Tufts Just Hired the First University-Funded Humanist Leader in the Nation

The six universities in the U.S. that have Humanist Chaplains all have something in common (besides being pretty damn good schools): Those positions are all paid for by the respective Humanist communities. The schools themselves don’t offer any financial help.

That’s about to change now that Tufts University has ponied up the cash to sponsor the first Humanist staff position on campus — the first of its kind anywhere in the country. Walker Bristol, a former leader of the campus’ freethought group, will serve as “Humanist in Residence.” He will assist University Chaplain Greg McGonigle by offering “religious and philosophical leadership for the University… by providing primary leadership, organization, advising, and support for the Humanist community.”

Keep in mind this is a school that already lends a lot of support to non-religious students on campus:

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The Daily Caller Is Wrong: Atheists Aren’t Trying to Ban “All Religious Expression” at High School Football Games

There’s a lot of controversy surrounding the public high school football teams in Florida’s Orange and Seminole Counties. After discovering that coaches were leading team prayers and there were “team chaplains,” the Freedom From Religion Foundation called for a full stop on the church/state violations.

We already know students and parents on the team have no idea what this issue is really about since they were praying on the field after last Friday’s game in protest. Even though no one was ever stopping them from doing that.

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Navajo Kindergartener Sent Home Because His Long Hair Violated the Dress Code

Malachi Wilson, a five-year-old citizen of the Navajo Nation, was turned away from his first day at a Texas public school because his hair was too long.

School officials ordered him to cut his hair short before returning to the classroom to avoid running afoul of the school’s dress code. The child’s long hair is symbolic of his spiritual and cultural identity; however, his parents had to produce official documentation to demonstrate his official status as a registered member of the Navajo nation before he was allowed to rejoin his classmates in school.

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After Apopka High’s Football Game Last Night, Christians Prayed on the Field in the Most Meaningless Protest Ever

A couple of days ago, we learned that public high schools in Florida’s Orange and Seminole Counties had football coaches leading team prayers, not to mention team chaplains. It’s about as egregious a church/state violation as you’ll ever see at a high school.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent letters to those districts warning them about the constitutional concerns and, to their credit, the districts took action, saying the coach-led prayers would stop and the chaplains were no longer permitted to pray with the teams. They could pray on their own time — and the students were always permitted to pray by themselves — but the adults could no longer coerce the students into praying (directly or indirectly).

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Former InterVarsity Leader at Vanderbilt: We Were “Kicked Off Campus for Being the Wrong Kind of Christians”

Since 2011, Vanderbilt University has upheld an “all comers” policy when it comes to regulating leadership in student groups on campus. The policy says that no student can be barred from a leadership role on the basis of ideological grounds — namely, you don’t have to be a Christian to run for office in a Christian group.

When the policy kicked in years ago, 14 religious groups lost their organizational status rather than adapting to the new policy. One of them was Vanderbilt’s Graduate Christian Fellowship. And this week, one of their former leaders, Tish Harrison Warren, wrote for Christianity Today that her group was “kicked off campus for being the wrong kind of Christians”:

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