Ohio Public School District Includes “Higher Power Exists” as a Core Value for Students

A few weeks ago, a student sent me a page from the Rossford Exempted Village Schools handbook. The Ohio public school district listed its “core values” in the book and one of them was acknowledging that a “Higher power exists”:

That was out of place and illegal… (not to mention really grammatically awkward).

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Clemson’s Head Football Coach Will No Longer Accept Award from Anti-Gay Christian Group

I posted yesterday about how Clemson University head football coach Dabo Swinney planned to attend a fundraiser to receive an award from the Palmetto Family Council, an anti-gay Christian group.

Among the many problems was that he would be appearing not as a private citizen but as the Clemson coach. It would also send a message that he shares the bigoted views of the Christian organization.

Looks like the pressure finally got to him. Swinney has decided to skip the fundraiser after all:

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Nebraska Just Repealed the Death Penalty Thanks to Its Atheist State Senator

You may have heard that Nebraska’s legislature just voted to repeal the death penalty. Governor Pete Ricketts threatened to keep it in place, but 30 senators (of the 49 total) were needed to override the veto.

They got exactly 30 votes.

As the Omaha World-Herald says, this represents a “crowning achievement” for State Senator Ernie Chambers (below). He’s the one who introduced the bill in January — something he did unsuccessfully 37 times before.

I feel it’s worth pointing out — since it’s not something we get to do very often with political stories of this magnitude — that Chambers is an atheist. In fact, he’s the highest-ranking elected official in the country who openly admits he doesn’t believe in God.

It’s his focus away from God and toward evidence that led him to fight this battle:

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Atheist Minister May Face “Review” by United Church of Canada Leaders Who See Her as a Heretic

Gretta Vosper is a reverend for the United Church of Canada… even though she doesn’t believe in God. Maybe you think that’s controversial — or hypocritical — but the UCC has long ordained women and LGBT individuals. So it’s not completely out of line to have an atheist minister.

But her position is now in jeopardy.

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The Problem with the #CharlieCharlieChallenge

Earlier this week, a really dumb idea became ridiculously popular.

Here’s how the “Charlie Charlie Challenge” works: You get some paper and make a grid with the words “Yes” and “No.” You put pencils on the axes, one atop of another, so they balance. Then you ask Charlie — a supposed Mexican demon with a very not-Mexican name — any question you want.

If the top pencil moves, it means Charlie is answering your question…

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