As American Atheists Convention Goes On, Judge Tosses Out Their 9/11 Memorial Cross Lawsuit

How’s that for timing? On Good Friday and in the middle of American Atheists’ 50th anniversary convention, U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts tossed out American Atheists’ lawsuit against the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and its display of a 17-foot-tall steel beam cross.

If you need some background, AA had sued because they felt the museum was supposed to honor the victims of the tragedy — and we all know atheists, non-Christians, and Christians died on that day.

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After Nearly 30 Years of Christian Invocation Prayers, Court Rules that Lakeland City Council Wasn’t Promoting Christianity

In 2010, the Atheists of Florida organization sued the City of Lakeland and mayor Gow Field because they began each of their meetings with an invocation that seemed to always be Christian.

In its lawsuit, the group noted that prayers at the meetings include phrases such as “in the name of Jesus Christ,” “our Savior,” “the King of kings” and “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.”

Hardly non-sectarian. In fact, in the 25-year span between September, 1985 and May, 2010, every single speaker (PDF) was a Christian.

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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:

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Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) Will Speak at Secular Coalition for America’s Lobby Day and Secular Summit Event

I have mentioned before that the Secular Coalition for America is sponsoring a Lobby Day and Secular Summit this April. It’s a packed event full of educational meetings, panels about issues non-theists care about, and addresses by government officials.

About that last part, my first reaction was, “Seriously? Who?!”

Now we have at least part of the answer. Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) will be a Keynote Speaker on the morning of Wednesday, April 25th:

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Not in My Christian Nation!

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