Pennsylvania Rep. Tim Krieger Doesn’t Care if Atheists Get Harassed by Christians

Back in December, I posted about a Ten Commandments monument that sits outside Valley High School in New Kensington, Pennsylvania (near Pittsburgh):

Three plaintiffs (including two students) filed a lawsuit against that monument with the help of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. They wanted to remove that obvious promotion of Christianity from the school. Initially, though, there was a stumbling block: In order to proceed with the case, the students were not allowed to hide behind pseudonyms. They had to let everyone know who they were.

In other words, instead of proceeding with the case on the basis of merit and defending the Constitution, they had to expose themselves to harassment from their classmates and community. As we saw in Jessica Ahlquist‘s case, people are not very kind to perceived threats against their religious privilege.

There were already threats coming to the third plaintiff (a parent in the district), so a judge agreed the students could use aliases. And all was well and good.

But now, a state representative is disregarding all of that. He wants young atheists to deal with the consequences if they fight back against monuments dedicated to his faith. He has written a bill — House Bill 922 — that would no longer allow those students to remain anonymous:

[More…] [Read more...]

Atheists Challenge Rowlett City Council Prayers

In 2010, the Rowlett City Council in Texas changed their prayer policy. They used to have Christian prayers, then the Freedom From Religion Foundation warned them of the repercussions of doing that, so the council opted to go with non-sectarian prayers.

As it turned out, though, since the town is predominantly Christian, those non-sectarian prayers have turned out to be almost all Christian prayers, anyway.

Now, local atheists are calling them out on it: [Read more...]

Giant Portrait of Jesus Moves from Middle School to High School

Over the past couple of months, I’ve posted about a controversy at Jackson Middle School in Jackson, Ohio. They had a portrait hanging in their school, not of a student or administrator, but of Jesus:

Not only that — it had a prominent place in the school:

Last month, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and ACLU of Ohio filed a federal lawsuit against the school for its unlawful promotion of religion on behalf of anonymous families who have children in the district.

The school is holding the line that they aren’t promoting religion. Instead, the portrait was put up by a student group so to take it down would be a violation of their rights.

But, just to be safe, the school is taking a precaution…, [Read more...]

City Council Member Who Wants Prayer at Meetings: ‘This is a Government Institution, Not a Secular Institution’

In nearby Meade County, the Commissioners want to “show their solidarity” with their Rapid City counterparts by praying at their next meeting.

At least one person (not on the council) had the good sense to speak out against it: [Read more...]

After Teacher Preaches in the Classroom, Superintendent Reveals Himself to be a Creationist

What happens when a teacher preaches in the classroom, saying the Bible is the basis for the Constitution and evolution is evil?

Well, if you’re smart, you let the Freedom From Religion Foundation know about it. That’s exactly what one family did. Their child attends Wynnewood Middle School in Oklahoma and the Social Studies teacher, Betty Carter, was stepping far outside the bounds of what’s appropriate to say in the classroom.

Here’s FFRF’s Andrew Seidel (PDF), in a letter to the district’s superintendent, Raymond Cole: [Read more...]