These Two Kids Will Make You Want to Give to Charity

Last year, 7-year-old Lylah saved more than $200 by doing chores and donated it all to Toys for Tots. This year, she has a new focus with her giving:

This year I have been saving all year for the Uganda Humanist Schools Trust. My goal is to pay tuition for two kids to attend school for four years. This includes meals and uniforms. I would also like to fundraise to help with improvements. I am reaching out for your help, please donate and lets change the life of someone in need.

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Suggestion to Replace Prayer with Moment of Silence Draws Boos at Franklin County School Board Meeting

The Franklin County School Board in Tennessee had a very important discussion this week at their monthly work session: Should the Parent-Teacher Organization pray at meetings?

The school board’s attorney suggested that a moment of silence would be okay, but a prayer crossed the line — Since the PTO was a school-sponsored group, it was violating the law.

But the residents of the community didn’t accept any of that reasoning.

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Bryan Fischer Supports Corporal Punishment to Fix Our Public School

On Christian Right leader Bryan Fischer‘s radio show yesterday, he spent plenty of time explaining how spanking kids was a good idea (“the bottom is just designed by God for that. It’s designed to receive the ‘board of education’”)…

Which was just the prelude to him telling his public school teacher listeners — oh, I’m sure there are tons — that he empathized with them. He knows how hard it is to maintain order in the classroom. He knows the struggles we have to deal with. Which is why he supports bringing back corporal punishment:

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Why Was a Pastor Invited to This Public School’s 9/11 Memorial Ceremony?

About a month ago, Sale Creek Middle/High School in Tennessee held a memorial service, as many schools did, for the victims of 9/11. Nothing wrong with that at all.

The problem is that a local pastor, Alan Stewart, was invited to speak to the students during the event. His speech, as you would expect, was littered with God:

When tragedy struck, our nation was humbled to its knees. Through the brokenness, tears would flow and people began to pray. Prayer occurred in churches, in classrooms, in the marketplace, on the street corner, and in government offices. But, it was interesting to note, there was not a single protest over praying in all of America! In times past, God had always protected America in this war torn world, and our nation called upon God to do it again. As Dwight Eisenhower signed the law adding the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, he said, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource in peace and war.” Our leaders were reminded that our first line of defense was not found in alliances, not in weapons of war, but in God almighty Himself.

Naturally, the Freedom From Religion Foundation caught wind of this and wrote a letter to an attorney for the district:

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After Wausau School District Limits Religious Music at Holiday Concerts, Community Members Freak Out

Last Thursday, Wausau School District officials (in Wisconsin) sat down with their music directors to explain that their holiday concerts would have to be secular in nature. The choirs could sing Christian songs, but they’d have to sing a few secular ones, too, to balance it all out. If they couldn’t find a way to do that, the December concerts would have to be canceled.

And then all hell broke loose because those terms were unacceptable to everyone:

[Wausau West High School's] elite Master Singers choir group will temporarily disband and Wausau elementary schools will no longer hold holiday concerts as the result of a Wausau School District directive to limit religious music in December.

“This group [Master Singers] sings at Christmas programs,” [director Phil] Buch said. “We sing for nursing homes, grade schools, businesses. To do that without Christmas music doesn’t make sense.”

A Facebook group called “Wausau School District Cancels Christmas,” popped up, too, with a picture of the Grinch right in the profile:

Even a petition began lamenting against a “decision [that] appears to be unreasonable censorship, anti-intellectual, and an unwarranted attack on people of faith.”

You can understand why they’re upset, of course. How do you have a holiday concert without Christmas carols? And if you’re part of an elite choir, can you really have a strong classical repertoire that doesn’t include a large selection of religious-themed music?

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