After Turning Last Year’s Graduation Into a Church Service, a Superintendent Finally Sees the Light

At last year’s graduation ceremony for Veterans High School in Georgia, Superintendent Robin Hines went full-force in making sure Christianity was honored along with the students. The event included a formal prayer, the singing of a gospel song (“Find Your Wings” by Mark Harris), and Hines himself spoke to the students about how they needed to “live life with a strong faith in God.”

Wes Bryant, an actual veteran who was there to watch his niece graduate, couldn’t believe what he was hearing so he alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which sent the school a complaint letter:

“It’s really angering to come back and be exposed to that — to be expected to be a Christian wherever I’m at and not have your beliefs or lack of belief honored in your community,” said Bryant, an atheist, when reached by phone Monday. “(Christianity) is the majority religion, we know that, but it is nonetheless honoring one religion at a public school forum.”

“It alienates everyone else that doesn’t believe the same way, and it does send a message from the school, which does in some way represent the government,” he said.

At the time, Hines made no promise of changing anything in the future, and that’s usually a bad sign. You would expect him to keep things just the way they are.

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FFRF Places Full-Page Anti-National Day of Prayer Ad in Washington Post

If you open up today’s Washington Post, you will see this lovely ad (click to enlarge):

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Atheists in Florida Will Distribute Godless Literature in Local High Schools This Thursday

Back in January, World Changers of Florida, Inc. held a Bible distribution at a number of high schools in Orange County. How was that legal? Well, the rules were that the Bibles would just be placed on a table, no student would be forced to take one, and no representatives from the group would be talking with students. Daniel Koster, a student at Wekiva High School, posted about the distribution on this site.

Now, in response to that giveaway, the Central Florida Freethought Community is hosting one of their own — they will be distributing non-tracts from the Freedom From Religion Foundation this Thursday:

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Shades of Black Atheism #14: CEO of Affinis Apparel, Robert Peoples

Robert Peoples is the CEO of Affinis Apparel (pronounced uh-FIN-is) — a clothing company promoting human rights and freethinking through urban indie fashion. Undoubtedly, Robert has been an atheist for more than half of his life, an aspect he concealed from family and friends until recent years. His childhood rearing was geared toward a Christian (specifically Baptist) upbringing in central New Jersey. Although Robert’s mother was involved in the church, her perspective was not a fundamentalist position. Like his mother, Robert believed during his adolescent years that Jesus Christ was his Lord and personal savior and did not condemn others for possessing alternative views about “God.” Robert remembers saying as an adolescent: “I know what the preacher says about homosexuality [and other worldviews], but some of my closest friends are lesbian, gay, Muslim, and atheist, and guess what? They are human beings with love just like me.”

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Christian Minister Offers $1,000 to First Student Who Prays to Jesus at High School Graduation in Florida District

Last month, the St. Johns County School Board (Florida) considered adopting a policy that would let high school seniors deliver “inspirational” messages during graduation ceremonies. Inspirational, of course, is just a code word for prayer.

Gordon Klingenschmitt, a former U.S. Navy chaplain, has taken a unique approach: He’ll give money to the first student who prays to Jesus during the district’s graduation ceremony:

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