Florida House Speaker Wants to Change the Law to Allow Football Coaches to Lead Athletes in Prayers to Jesus

This is the Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford:

He’s a Republican. Which is going to become painfully obvious after you hear what he wrote to a public school superintendent the other day:

If a football coach wants to lead a prayer with his players on the field after a game they should be able to do that. I believe that our law we passed (last) year would allow you to set guidelines for it. If not, I will work on a bill for it next year.”

Weatherford doesn’t get how the law works. Including, apparently, the law he passed last year. That legislation — the “Inspirational Message” law, which is really the “Christians are in the majority so we’re gonna pray harder than you” law — gave students the chance to deliver religious messages at public school events provided that they alone got to choose the speaker. It added that school officials — including football coaches — could not participate in or influence the decision of whether a prayer would take place or who would deliver it, a fact that Pasco County Schools Superintendent Kurt Browning reiterated to his principals last week.

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French Official: We Should Replace Some of Our Christian Holidays with Jewish and Muslim Ones

If you work in America, you likely have Christmas Day off because it’s a federal holiday. While there are arguments to be made about how that’s an illegal establishment of religion, it also just makes sense from an employer’s perspective. If the majority of your employees would be taking the day off, anyway, why bother having anybody come in?

In France, Dounia Bouzar, a recent appointee to the country’s National Observatory of Secularism, made some controversial remarks to the magazine Challenges when she suggested that the country would be better off replacing a couple of the Christian holidays with Jewish and Muslim ones:

“At the moment, every French person celebrates Christmas, and I think our public holidays should include one Jewish festival and one Muslim festival,” she said.

Rather than simply adding those dates on to the list of public holidays, however, the anthropologist insisted: “We must replace two Christian festivals with Yom Kippur and Eid.”

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Should This TV Commenter Have Been Fired For an Off-the-Air Comment About Gay Marriage?

I’d like your opinion on this:

Sports commentator Ralph Gurdy was recently fired from an NBC affiliate for saying — not on the air, but during a public function unrelated to his TV work — that gay people are born that way and that there’s nothing wrong with same-sex marriage.

That’s pretty weird and outrageous, isn’t it?

It didn’t actually happen (I made it up as a thought experiment; there is no Ralph Gurdy who’s a talking head for NBC), but this did: Sports commentator Craig James (pictured below) was fired from a regional Fox outfit because he was “not a good fit” and a “polarizing figure in the college sports community.” Fox also said that James, who had just one on-air performance before he was kicked out, had not been “properly vetted.”

So far, so uninteresting, but the problem lies in a further statement made to the Dallas Morning News by an unidentified Fox spokesperson who referred to James’s unsuccessful Senate run, during which the candidate said that being gay is a choice and that gay people will have to answer to God.

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Montgomery, Alabama’s Solution to Fighting Crime: Jesus

Ray Downs at The Atlantic tells the story of an Alabama city with a high murder rate and how local cops are fighting back with taxpayer money and Jesus:

Operation Good Shepherd [is] a publicly funded Christian outreach ministry started by the Montgomery Police Department that puts Christian pastors on crime scenes to counsel and pray with victims and witnesses. Police claim the program is a way to regain trust in the community, but there’s another motive, which they aren’t at all coy about: evangelism — they believe a stronger sense of Christianity will reduce crime.

I’m sure while they’re at it, they’ll replace all neighborhood watch programs with giant pictures of Jesus…

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‘One Nation Under God’ Banner Taken Down from New Jersey City Train Trestle

Madison High School in New Jersey has an active fan club known as “Dodger Nation.” It’s not affiliated with the school, but they do things like running tailgates and hanging banners supporting the school’s teams.

Recently, they began selling lawn signs and window stickers with the words “One Nation Under God” underneath the logo:

None of that was an issue until city officials in Madison allowed them to hang a banner with the logo and phrase on an overpass:

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