Memo to Cameron Franks: Wearing a Christian T-Shirt in Texas Doesn’t Make You Brave

Here’s something I’ve learned from years in the classroom: there’s nothing more entertaining than a high schooler who thinks he has a brilliant idea… when you know damn well it’s an awful one. It never gets old.

That’s what been happening at Rusk High School in Cherokee County, Texas, where one of the teachers had this poster hanging in the classroom:

Totally not okay. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the school (on behalf of a student) requesting they take it down, and the school complied.

And that’s when senior Cameron Franks decided to “take a stand” by making and selling t-shirts with a pro-Christian message on them:



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North Carolina High School Football Coach Has To Be Told to Stop Baptizing Players

Here’s a question for you: Why would a high school football team’s Twitter feed include a picture of a mass baptism… followed by someone thanking the team’s coach for his faith and leadership?

And why would that same coach lead his team in a rally that ends with, “Let’s thank the big guy in the sky”?

Answer: Because Coach Hal Capps of Mooresville High School in North Carolina doesn’t seem to know the difference between church and the workplace.



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Democratic Senators, Atheists, and Church/State Separation Groups File Supreme Court Briefs Against Hobby Lobby

When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, it exempted religious organizations from having to fulfill the contraceptive requirement. In other words, if you were a pastor of a large church, you didn’t have to provide your employees with birth control if it went against your religious “conscience.”

The ACA did not offer the same exemption to public, for-profit companies owned by religious people — as well it shouldn’t have. Just because the owner of a huge company like, say, Hobby Lobby, is an evangelical Christian, why should he be able to withhold contraception from those who work for him? The company’s purpose isn’t to promote Christianity.

But Hobby Lobby’s CEO David Green felt he should be allowed to dictate the kind of health benefits his employees received and he took his case to court.

In November, the Supreme Court decided it would hear that case, deciding in essence whether corporations could be religious.

There is about more than just birth control (which Green unscientifically and ignorantly equates with abortion). If the Supreme Court rules in his favor, where would the line be drawn? What if a business owner was a Jehovah’s Witness who doesn’t believe in blood transfusions? Or a Christian Scientist who believed in the power of prayer over medicine? Would they get to force their employees, whose insurance comes through the workplace, to live by those rules as well?

Today, a group of 19 Democratic Senators filed a brief urging the Court to deny the Hobby Lobby exemption.

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Koran-Burning Pastor Will Square Off Against Atheist at Florida City Council Meeting Tonight

Last week, I posted about how the Pinellas Park City Council (in Florida) keeps a copy of the Bible next to the Mayor’s seat atop the dais in City Hall:

City officials argue there’s a historical purpose for the Bible being there, but there’s nothing historical about it. It’s a Bible that was gifted to them by the local Kiwanis Club several years ago, certainly not a good enough reason to give it such a prominent position at meetings.

Tonight, the Pinellas Park City Council will have its monthly meeting, and they’re in for a media treat: Terry Jones, the pastor who caused worldwide controversy with his “International Burn A Koran Day” on September 11, 2010, will be at the meeting tonight:

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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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