Appeals Court Rules that a North Dakota Ten Commandments Monument on City Property is Legal

In 1958, the Fraternal Order of Eagles donated a Ten Commandments monument to the city of Fargo, North Dakota. Like many similar monuments across the country, no one complained for decades, whether out of ignorance that it was illegal or fear of repercussions.

In 2002, a group of five individuals — all members of the Red River Freethinkers — filed a lawsuit to have it moved to private property because it was violating the Establishment Clause. In 2005, a judge ruled that the monument could stay put:

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Help Me Track Legislation in Every State That Threatens Church/State Separation

I’ve written lots of posts over the years about state legislation that threatens to erode the wall between church and state, whether it’s making the Bible the official State Book or altering science curriculums so that public schools teach Creationism alongside evolution.

Normally, I hear about these bills second-hand, like when a local newspaper reports on it or someone writes a blog post about it — and a reader directs my attention there. There are two downsides to that: Some bills may go under the radar and I may discover these things too late to urge people to take action. I want to be more pro-active, but I need your help. Despite my best efforts, I can’t keep track of all the bills introduced in every state.

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Leaving the Christian Right: Harder Than You Think

I didn’t know who Joyce Elaine White was until I read this piece in the American Prospect. I’m still not entirely sure why this piece ran, but I’m glad it did. The article covers her life from about 1973 to 2011 and unravels each layer of her departure — from being a fundamentalist homeschool preacher’s wife and mom in a cultish group, to divorcee and right-wing Christian political leader, to interior designer and conservative political bystander. I think her story is important to read for those on the outside of this world, just to understand how complex it is to untangle yourself from the religious, political, and social ideologies as they interplay in conservative Christian culture.



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Now That the Primaries Are Over, Two Red States Will Have Atheists on the Ballot This November

… Sure, they were both running unopposed, but this is still a big deal. They got further in the election cycle than Eric Cantor! (That has to count for something, right?)

James Woods, the progressive, legally blind, condom-sending, proud atheist running for U.S. House from the 5th Congressional District of Arizona, is now the official Democratic candidate in the race.



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An Interview with the Man Behind Oklahoma City’s Black Mass

I’ve posted a few articles about a Black Mass taking place in Oklahoma in September. It’s so controversial that the Governor has spoken out against it. More recently, Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul S. Coakley sued Adam Daniels and his Dakhma of Angra Mainyu Satanic church because they supposedly stole consecrated communion wafers from the Church for their event. (Daniels returned the wafers to Coakley while saying they were sent to him legally by a priest in Turkey.)

Damion Reinhardt, a blogger at Skeptic Ink, lives in Oklahoma and hosts a podcast… so he decided to get some first-hand information by visiting Adam Daniels himself.

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