Sarah Palin Has Got the ‘War on Christmas’ Thing All Wrong

This is a guest post by Luis Granados. Granados is the director of Humanist Press.

Last week was a banner one for “War on Christmas” books. First we had Sarah Palin’s Good Tidings and Great Joy, emphatically on the “put Christ back in politician-run Christmas” side. Then came John G. Rodwan Jr.’s Holidays and Other Disasters, a wistful plea for a world where Christmas and other holidays are not rammed down people’s throats. (Disclosure: Rodwan’s book was published by Humanist Press, for which I serve as director.)

Rodwan complains at length about God experts co-opting holidays, even those as non-religious as Labor Day. If he’d been able to read Palin’s book first, though, he surely would have had something insightful to say about has-been politicians trying to resurrect their own careers by forcing their religious beliefs on the rest of us.

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Don’t Harass Your Religious Colleagues in the Workplace

This is just a reminder that your atheism doesn’t give you license to be an asshole at work.

In other words, don’t be like Portland Parks & Recreation worker Theresa Lareau who told her Christian co-worker KellyMarie Griffin the following:

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Church of England ‘Faces Extinction,’ Says Ex-Archbishop; Churchgoers Should Be ‘Ashamed’ of Themselves

One (almost) down, a bunch more to go.

The Church of England is “one generation away from extinction”, the former Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

Lord Carey, 78, said churchgoers should be “ashamed” of themselves for failing to invest more in young people and called for urgent action before it’s too late.

The outspoken Lord said that unless more was done to attract new worshipers, every one of the 43 CofE dioceses across the world could be wiped out within 25 years.

He also expressed fears that the modern church was too old fashioned and “not the most exciting place to meet new people“.


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After Lengthy Legal Battle, School Board Emerges Victorious Over Creationist Science Teacher

In a case that’s lasted more than five years, there’s finally a happy resolution in the legal battle between Creationist teacher John Freshwater and the Mount Vernon City School District Board of Education.

A quick refresher: In 2008, school board members voted 5-0 to fire Freshwater, a Mount Vernon Middle School science teacher, after learning that he had preached Creationism to the students, handed out flyers in class urging kids to attend a presentation by the “Answers in Genesis” ministry, left the Bible out on his desk during class even after being told to stop, hung a Ten Commandments sign in his classroom, offered extra credit to students who watched the Ben Stein pro-Intelligent Design movie Expelled, and burned a student in the arm with a Tesla coil… in the shape of a cross:

That set off a long appeals process that culminated with a 4-3 decision by the Ohio Supreme Court yesterday in favor of the district. The Court said the district was right to fire Freshwater for his insubordination.

The decision holds little back:

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Vatican Will Display Unauthenticated Bone Fragments It Claims Are Saint Peter’s

To cap the Year of Faith, the Vatican has decided to put some almost 2,000-year-old bone fragments on display that the Church says are St. Peter‘s.

Per the Guardian,

The decision to exhibit is controversial. No pontiff has ever said the bones are without doubt those of Saint Peter, and some within archaeological circles are fairly sure they are not.

But Catholics are taking it on — what else? — faith.

The remains, discovered in 1950, have a checkered history, about which the paper goes into some detail.

In his book The Vatican Diaries, longtime observer John Thavis calls the affair “an embarrassment” for the church. “The supposed bones of Saint Peter had been surreptitiously dug up by a meddling monsignor when the archaeologists weren’t looking; then they were thrown into a box and forgotten for more than a decade; then they were rediscovered by accident and became the focus of a feud between church experts,” he writes.

“The whole affair did not inspire confidence in the Vatican’s ability to exhume its own history, and it is little wonder that none of it is mentioned in the Vatican guidebooks.”



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