, I wrote a few posts about how administrators at Pisgah High School in Canton, North Carolina were refusing to allow the formation of an atheist club run by 15-year-old Kalei Wilson (pronounced KAY-lee). They caved in days later, presumably from all the bad publicity:

It took letters from both the Secular Student Alliance and the Freedom From Religion Foundation (along with the ACLU of North Carolina) to convince school officials to change their minds.

The last time I spoke to Kalei, she told me she would be meeting with her principal to discuss the process of forming the group. Nearly a dozen students had expressed interest in joining the club and a couple of faculty members told her they would be glad to sponsor it.

But that all came to a halt yesterday.

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Bob Jones University Allows GRACE to Continue Investigation of On-Campus Sexual Abuse

Bob Jones University, recently in the news for firing the Christian sex-abuse investigators tasked with investigating the college’s abuse-permissive culture, has gone back on that decision — “after much discussion and prayer,” naturally.

Executive Vice President of Operations Marshall Franklin appeared on video to announce BJU’s intention to reinstate GRACE [Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment]. Not much was said about the reasons for either decision, though he indicated that the school’s “primary concern was for former students,” presumably the ones who elected to contribute to the GRACE investigation in the first place:



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Answering Kids’ Questions About Humanism

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, was created for a religious education class. The teacher sent me a bunch of questions posed by his students (who were approximately ten years old) and I attempted to answer all of them:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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