Australian Government Drops Religious Exemptions from New Vaccination Laws

Last week, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (below) announced that he would close the loophole allowing anti-vaccination parents to receive child care subsidies from the government. Beginning in 2016, conscientious objectors to vaccinations would no longer receive subsidies that were worth up to $15,000 per child.

There were exemptions, though. If you had medical reasons for not vaccinating their kids, you could still receive the money. Parents who didn’t give their kids the shots for religious reasons were also exempt as far as we knew.

Not anymore, though:

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Center For Inquiry Will Testify Against Homeopathy During Upcoming FDA Hearings

The Food and Drug Administration has finally decided to hold public hearings regarding the regulation of homeopathic drugs, and it’s good to know that the Center For Inquiry, which has long campaigned against the selling of the expensive placebo masquerading as real medicine, will be providing testimony:



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In Canada, Government Prayer Ban is Already Being Tested

A couple of days ago, the Canadian Supreme Court ruled that the city of Saguenay in Quebec could not have Catholic prayers at meetings (as was tradition). While the decision was a welcome one, it was also narrow, applying only to Saguenay. What about other cities with religious invocations?

Well, one mayor is already testing the law by saying he ain’t getting rid of his prayers:



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Cochran (Georgia) City Council Will Hoist Christian Flag Above Courthouse, Against Attorney’s Advice

The city council members in Cochran, Georgia have a novel way of settling church/state separation issues. Like hoisting a Christian flag in front of the courthouse.

They just figure out what the majority wants and follow suit:



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Here’s How We Could See an Atheist Member of Congress in 2016

At the moment, there are no openly non-theistic members of Congress. There was Rep. Pete Stark up until 2012… and then nobody.

But there’s reason to think that could change in 2016.

Here’s how it would work.

Last month, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced that she would be retiring after nearly three decades in the Senate.



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