Secular Invocation Delivered in Longwood, Florida

The city of Longwood, Florida hosted an atheist invocation this week, delivered by Loren Kahle:



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Kansas Officials Say They Didn’t Fire Staffer for Not Going to Church

Last month, Courtney Canfield, a former staffer at the office of the Kansas Secretary of State, said in a lawsuit that she was illegally fired by Assistant Secretary Eric K. Rucker (below) for not attending church enough.

The problems began in February of 2013, when Canfield was invited to a church service by a staffer working for Rucker. That happened multiple times but she never went. (Canfield was a Methodist, but not particularly religious.)

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New York City Health Board Gets Rid of Consent Forms for Snip-N-Suck Circumcisions

There’s a disturbing practice in the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish culture known as metzitzah b’peh in which a rabbi (mohel) sucks the blood from a baby boy who has just been circumcised. If that wasn’t disgusting enough, some of the mohels have had herpes simplex, passing the virus on to the children. Since 2000, more than a dozen infants have contracted herpes in this manner and at least two have died.

In some cases, parents weren’t even made aware the mohels were performing this ritual.

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Religion, Politics, and the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy of the “Likely Voter”

Listening to the political circus unfolding today, you hear frequent allusions to God/faith/religion/fairy tales on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter that faith ought to be divorced from political action; candidates throughout history have made it a point to pander to the believers. It’s seen as a function of electability. It’s been about appealing to the “likely voter.”

What is a “likely voter” in U.S. polling? That depends on what poll you’re looking at. A company like Gallup attempts to ascertain whether an individual is likely to vote based on voter registration and a series of questions about political awareness and engagement. Others rely on voter registration alone. Still others look at only those who were willing to vote in the past or rely on trends in terms of voter turnout according to demographics.



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Louisiana Cop Prays with People He’s Pulled Over for Speeding

The Bossier Sheriff’s Office in Louisiana has violated church/state separation before. In 2013, they lost $15,000 in federal funding for its Young Marine Program that emphasized “the love of God and fidelity to our country,” subjecting members to a Young Marine Obligation to not disgrace or dishonor God, and having students sign on to a Young Marine Creed that included: “Keep myself clean in mind by attending the church of my faith.”

It looks like they still haven’t learned their lesson.

Last week, Bossier Parish Deputy Jackie Loveless (below) pulled over a speeding driver only to learn that she and her husband were going to their daughter’s funeral. He no doubt sympathized with her grief:



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