In Their First Televised Debate, All Four Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidates in Texas Embrace Creationism

During their first televised debate Thursday night, the four Republican candidates to become the next Lieutenant Governor of Texas unanimously agreed that public school science curriculums needed less science and more God.

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Australian Court Strikes Down Marriage Equality in a ‘Lost Opportunity,’ Says Atheist Group

Twenty-seven newlywed couples in Australia will have their marriages annulled just days after tying the knot, thanks to a recent decision by Australia’s High Court.

For five days beginning last weekend, same-sex couples could marry in Canberra after the city’s legislative assembly, called the Australian Capital Territory, passed a law in November legalizing marriage equality. But on Thursday, the Australian High Court ruled that the locally-passed law did not comply with the Federal Marriage Act — which doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages — and deemed the ACT law unconstitutional.

“The Court held that the Federal Parliament has power under the Australian Constitution to legislate with respect to same-sex marriage, and that under the Constitution and federal law as it now stands, whether same-sex marriage should be provided for by law is a matter for the Federal Parliament,” the court said in a summary of its judgement.

“The Marriage Act does not now provide for the formation or recognition of marriage between same-sex couples.

Not at all surprisingly, the Australian Christian Lobby and other Christian groups are at the center of the movement to take down marriage equality. Lobby member Lyle Shelton told Australia’s ABC1 that same-sex marriage is essentially a lost cause and he wants a referendum to take it completely off the table.

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Humanist Told He Can’t Give Invocation at County Meeting because the ‘Ministerial Association’ Didn’t Recommend Him

Just over a week ago, Joe Beck, founder of the Humanists of the Treasure Coast in Florida, asked if he could deliver the invocation at an upcoming meeting of the Martin County Board of County Commissioners.

It’s not just that they told him no that’s problematic. It’s the excuse they gave:

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AFA’s Bryan Fischer Redefines the Word ‘Religion,’ Says First Amendment Was Meant to Protect Christians Only

“If religion means anything other than Christianity, we have no way to stop Islam or satanism,” is the title of this video. At 2:30, the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, discussing the First Amendment, concludes that

“By ‘religion,’ the founders were thinking of Christianity. So the purpose was to protect the free exercise of the Christian faith. It wasn’t about protecting anything else.”

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Jennifer Michael Hecht: An Atheist President is ‘The Last Taboo’

Jennifer Michael Hecht, writing for Politico Magazine, wonders whether electing an atheist president is “the last taboo” — and she brings up Barney Frank‘s subtle summertime revelation:

… while few seemed to care about Frank’s pot-smoking admission, atheists across the country — myself included — were disappointed that he hadn’t acknowledged his lack of religious belief sooner, when it could have made a real difference. We were left wondering why a man who served 16 terms in Congress and who bravely came out as gay all the way back in 1987 felt the need to hide his atheism until he was out of office. Was it really harder to come out as an atheist politician in 2013 than as a gay one 25 years ago?

Yes, it was. Polls have repeatedly shown that atheists are the least electable minority group (at least of the ones significant enough to ask about):

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