House Republicans Denigrate Atheist Chaplains in Military, Saying They Would Make a ‘Mockery of the Chaplaincy’

In 2012, there were no chaplains for atheists in the military while Christians had all they needed and then some:

It’s long overdue, but non-religious chaplains had a chance to be included in the Army Chaplains Corps thanks to Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ).

Yesterday, Andrews (an Episcopalian) suggested an amendment (PDF) to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would bring Humanist, ethical culturist, or atheist chaplains to the military:

The Secretary of Defense shall provide for the appointment, as officers in the Chaplain Corps of the Armed Forces, of persons who are certified or ordained by non-theistic organizations and institutions, such as humanist, ethical culturalist, or atheist.

That’s an amendment that no reasonable person would object to.

So, of course, Republicans objected to it:

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ACLU Concerned That Catholic-based Hospital Takeovers Will Put Patients in Jeopardy

The Washington state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has stepped up to the plate to defend citizens against Catholic health care organizations that would impose their religious dogma on non-Catholic patients.

Joining ten other groups concerned with health care advocacy or civil liberties, the ACLU sent a letter to Governor Jay Inslee (PDF), requesting a moratorium on hospital mergers until a “community health needs assessment” can investigate the impact of an institution’s religious affiliation on the availability of legal and medically appropriate care. The letter notes that all Catholic-run medical institutions are required to comply with the USCCB’s Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, which prohibit contraceptive use, sterilization, and abortion, as well as most types of assisted reproduction.

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Biblical Scholars: Actually, ‘Traditional Marriage’ Isn’t Just One Man and One Woman

Opponents of marriage equality frequently use so-called evidence from the Bible to argue that same-sex marriage is “unnatural,” “immoral,” or any number of harmful (and incorrect) adjectives. But a group of Biblical scholars have come forward to say that, despite what some misguided conservatives think, the religious text doesn’t prove anything about the definition of marriage.

In an op-ed for the Altoona Herald, Robert R. Cargill, Hector Avalos, and Kenneth Atkinson, — all biblical scholars – list all the ways in which the Bible describes marriage as something other than an exclusively heterosexual, monogamous institution:

… we wish to clarify that the biblical texts do not support the frequent claim that marriage between one man and one woman is the only type of marriage deemed acceptable by the Bible’s authors.

The fact that marriage is not defined as only that between one man and one woman is reflected in the entry on “marriage” in the authoritative Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible (2000): “Marriage is one expression of kinship family patterns in which typically a man and at least one woman cohabitate publicly and permanently as a basic social unit” (p. 861).

This dictionary definition forms the basis of their claim. They say that the use of the phrase “at least one woman” is the clearest sanction of polygamy, which comes as no surprise to those who have read the Bible. In many cases, men with multiple wives were actually “highly blessed,” as evidenced by some of the deeply disturbing Biblical passages you may already be familiar with:

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Vero Beach Mayor: ‘I Refuse to Support an Organization That Does Not Believe in Jesus Christ’

The Vero Beach City Council (in Florida) had an easy task at yesterday’s meeting. The Humanists of the Treasure Coast asked them to proclaim June 16-23, 2013 as “Humanist Recognition Week.” The language was innocuous, calling for “compassion guided by reason” and the like. Normally, these proclamations get passed without much thought. This one, however, only passed by a 3-2 vote and it’s worth discussing what happened.

First, take a look at the 2:23 mark in the video below.

Mayor Craig Fletcher is going over the agenda at the start of the meeting and says that he wants to remove the item about the proclamation entirely. When asked why, Fletcher says, “I refuse to support an organization that does not believe in Jesus Christ. I’ll have nothing to do with it. If you want to outvote me, that’s fine.”

The way he responded, you would think someone tried to get him to denounce Jesus! It’s the biggest overreaction I’ve seen since… whatever’s on the front page of Charisma‘s website today.

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Rapper Macklemore Promotes Church/State Separation in New Video

Americans United for Separation of Church and State is on a roll. First, they put out a hilarious music video featuring Jordan Peele and Jane Lynch… and now, they got rapper Macklemore to speak out in support of church/state separation:

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