Obama Administration Invites Atheists to Interfaith Planning Meeting

Two years ago, the Obama Administration launched the “Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge,” which asked colleges and universities to “commit to a year of interfaith and community service programming on campus.”

Next week, representatives from a number of religious organizations will be meeting at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. to discuss best practices and plan new projects, and atheists will be included at that meeting for the first time.

Five leaders of the Secular Student Alliance have literally been given seats at the table:

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Atheists Launch Political Action Committee

This morning, the Center for Humanist Activism (the political and advocacy wing of the American Humanist Association) announced at a press conference that they had formed a political action committee called the Freethought Equality Fund. The PAC will financially support candidates who are openly atheist as well as theistic candidates who support church/state separation:

The mission of the Freethought Equality Fund PAC is to change the face of American politics and to achieve equality by increasing the number of open humanists and atheists in public office at all levels of government.

The FEF PAC will provide nontheist Americans the opportunity to make their voices heard in the political process by supporting candidates who identify as humanist, atheist, agnostic, and who share our goals of protecting the separation of church and state and defending the civil liberties of secular Americans.

When people see respected ethical humanists and atheists serve in public office, this will begin to dispel many myths about nonbelievers. The FEF PAC will also support a number of candidates who identify as religious but who are leaders in supporting the rights of nonbelievers.

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America-Hating Christian Family Who Had To Be Rescued At Sea Will Set Sail Again

Remember the Gastonguays? This past May, 26-year-old Hannah, her 30-year-old husband Sean, his father Mike, and the couple’s daughters, 3-year-old Ardith and 8-month-old Rahab, planned to sail to Kiribati, a tiny island nation, population 100,000, some 1,300 miles south of Hawaii. They didn’t want to live in the increasingly godless United States anymore due to “abortion, homosexuality [and] the state-controlled church.”

The five set sail for their exotic destination but were later found to have “zero knowledge and experience in navigation.” Inevitably, they suffered one mishap after another. With their boat badly battered after a string of Pacific squalls and storms plus a collision with a Canadian cargo ship, the family ran out of supplies but managed to survive on some juice, honey, and what fish they could catch. Then the deck started separating from the hull, and the boat filled with water constantly. After 91 days of half-sailing, half-drifting, a helicopter had to airlift them to safety.

Now, the family says they want to try again…

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I Don’t Understand S.E. Cupp’s Atheism

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses conservative commentator S.E. Cupp‘s atheism:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next! [Read more…]

Americans United Files Brief Against Sectarian Prayers at City Council Meetings with Supreme Court

On November 6, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a case that could decide the fate of invocation prayers at city council meetings. (My summary of the case, the people involved, and the arguments they’ll likely make can be read here.)

Earlier today, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed its official brief with the Court — all 78 pages of it — and they responded to the right-wing talking points right up front:

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