The Difficulty of Being an Atheist College Administrator

An article in The Chronicle of Higher Education by “Madalyn Dawkins” (a pseudonym combining Madalyn Murray O’Hair and Richard Dawkins) discusses the relative ease of being an atheist professor but the difficulty of being an atheist administrator:

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New Zealand Politician Accused of Punching Atheist Teacher in the Head for Not Praying at Event

Back in April, we posted a brief story about Christopher Scott Roy, an art teacher from New Zealand who said he was fired because of his atheism.

At the time, details of his story were hard to come by. Now, we have a little more information — and it’s all sorts of scandalous. (So we should all take this with a *huge* grain of salt.)

The biggest surprise involves Alfred Ngaro, a National Party member of the New Zealand Parliament:

Roy, who taught at Tamaki College (which caters to students we Americans normally consider high-school age), now says that he once had a confrontation with Ngaro over his beliefs:

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Jesuits Release Videos Welcoming LGBT People Without Necessarily Supporting Them

Over the course of the summer, the Catholic Jesuit order in the United States released a series of videos in which they tell LGBT people they are welcome in the church.

This appears to be a recurring theme; just this week, I also posted about a new video campaign called The “Not All Like That” Christians Project in which LGBT-supportive Christians record videos basically telling LGBT people that some Christians are actually okay with gays. (The issues with that messaging are a whole other story.)

This project, led by the Jesuit Ignatian News Network and officially called the “Who Are We To Judge — Gay Catholics” series, features interviews with prominent gay Catholics and supportive clergy.

Here’s one example:

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The Hardest Battle Ever

I saw this trailer for a Christian movie Every Young Man’s Battle yesterday… (Spoiler: All of you young men out there have to fight the evil, treacherous scourge of pornography.)


The full movie is actually online and it’s even worse than the trailer.

Like the part at 12:42 when a young woman blames herself because “men were stumbling because of some of the things” she was wearing.

Or the part at 43:42 when James Dobson interviews serial killer Ted Bundy. Why? Because porn, that’s why.

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Rhode Island Church Finds Out That Not Everyone Loves the Sound of Its Bell

Six years after I bought my home, the coffeehouse across the street was transformed into a Hard Rock Café. The new management decided to promote the place by affixing a couple of trunk-sized, weather-proof speakers to the roof and playing a one-minute rock medley several times a day, at such eardrum-shattering volumes that the din could easily be heard three or four blocks away.

A trip to City Hall resulted in the town manager telling me his hands were tied, as there were special rules permitting the loud music, based on the interests of the hundreds who are clearly drawn to such places.

So I had a talk with the Hard Rock Café business manager, first pleading and then demanding that she stop or reduce the ruckus. She heard me out while studying her nails, and said a bit nonchalantly that she had every right to do what she did, and that her clientele obviously enjoyed the thrice-a-day sonic bursts.

At my wit’s end, last week, I filed a lawsuit, because the joint illegally interferes with my peaceful enjoyment of my property. The Hard Rock Café management, in response, put out the following statement:

So many in the community have enjoyed hearing the snippets of rock music for years for but minutes a day. The Hard Rock Café believes such sounds are reasonable and well within its rights. The music-loving community is saddened that a sole individual would continue personal, inappropriate attacks harassing visitors and staff.

All right, time to come clean. If this story sounds vaguely improbable, it’s because I invented it. Sort of. (Last year I took this photo of my actual view — note the absence of noisy rock temples!).

But the tale is very close to real for some people. Just substitute church for rock joint. Ask yourself why virtually no home owner would stand for the situation I described, but why it’s okay for a house of worship, as opposed to a house of rock to produce an ungodly number of decibels some 25 times a week.

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