These Kentucky Officials Think They Can “Pray the Heroin Away”

Turns out there’s a big heroin problem in Owensboro, Kentucky — there have been three attempts to smuggle it into the local jail in the past six months — but have no fear: The Daviess County Sheriff (Keith Cain) and Jailer (David Osborne) took part in a Christian service yesterday to “pray the heroin away“:



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How to Get By When You’re an Atheist in the South

The Freedom From Religion Foundation held a regional conference in North Carolina recently and CNN’s Daniel Burke was there to see what it was all about — turns out this was a convention where many of the attendees kept their atheist identities a secret back home:



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Vision Iowa May Be Reconsidering Its $140,000 Taxpayer-Funded Grant for a Christian Park

Earlier this week, we learned that Shepherd’s Garden, a Christian-themed park being built in Sioux City, Iowa, was set to receive a $140,000 grant from the taxpayer-funded “Vision Iowa” program:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent the Vision Iowa group a letter detailing the constitutional violations that taxpayers would be on the hook for if the courts ruled against them:

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More Problems with the Hobby Lobby Public School Bible Curriculum as FFRF Exposes District Emails

Last month, we learned that Hobby Lobby President Steve Green had developed a Bible curriculum for public schools and that Oklahoma’s Mustang Public Schools board had voted to approve it and become the first district to implement it. The course would focus on the “narrative, history and impact of the Good Book.”

In Green’s ideal world, this course would be mandatory, though it was only an elective for now.

We already know the problems with curriculums like these: They’re not always taught objectively, with many teachers saying that the Bible is true instead of simply analyzing the text and themes. They preach the Bible when they should be teaching it.

A few weeks ago, when we finally got a peek at Green’s curriculum, it was clear that the evangelism spirit was in full display. The textbook was far from objective. As the Freedom From Religion Foundation wrote in a letter to Superintendent Sean McDaniel, “… The materials show a clear Christian bias, treat the bible as historically accurate and true in all respects, and make theological claims, to name but a few problems. Again, these criticisms are not exhaustive, they were apparent at a glance. MPS should refuse to implement this program.”

You can see a rundown of some of the major problems here.

But FFRF wasn’t done yet. Attorney Andrew Seidel has been looking into this curriculum for months and the open records requests he made have finally come through, shedding light on how cozy the relationship is between Hobby Lobby’s Green and the school district. More importantly, we learn that this is really a project initiated and pushed through by Green. It’s not about the school district wanting to develop a curriculum for the students based on a subject need — it’s about Green wanting to proselytize to students with the support of the school district.

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Why is This New Christian Park Getting a $140,000 Boost from Iowan Taxpayers?

This is Shepherd’s Garden, a new Christian park being built in Sioux City, Iowa, that was created to “be a visible reminder that God’s presence is not confined to sacred institutions and buildings, but is very much a part of the public sphere”:

You can see the multitude of Prayer Spaces already, but their brochure indicates that they also plan to include a “Walk of Faith” Walkway, walkway stones with Bible verses, and crosses.

At first glance, this is one of those things that should elicit eyerolls from atheists, but not much else. (What, churches aren’t good enough anymore?)

But it turns out the money for the park isn’t just coming from private donors:

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