Secular Wedding Celebrants May Soon Become a Reality in New Jersey

While Chris Christie attempts to fire and flail his way out of his bridge scandal, something actually pretty encouraging is happening under the radar in New Jersey. The Garden State may soon allow secular civil celebrants to officiate marriages. The New Jersey State Senate voted 32-5 in a favor of that bill today.

In March of 2012, a bill was introduced by Democratic Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula that adds to the list of those already authorized to solemnize marriages in New Jersey this amendment:

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When it Comes to Religious Accommodations in the Classroom, How Far is Too Far?

There’s an interesting debate taking place at York University in Toronto. Here’s the scenario: A student emails his professor saying he can’t do a particular group project because his religion doesn’t allow him to interact with women. If you’re the professor, what do you do? Sociology Professor J. Paul Grayson did what I think I [Read More...]

South Carolina Lawmakers, Seeking to Introduce Daily Prayer in Schools, Have Kindly Thought of Atheists, Too

I thought I’d share a warm and fuzzy update in the renewed legislative fight of seven Democratic and three Republican lawmakers to have kids “enjoy” a daily prayer — sorry, I mean “a moment of silence” — in South Carolina public schools.

As I noted in my previous post about the initiative, there can be no mistake about what this forced daily silence is intended to do. One of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. Wendell Gilliardstated that

The essential part of the bill, the important part, is putting prayer back in school.”


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The Los Angeles County Seal Will Soon Have a Cross on It

For almost a decade now, this has been the seal of Los Angeles County in California:

There’s a lot going on there, but check out the center right image. That’s supposed to represent the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, a Catholic mission dating back hundreds of years. It’s conspicuously missing a cross because, from 1987-2009, the actual building didn’t have one (due to it being destroyed in an earthquake, then stolen). It wasn’t until 2009 that the cross was restored on the building.

So now, some members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors want to change the seal to reflect that. Which is verrrrry convenient considering how often Christians try to get crosses on government seals…

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Why the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate May Not Be Such a Bad Thing

You may have heard that Bill Nye the Science Guy will be debating Creationist Ken Ham at the Creation Museum on February 4. The topic is “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” and the tickets were sold out almost immediately.

I’ve made it clear that I’m not a fan of the debate, and in the latest Humanist Network News, Brian Magee also explains why Nye is making a big mistake:

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