Attendees of Milwaukee’s Festa Italiana Get Free Admission… if They Attend Mass

Last summer, there was a kerfuffle in Milwaukee over their Mexican and Irish festivals.

Mexican Fiesta, an event sponsored by the city, cost $13/person for entrance… unless you attended Mass, in which case it was only $5:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation called them out on it and organizers eventually issued a compromise: they said anyone who came for the 10:30a Mass on Sunday would get a discounted ticket… but atheists wouldn’t have to participate in the Mass. They’d just have to sit around and wait for 90 minutes.

I never said it was a good compromise.

Now, the city’s Festa Italiana is doing the same damn thing.

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If a State’s Holocaust Memorial Includes a Jewish Star, Does It Violate Church/State Separation?

Daniel Libeskind is the son of Holocaust survivors and he was thrilled to be selected as a finalist to construct a Holocaust memorial that would be displayed on the grounds of the Ohio Statehouse. His eventual submission featured the story of an Auschwitz survivor told on two giant tablets… with a Star of David in the negative space between them:

The monument would mostly be paid for with private donations of up to $2,000,000, but the state would kick in about $300,000 for the preparation of the site.

It raises a very interesting question: How do you oppose a memorial like this without coming off as disrespectful?

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Did the Daily Oklahoman Reject a Full-Page Ad from an Atheist Group?

Last week, the Christian chain Hobby Lobby ran an ad (PDF) in dozens of newspapers proclaiming the Christian heritage of our country, with “godly” quotations from the Founding Fathers, the Supreme Court, and Congress. (They’ve been doing this for years.)

In response, the Freedom From Religion Foundation paid for several full-page ads of their own, celebrating our “godless Constitution” and how our Founding Fathers actually supported separation of church and state:

Everything seemed to go smoothly… except at the Daily Oklahoman, where FFRF says their ad was rejected.

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Two National Groups Team Up To Protect Rights of Young Atheists

This is a match made in hell — and it’ll help secular students around the country.

The Secular Student Alliance and Freedom From Religion Foundation have announced a joint partnership that will offer free legal help to young atheists whose rights are being violated:

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Montana Court Rules That Giant Statue of Jesus Is Not Religious

If you were to go skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort in Montana, a resort on land owned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), you might come across a statue known as “Big Mountain Jesus”:

The reason that statue is allowed to be on the property is because the USFS gave the Knights of Columbus a “Special Use Permit” in 1953 to build and maintain a memorial to honor WWII veterans. However, the Knights decided to build Big Mountain Jesus because “veterans from the 10th Mountain Division… wanted to commemorate their fallen comrades with a statue that evoked memories of the many religious shrines and statues they had seen in the mountain communities of Europe.”

Isn’t that convenient…

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