After Satanists Planned to Give Away Coloring Books, Florida School Board Halts Religious Distributions Entirely

In January of 2013, World Changers of Florida, Inc. held Bible distributions at a number of public high schools in Orange County, Florida. No student would be forced to take one, but there would be a table set up where interested students could take a copy if they wanted:

This alone could have been illegal, but the Orange County School Board agreed that non-Christian groups could also have a distribution if they wanted.

When the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC) called their bluff and planned their own giveaway, they were heavily censored. Many of their books, they were told, could not be given away, including titles such as Sam HarrisLetter to a Christian Nation and Ibn Warraq‘s Why I am Not a Muslim.

[Read more…]

Oxford University Press Tells Authors Not to Mention Pigs or Sausage in Books to Avoid Offending Muslims and Jews

This is what happens when your fear of offending religious sensibilities goes too far:

Top academic publisher the Oxford University press has issued guidance that authors should avoid using pork-related words.

Today Programme presenter Jim Naughtie, who is married to writer Eleanor Updale, said: “I’ve got a letter here which was sent out by Oxford University Press to an author doing something for young people.

“Among the things prohibited in the text that was commissioned by OUP was the following; ‘Pigs (plus anything else which could be perceived as pork.'”

He added: “Now, if a respectable publisher tied to an academic institution is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke.”

[Read more…]

Governor Says Solutions to Kansas’ Problems Are “Cultural and Moral” and Come from “Hearts Alive with a Loving God”

After a first term of stewardship that has left Kansas with a “nearly $900 million budget hole,” largely because of tax cuts that were supposed to generate revenue that never came in, Governor Sam Brownback (R) was sworn in to a second term on Monday. And his inaugural speech indicates that he is in no hurry to shake the wishful thinking that has already contributed to his state’s woes.

[Read more…]

Colorado Church Cancels Woman’s Funeral After Seeing a Picture of Her Kissing Her Wife

In yet another example of Christian Love, New Hope Ministries in Lakewood, Colorado put a stop to Vanessa Collier‘s funeral just minutes after it was scheduled to begin because they noticed that a video that was supposed to play during the service included an image of Collier kissing her wife:

[Read more…]

Post-Charlie, French Director Luc Besson Pulls a Ben Affleck, Serenades His Muslim Brothers’ “Beautiful Religion”

Given Luc Besson‘s unfortunate portrayal of Egyptians in his movie The Fifth Element (in Indiana Jones fashion, they come across as lazy, shifty, and duplicitous), I wouldn’t have taken the French director for a fan of Islam.

I may have been wrong, though, and now, at a minimum, I must give Besson — who himself is “not so much” religious, he said last year — sincere props for trying to reach out to young French Muslims. You see, he wrote an open letter to the Le Monde newspaper the other day, in which he addressed his Muslim “brothers” with humility and understanding.

And that’s not bad. Not bad at all. But predictably, the director just couldn’t bring himself to mention the elephant in the room: the scriptures and teachings of Islam itself, and the inclination of millions of Muslims to follow through on those dark edicts.

Besson wrote:

My brother, if you knew how much I hurt for you today, you and your beautiful religion which has been defiled, humiliated, blamed. Have you forgotten your strength, your energy, your humor, your heart, your fraternity? What has happened is unfair and we all must fix this injustice. We love you very much and we will all help you. But first things first. What is society offering you?

[Read more…]