Chicago Church Leaders Want Special Exemption So They Don’t Have to Pay for Water

The city of Chicago — and the whole state of Illinois, really — doesn’t know how to handle money. I know (first-hand) how horribly they’ve handled pensions for teachers and our last mayor left a legacy of throwing away millions of future dollars to fill short-term budget gaps.

The latest controversial money-making decision involves asking non-profits in the city to pay for water, which they’re generally been able to use for free. Over the weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel put forth a compromise plan that would only require non-profit groups with assets over $1,000,000 to have to pay for water.

But churches are non-profit groups, too, and the Catholic Church isn’t exactly synonymous with poverty… so they’re not taking this news well, as they made clear in a press conference yesterday:

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Carroll County, Maryland Sued for Promoting Christianity at Board Meetings

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center of the American Humanist Association has just sued Carroll County, Maryland for opening their Board of Commissioners’ public meetings with “Commissioner-delivered sectarian prayers.”

In other words, not only do the Commissioners hold prayers at meetings, they praise Jesus like nobody’s business.

What’s surprising about this case may be the nature of one of the plaintiffs:

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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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Moroccan Atheist in Hiding, Pursued for ‘Shaking Faith’

Imad Eddin Habib of Morocco is no shrinking violet. At 22, he is a very outspoken and active atheist who seems to delight in ruffling feathers by the mere mention of his nonbelief. On Facebook, he posted a smiling photo of himself holding a sign that reads:

In my country people are jailed and harassed for being atheist.
This photo may cost my life, or my freedom.
But I insist to tell you:
I AM PROUD TO BE AN ATHEIST!

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Humanistic Jewish Congregation: ‘Don’t Just Pray – Choose to ACT!’

On the National Day of Prayer this Thursday, one Humanistic Jewish group in Chicago is asking their congregation to do something a little different:

“Prayer may be wishing for change, but action makes it happen,” says Rabbi Adam Chalom. “We’re taking this opportunity on May 2 to change the world for the better by choosing to ACT.”

Kol Hadash is inviting everyone in the community to participate and to celebrate your good deeds. No matter how big or small, let us know how you are choosing to ACT to make a difference. Post a picture on Kol Hadash’s Facebook page, or Tweet your good deed on Twitter with #choosetoACT and tell us how you helped another. Sharing your actions can inspire others to take action too!

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