Florida Mayor Kicks Atheist Out of City Commission Meeting After He Doesn’t Stand for the Invocation or Pledge

At yesterday’s meeting of the Winter Garden City Commissioners (in Florida), Mayor John Rees announced that they would begin with an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, as many government meetings do, and asked everyone to stand up.

John Thoreau, an atheist, remained seated. Normally, that would be irrelevant since he has every right to do that, but Rees had other ideas.

As the first syllable of the invocation was uttered, Rees told everyone to hold up because Thoreau was still sitting down…



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Why Are Soldiers in Fort Gordon’s Army Substance Abuse Program Being Given Copies of “The Purpose Driven Life”?

At Fort Gordon in Georgia, military personnel who have substance abuse problems may be directed by their superiors to go into the “Army Substance Abuse Program“:

Soldiers are encouraged to seek help voluntarily for drug and alcohol problems. While self-referral is the preferred method of identification, commanders are also responsible for identifying Soldiers at risk and for referring them to the ASAP for evaluation by the counseling staff and for supporting the recommended intervention and rehabilitation.

All of that is perfectly fine… but according to the Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s Mikey Weinstein, one of the recovery “tools” being handed to soldiers is a copy of Pastor Rick Warren‘s book The Purpose Driven Life. Because Jesus is the government’s path to recovery.

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Oklahoma Judge Strikes Down Vouchers for Special Needs’ Students Because Public Money Was Going to Religious Schools

Oklahoma passed a law in 2010, the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities act, that provided vouchers to students with special needs. The students could attend one of 49 private schools with the help of taxpayer funding.

But there was a major problem. 43 of those 49 schools were religious. (Only six actually specialized in special needs students.)

Last November, a legal challenge from a couple of public school districts was tossed out by the state’s Supreme Court because a judge said they didn’t have standing as taxpayers. So a dozen individual plaintiffs sued again and, yesterday, a district judge ruled in their favor:

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Rick Santorum Wrongly Thinks Students “Can’t Pray in School”

In an interview with the website Vocativ, former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum explained (again) that he really doesn’t understand the causes he fights so vehemently against:



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Incorrigible Pastor and GOP Candidate Jody Hice Spreads One Misattributed Quotation After Another

I keep this smartypants meme handy on my computer desktop so I can quickly post it, when called for, in certain comment threads on Facebook.

In my experience, the most common Internet misattributions have some link to religion, a field where a reverence for facts is often doubtful to begin with and grotesque fabrications are baked right into the faith’s foundational “truths.”

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