An Update on the Financial Boycott Against the Park District Board Member Who Wouldn’t Stand for the Pledge

Last week, I posted about how the American Legion Post 134 was financially boycotting the Morton Grove (Illinois) Park District because its Commissioner Dan Ashta wouldn’t stand for the Pledge of Allegiance at board meetings. Legion Commander Joseph Lampert is withholding $2,600 from the park district until Ashta stands up.

As I wrote then, the boycott has nothing to do with patriotism. It’s all about a government official not bowing down to Christian privilege and a Christian veteran not taking that fact in a healthy way. It’s as if he fought for our freedoms, but now wants to punish someone who’s exercising them.

Readers of this site were eager to respond in a positive way — and you’ve pitched in more than $2,000 to make up for the park district’s lost funds.

I’d like to cross that goal ASAP.

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Freedom From Religion Foundation Sues Pismo Beach (California) City Council for Its Sectarian Invocation Prayers

Just days before the Supreme Court hears the case of Town of Greece v Galloway, the city of Pismo Beach, California just got served with a major lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation over sectarian prayers at city council meetings.

In short, the Pismo Beach City Council has offered explicitly Christian invocation prayers at its meetings 125 of the past 126 times (from 1/1/2008 through 10/15/2013). That one exception still included the city’s Chaplain Paul Jones saying the Pledge of Allegiance. (And why does the city have an official Chaplain in the first place?)

These are not non-denominational prayers. These are prayers to Jesus. These are prayers that promote Christianity. These are prayers that have no business at government meetings.

There’s also historical revisionism in many of the prayers, the kind that would make Christian pseudo-historian David Barton proud.

FFRF has the transcripts (more than a hundred pages of them, which must have taken an incredibly long time) and the invocations are simply indefensible:

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Irish Atheists Urge Repeal of Nation’s Blasphemy Law at Constitutional Convention

Over the weekend, the Convention on the Constitution held meetings in Ireland to discuss changes to the nation’s Constitution and then make recommendations to the government.

Relevant to us is the need to repeal the blasphemy law, which currently states:

The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.

Atheist Ireland has been fighting for the law’s repeal for a while now and the group’s Chairperson Michael Nugent spoke at this weekend’s convention alongside fellow advocates for the law’s repeal, Professor David Nash of Oxford Brookes University and Human Rights Officer of Atheist Ireland Jane Donnelly:

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American Atheists’ Amanda Knief Discusses Greece Case on CNN

Amanda Knief of American Atheists appeared on CNN this morning to discuss the upcoming Supreme Court case of Town of Greece v. Galloway:

Knief was the sane side of the debate, going against Pastor Robert Jeffress — a guy who said last year that if Christians didn’t vote “biblically,” they were no different than the people who brought on the Holocaust.

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Saturday Night Live Tackles Whether Black People Would Still Support President Obama if He Left Christianity

One of the sketches from last night’s “Saturday Night Live” featured three African-Americans discussing how President Obama is doing. The running joke was that no matter what Obama did, his support from the black community would never fade.

The best exchange involved contemplating what would happen if Obama became an atheist (at the 3:38 mark):

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