Several Atheist Groups File Joint Amicus Brief for Supreme Court Prayer Case

You’re going to see a few of these coming down the pipeline in the next few days. With the oral arguments for Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court case that could decide the fate of government invocation prayers, taking place in just over a month, pro-church/state separation groups are beginning to file their briefs in support of the Galloway side.

(If you need a refresher on what the heck I’m talking about, just check out this post, some of which I’m reposting below.)

Yesterday, a joint brief was filed by a number of groups, including the Center for Inquiry, Americans for Religious Liberty, and the various members of the Secular Coalition for America (including American Atheists, American Ethical Union, American Humanist Association, the Institute for Humanist Studies, Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, Secular Student Alliance, and the Society for Humanistic Judaism).

The focus of the brief in almost entirely on the last Supreme Court case to deal with government prayer: Marsh v. Chambers.

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Rep. Lynn Westmoreland: ‘God Created the World in 7 Days’ So Surely We Can Avoid Government Shutdown in 10 Days

Will Congress be able to avoid a government shutdown because Republicans want to defund the Affordable Care Act?

Newsmax TV interviewed Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) to ask him about it and his response was… well… just watch at the 1:43 mark:

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‘Geek’ Candidate for Texas House of Representatives Speaks Out Against Intelligent Design in Science Textbooks

Brian Boyko is running for Texas State Representative in a Republican-held district and, while that seems like an uphill climb, there are still good reasons to support him. For one, he’s a self-described geek: Also, if you want to donate to his campaign, you have to give a Fibonacci number dollar amount: But here’s the [Read More...]

Why an Atheist Group Should Accept the White House’s Invitation to a Faith-Based Gathering

We learned on Wednesday that the Obama administration extended an invitation to the Secular Student Alliance to an upcoming “Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge” planning meeting:

“We’re honored to be included in the President’s call for interfaith and community service,” said Jesse Galef, spokesperson for the Secular Student Alliance. “There are thousands of nonreligious students eager to work alongside their religious friends to make the world a better place.”

“From the beginning, President Obama has envisioned students from all worldviews, religious or secular, being part of his Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge,” said Ken Bedell, Senior Advisor with the Department of Education’s Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Center. “We know it’s important to include all viewpoints in this process.”

Exciting news… unless you’re Tom Flynn, Executive Director of the Council for Secular Humanism, and you think the SSA should have rejected the offer on principle:

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A Turkish Imam Is Under Investigation and Could Be Fired For Singing in a Rock Band

42-year-old Ahmet Muhsin Tüzer is a Turkish imam who likes rock music. In his spare time, he sings in a band, and it isn’t exactly death metal – more like the Islamic equivalent of Christian rock, and more pap pop than rock at that:

Mr Tüzer … is planning to bring out an album with his band next month. One song is titled Mevlaya gel, or Come to God. “I want to celebrate Allah in every place,” he told Turkey’s Anadolu news agency. “I don’t think I have caused the slightest damage to my institution.”

But the Turkish government — officially secular, but deeply entangled with Islam — recently launched an investigation against Tüzer, because being an imam “is not just like any other job,” a spokesman explained. “Things that are viewed as normal when it comes to other civil servants are viewed differently with respect to imams.”

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