Relaxed Educational Standards for Homeschooled Children in Pennsylvania and Beyond Should Frighten All of Us

The New York Times published an article about recent changes to Pennsylvania’s laws governing homeschooling, and it highlights a number of concerning points — both in relation to Pennsylvania and homeschooling in general.

Full disclosure: I was homeschooled for my entire K-12 education and learned a lot of really silly religious stuff (like Creationism) in the process. My mom taught us what she and my father believed to be true; but, at the same time, she was a great teacher (when religion didn’t conflict with reality) who fostered a keen love of learning and the natural world. My problem with homeschooling, then, isn’t that I imagine a lack of sincerity on the part of the parents or that I think there are no potential benefits or scenarios where it could work well.

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I Don’t Think the Mayor of Winfield, Alabama is Happy With Me

The other day, I posted about a Godly resolution passed by the Winfield City Council (in Alabama) that was suggested and endorsed by Mayor Randy Price (below). The resolution declared Winfield a “City Under God” with God as the city’s “owner.”

Well, Al.com reporter Kelly Kazek contacted Price after all of this blew up to get his take on it — and he seems shocked that there’s now backlash to what he thought was a great decision:

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After Long Legal Battle, Christian Symbols Will Finally Be Removed from King (North Carolina) Veteran’s Memorial

A few years ago, Steven Hewett, a former police officer and veteran of the war in Afghanistan (where he received a Combat Action Badge and a Bronze Star), took a stand against a Veterans’ Memorial in King, North Carolina, where he had lived since 1999:

What’s wrong with that memorial? All the ways it promotes Christianity.

Like this Christian flag that was one of eleven surrounding the memorial:

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Atheist Delivers Invocation at Chico City Council Meeting: “In the Face of Adversity, We Need Not Look Above”

For a while now, the Atheists of Butte County (in California) have been urging the Chico City Council to let them deliver invocations at meetings. After a lot of attempts — and some potential legal threats — the council finally agreed to let atheists speak at three separate meetings this year.

The first of those meetings was last night, and group leader George Gold (in hat, below) gave a wonderful invocation:



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Mississippi Rep. Scott DeLano Says Law Preventing Atheists from Holding Public Office Should Remain in Constitution

We know that Mississippi is one of seven states where atheists theoretically can’t hold public office. Article 14, Section 265 of the state’s Constitution reads:

No person who denies the existence of a Supreme Being shall hold any office in this state.

All bans like this are, of course, unenforceable thanks to the U.S. Constitution and Supreme Court.

Still, Openly Secular has been pushing for legislators to remove those bans from the books if for no other reason than to send the message that anti-atheist bigotry will not be tolerated.

It would take a lot of work to make that happen, but isn’t it something all politicians should at least pay lip service to? Surely, they would jump through hoops to change the law if the ban affected any other group of people.

But when an NPR reporter asked Mississippi’s House Constitution chair Scott DeLano (R) what he thought about the request to change the law, he argued that it should stay in place:



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