Arizona School District Votes to Reinstate Prayer at Board Meetings

Up until November of last year, the Mesa Public Schools Governing Board in Arizona began every one of their meetings with a prayer. Not just run-of-the-mill generic prayers to “God,” but sectarian prayers uttered by “assistants and associate superintendents” that included Christian phrases like “Heavenly Father” and “In Your Name, Amen.”

It was illegal, pure and simple, so the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent them a letter warning them that a lawsuit could be imminent if the practice didn’t stop:



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UConn Assistant Football Coach: ‘Jesus Christ Should Be in the Center of our Huddle’

Ernest Jones has an interesting strategy for winning football games: his team always gets one more player than his opponents.

In an interview last week with the Hartford Courant, the UConn football team’s new assistant coach explained his philosophy on the role of faith on his team:

“And we’re going to do things in our building, fellowship, non-denominational type things, players, coaches. We’re going to make sure they understand that Jesus Christ should be in the center of our huddle, that that’s something that is important. If you want to be successful and you want to win, get championships, then you better understand that this didn’t happen because of you. This happened because of our Lord and Savior. That’s going to be something said by [new head coach] Bob Diaco. That’s something that’s going to be said by Ernest Jones. That’s who we are.”

There’s important subtext in there: 1) Atheists are not welcome on the public university’s football team and 2) Jesus really wants UConn’s opponents to lose.

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Pennsylvania Rep Says That Even Atheists Support His ‘In God We Trust’ Bill. Atheists Respond with a Collective ‘No’

On Sunday, when national political figures normally appear on morning talk shows, Pennsylvania Rep. Rick Saccone appeared on a local show called “Face the State” hosted by reporter Robb Hanrahan.

If the name Saccone sounds familiar, it’s probably because he’s the Republican who sponsored legislation to make 2012 the “Year of the Bible,” declared May 3 of that year to be the “National Day of Prayer,” sponsored “National Fast Day” in 2013 (which said we owe our dependence “upon the overruling power of God” and that the only nations that are blessed are the ones “whose God is the Lord”), and — most relevant here — is currently working to put the words “In God We Trust” in every public school in the state.

So Saccone was on “Face the State” to talk about his proposed legislation. And he made some rather indefensible claims…

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The Largest Charter School Network in Texas Promotes Creationism

Responsive Education Solutions is the euphemistically-named company running the largest charter school district in Texas. Their schools are tuition-free, funded by taxpayers, and home to 17,000 students in the state.

Just one problem: Their textbooks promote Creationism, along with other examples of bad science. Zack Kopplin, building off of work by Jonny Scaramanga, explains:



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Brain Dead Girl’s Principal Assures Students That Their Prayers Could Help Her Come Back to Life

You may have heard the tragic story of Jahi McMath, the 13-year old girl from Oakland, California who was declared brain dead over a month ago:

While a lot of the debate surrounded her story has dealt with the Terri Schiavo-like situation she’s in — a court allowed her parents to keep her on life support despite her condition — there’s another controversy brewing involving her school.

EC Reems Academy of Technology and Arts recently held an assembly in her honor — a perfectly fine thing to do — but what transpired at the event was a travesty, as is the administration’s handling of the situation:

The academy’s chief operating officer Lisa Blair said she has tried to honor Jahi’s family’s wishes by telling students that their classmate may still be alive, even though doctors say she is legally and clinically dead.

The students responded with an outpouring of faith.

“Most kids are Christian here,” Blair said, “and they believe that if you continue praying, there’s always a possibility. The students understand the debate. They’re just choosing spirituality over science.

On Thursday, about 250 of Blair’s students donned purple T-shirts emblazoned with the words “#TeamJahi” and “Keep Calm, Pray On.”


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