Freedom From Religion Foundation Sues Pismo Beach (California) City Council for Its Sectarian Invocation Prayers

Just days before the Supreme Court hears the case of Town of Greece v Galloway, the city of Pismo Beach, California just got served with a major lawsuit by the Freedom From Religion Foundation over sectarian prayers at city council meetings.

In short, the Pismo Beach City Council has offered explicitly Christian invocation prayers at its meetings 125 of the past 126 times (from 1/1/2008 through 10/15/2013). That one exception still included the city’s Chaplain Paul Jones saying the Pledge of Allegiance. (And why does the city have an official Chaplain in the first place?)

These are not non-denominational prayers. These are prayers to Jesus. These are prayers that promote Christianity. These are prayers that have no business at government meetings.

There’s also historical revisionism in many of the prayers, the kind that would make Christian pseudo-historian David Barton proud.

FFRF has the transcripts (more than a hundred pages of them, which must have taken an incredibly long time) and the invocations are simply indefensible:

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Bad Jesus, No Candy: Illinois School Does About-Face When Student Dresses as Savior for Halloween

If you like comedy, there is much to love about this news story of a teenager who dressed up as Jesus for Halloween — starting with his mom’s penchant for inadvertent punnery.

17-year-old Marshon Sanders stepped into Highland Park High School Thursday morning wearing a white toga, red sash, sandals, a giant cross necklace and a crown of thorns.

He nailed it,” [said] proud mom Angenetta Frison.



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Irish Atheists Urge Repeal of Nation’s Blasphemy Law at Constitutional Convention

Over the weekend, the Convention on the Constitution held meetings in Ireland to discuss changes to the nation’s Constitution and then make recommendations to the government.

Relevant to us is the need to repeal the blasphemy law, which currently states:

The publication or utterance of blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter is an offence which shall be punishable in accordance with law.

Atheist Ireland has been fighting for the law’s repeal for a while now and the group’s Chairperson Michael Nugent spoke at this weekend’s convention alongside fellow advocates for the law’s repeal, Professor David Nash of Oxford Brookes University and Human Rights Officer of Atheist Ireland Jane Donnelly:



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The Friendly Atheist Book Club Is Now Open!

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses the Friendly Atheist Book Club:

More on the book club right here!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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You Can Now Pre-Order A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God

For more than a year now, I’ve been posting videos from Chris Johnson who has been working on a multimedia book about atheists called A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy & Meaning in a World Without God.

That book, which is now available for pre-order, will be released on January 1.



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