An Atheist Member of the Arizona House of Representatives Delivered Another Godless Invocation This Week

Last May, when Arizona State Representative Juan Mendez (below) delivered a secular invocation on the House floor, a Christian colleague delivered two religious invocations the following day — to make up to God for the “mistake,” I suppose.

Hopefully that won’t be the case this time around.

On Monday, Mendez delivered another secular invocation, this time appealing a bit more to the religious legislators in the room (as opposed to last time, when he quoted Carl Sagan):

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Despite Supreme Court Decision, Homeschooling Family That Fled Germany For U.S. Is Allowed To Stay

Most people looking for asylum in the United States say they’ve been persecuted in their home country — sometimes imprisoned and tortured. Life-and-death stuff. Real terror, real danger.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are a little different. They hail from Germany, and the worst that happened to them there was that their government told them they were expected to abide by the national Schulpflicht — mandatory state-sponsored schooling for all children aged six and older.

Not wishing to taint their Christian purity with the worldly teachings of Germany’s schools, the Romeikes fled to the United States — and applied for political asylum — on the invitation of a network of Christian homeschoolers represented by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Romeikes’ case, setting off a choir of right-wing voices howling that if we needed more proof of the Obama administration’s hostility towards Christianity, this was it.

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How Long Should a Family’s Roadside Cross in Memory of Their Son Be Allowed to Stay Up?

In May of 2012, 19-year-old Anthony Devaney was taking a nighttime walk when a car struck and killed him.

It wasn’t long before a large cross was placed at the scene of the tragedy:

Here’s a difficult question: How long should that cross be allowed to stay up? Forever? A few months? It’s not an easy discussion to have, but the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center believes it’s time for the city of Lake Elsinore (yep, them again) to take it down. In fact, the city did take it down last December… but they put it right back up after Devaney’s mother “demanded” its return.

In a letter to the Lake Elsinore City Council, the AHLC says that to leave the cross up now amounts to government promotion of religion:

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American Atheists Won’t Be at CPAC This Weekend

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses how American Atheists was booted from the CPAC conference taking place this weekend:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Arizona House Passes Bill to Give Tax Breaks to Property Owners Who Lease Their Space to Churches

You know what people in Arizona need? Tax breaks! And representatives in the state’s House are giving it to them… if they lease their private property to churches:

The measure would grant property owners who lease to churches but are not religiously affiliated themselves tax breaks approaching the ones churches get when they own property. The tax break applies only to space used for worship services.

… [The bill] could cost the state between $300,000 and $2.1 million in fiscal year 2016.

House Bill 2281 passed on a 33-25 vote after Republicans bullied some of their colleagues into voting for the horrible bill:

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