From Europe, Evidence That More Schooling Leads to Less Religiosity… and a Reduction in Superstitious Beliefs

There is a deep anti-intellectual streak that runs through much of religious America, and it’s entirely justified. No, I’m not saying that we ought to give the thumbs-up to poor thinking skills and the inability to distinguish facts from fiction. I’m saying, rather, that fundamentalists are right about academic learning: the more of it you do, the less likely you are to attend church or to talk to God.

New research by economists at Louisiana State University offers some tantalizing evidence:

The study finds that more education, in the form of more years of formal schooling, has “consistently large negative effects” on an individual’s likelihood of attending religious services, as well as their likelihood of praying frequently. More schooling also makes people less likely to harbor superstitious beliefs, like belief in the protective power of lucky charms (rabbit’s feet, four leaf clovers), or a tendency to take horoscopes seriously.



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Canadian Wilderness Guide Denied Job Because Employer Says She Went to an Anti-Gay Christian School

Usually, when I hear stories of Christians being discriminated against, it’s complete bullshit. They probably did something wrong, they were punished for it, and now they’re hiding behind their religion. But in this instance, it actually looks legitimate.

Trinity Western University is the Christian school in British Columbia that recently made headlines after a few provinces said they would not allow graduates of its law school to practice in the region. The reason? Trinity won’t allow gay students who embrace their homosexuality to attend the school.

Bethany Paquette went to their undergraduate campus, which works the same way. The river rafting guide recently applied for a job at Amaruk Wilderness Corp. where she figured her experience could be put to good use… but after sending the company her cover letter and resume, she was surprised to see the response from the hiring manager:



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Supreme Court Denies Appeal of Preachy Creationist Science Teacher Who Burned a Cross in His Student’s Arm

In a case that’s lasted more than six years, there’s finally a happy resolution in the legal battle between Creationist teacher John Freshwater and the Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education.

A quick refresher: In 2008, school board members voted 5-0 to fire Freshwater, a Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher, after learning that he had preached Creationism to the students, handed out flyers in class urging kids to attend a presentation by the “Answers in Genesis” ministry, left the Bible out on his desk during class even after being told to stop, hung a Ten Commandments sign in his classroom, offered extra credit to students who watched the Ben Stein pro-Intelligent Design movie Expelled, and burned a student in the arm with a Tesla coil… in the shape of a cross:

That set off a long appeals process that led to a 4-3 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court last year in favor of the district. The Court said the district was right to fire Freshwater for his insubordination.

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High School Cancels Event with Catholic Chastity Speaker Because He Can’t Be Trusted to Keep Faith Out of His Talk

If you were to visit the website of the Catholic-based Chastity Project website (and I’m not sure why anyone would), here’s the explanation you would find for why gay marriage isn’t really marriage:



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Is This Painting of Two Kids Praying Religious? A School District’s Lawyer Says No

This is a painting called “Faith in America” by Donald Zolan:

That image might have a place on a postcard or church wall, but certainly not in the main office at Kenneth Cooper Middle School in Oklahoma City… which, as you might guess, is exactly where it is. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the district’s superintendent urging him to take it down:

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