Reverend Calls Ricky Gervais the ‘Jerry Falwell of Atheism’ for Mocking #PrayForOklahoma

I appeared on a HuffPost Live segment yesterday in which Ron Lindsay and I (and two Christians) spoke about the #PrayForOklahoma hashtag.

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Goodbye to the Namesake of the ‘Lemon Test’

Anyone who has a cursory understanding of America’s laws regarding church/state separation should be familiar with certain landmark Supreme Court cases. Cases like Engel v. Vitale and Abington School District v. Schempp and Lemon v. Kurtzman.

That last one in particular is important not necessarily for its immediate ruling (does anyone even remember what the case was about?) but for the legacy it left behind: The Lemon Test.

The Lemon Test said that there were three rules that legislators had to follow when it came to laws concerning religion:

  1. The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose;
  2. The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;
  3. The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.

Break any of these rules and the whole law becomes unconstitutional. It’s a precedence that has been used for decades and its namesake was Alton Toussaint Lemon:

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Even After Atheists Stop a Formal Prayer, This Kentucky High School’s Graduation Ceremony Still Honors Jesus

On Friday night, Lincoln County High School held its graduation. If the school’s name rings a bell, it’s because the administration had traditionally allowed (the obviously-mostly-Christian) students to vote on whether or not they wanted to say a prayer at the event, and — can you believe it?! — they always voted yes!

But this year, that changed when a group of atheist students spoke with the principal:

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An Australian’s View of Religion in America

Those of us who live in America know how crazy religious some parts of the country can be, but what do we look like to an outsider?

Ben Knight, a Washington D.C.-based correspondent for ABC News in Australia, did a radio piece on America’s religiosity — something strange to him because, in his home country, a lot of people don’t attend church and that’s not considered weird at all:

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Don’t Forget to Wash Behind Your Ears

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