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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Rhode Island Catholic School Removes Pro-Choice Politician from Its Hall of Fame, but Plans to Induct Ex-Con

La Salle Academy in Providence, Rhode Island is one of those Catholic schools that’s been around forever, with the current building dedicated in 1925. You can imagine that its Hall of Fame (“Wall of Notables”) is pretty stacked given all the alumni the school has had, but that’s been a source of controversy recently.

First, they removed the painting of Gina Raimondo, the Democratic candidate for governor, because she cares too much about the rights of women:

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Church-Sponsored Elementary School Bible Classes May Come to a Halt if Creationism is Being Taught

If you want to teach the Bible at a public school, it has to be done objectively, as literature, and geared toward students who can understand that distinction. Anything that suggests the book is factual crosses the line — and that happens all too often.

Which is why it’s especially disturbing to learn that several elementary schools teach Bible classes in North Carolina’s Rowan-Salisbury School System.



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How Would Discovering Extraterrestrial Life Affect the World’s Religions?

According to Vanderbilt Professor of Astronomy David Weintraub, a majority of atheists believe in extraterrestrial life. That’s one of the revelations he discusses in his new book Religions and Extraterrestrial Life:

Specifically, he found that 55% of atheists believed in aliens while the number was lower for religious believers. Only 44% of Muslims, 37% of Jews, 36% of Hindus, and 32% of Christians felt the same way.

This is actually not a surprising claim.

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More Than $1,000,000 Given to Mostly-Religious Voucher Schools in North Carolina, Despite Legal Limbo

Last year, North Carolina lawmakers earmarked $10,000,000 for vouchers, offering up to $4,200 of taxpayer money per-student-who-qualified to private schools.

Because many of those schools have discriminatory admission standards (70% of the voucher-accepting schools are religious), take money away from public schools, and don’t abide by state educational standards, Superior Court Judge Robert Hobgood put a stop to the program earlier this year. After some legal back-and-forth, though, he just gave a green light for the first million dollars to be distributed:

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