Words That Have Never Been Uttered by Anyone, Ever

Well, except for this Onion writer:

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This Kansas Elementary School Has a Cross Atop the Building and Officials Refuse to Take It Down Until Someone Sues

If you were to visit Spearville Elementary School in Dodge City, Kansas and looked up before you entered the building, you’d be in for a bit of a surprise:

That’d be a giant cross welcoming children through the public school’s door.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent the district a letter months ago — and another one last month — but the school board didn’t get around to discussing it until this week and they finally came to a decision:

They’re going to pretend nothing happened.

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The New York Times asks: Is Atheism Irrational?

No. No it’s not.

Okay, we got that out of the way.

On The Stone, The New York Times‘ philosophy/opinion blog, Gary Gutting interviewed Alvin Plantinga. The former is a professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame; the latter is a former professor of philosophy and a former president of the Society of Christian Philosophers and the American Philosophical Association. Plantinga also recently wrote a book called Where the Conflict Really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism.

When I initially read this article, I just skimmed it and rolled my eyes a couple of times. When I began writing something up on it, I read it more thoroughly and had this response:

The conversation between the two philosophers was… interesting. It seems like to be an exercise in various types of bad arguments.

But, here we are. Who’s ready to dive in with me?

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High School Administrator in North Carolina Blocks Formation of Atheist Club Because It Wouldn’t ‘Fit In’

Last summer, the Secular Student Alliance formed a strategic partnership with the Freedom From Religion Foundation in order to protect the rights of young atheists. It was a match made in hell, in all the right ways.

Looks like that partnership is being put to use thanks to a developing situation in North Carolina, where administrators at Pisgah High School in Canton are refusing to allow an atheist club to form:

After first meeting with Assistant Principal Connie Weeks, the student was told that Weeks needed to “look into” the formation of the group. At subsequent meetings, the student was told by Weeks that they should just join a different club, because the secular club didn’t “fit in” to the community at Pisgah High School, and there were no faculty sponsors available — despite the Equal Access Act stating that if a sponsor couldn’t be found, the administration is required to assign one.

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Irish Broadcaster Falls For ‘a Neat Orwellian Trick,’ Agrees That Homophobes May Be the Real Victims of Homophobia

Irish drag artist Miss Panti Bliss (a.k.a. Rory O’Neill) went on national TV late last month, and called people who actively campaign against gay rights “homophobes.”

That would be unremarkable in most of the developed world, and a legally protected opinion to boot. But in Ireland, not so much.

[O'Neill] was threatened with legal action for defamation by the writer John Waters …, by the [conservative Catholic] Iona Institute, who made the video [that O'Neill had criticized], and by Breda O’Brien, an Irish Times columnist.

And then, RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster, went through the looking glass. In a matter of weeks, it paid Waters €40,000 ($54,000) in damages. O’Brien and the Iona Institute received €45,000 ($61,000) between them. RTÉ also decided to issue an apology for O’Neill’s comments.

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