What’s It Like to be an Atheist in Poland? This Movie Will Show You

I’d never heard of this guy until yesterday, but Casimir Liszinski (a.k.a. Kazimierz Łyszczyński) was a Polish soldier executed for the crime of atheism in 1689.

Zenon Kalafaticz created an English-language documentary about how atheism fares in Poland more than three centuries after Liszinski was killed. In it, he speaks with a number of Polish atheist leaders and describes why there’s so much pushback against the powerful Catholic Church.

I watched excerpts of it yesterday and it looks fascinating (though I can’t shake how the narrator’s voice sounds like one you’d hear in an episode of “South Park”). In any case, if you have some time, check out 324 Years After…:

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I Didn’t Realize the Freedom From Religion Foundation Was That Kind of Group…

Amazon runs a cool program called AmazonSmile where a small percentage of selected purchases will go to the non-profit group of your choice, something that really adds up when lots of supporters make purchases.

Naturally, reader Steve looked up the Freedom From Religion Foundation but he was a little surprised by the category it was in…



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Board of Education May Vote to Put ‘In God We Trust’ on an Elementary School’s Welcome Sign

If you were to visit Pine River Elementary School in Leroy, Michigan, you would see this sign in front of the building:

I have a couple of issues with that sign… do adults who work there also have a great day, or just the kids? And what exactly is the name of that book? It’s like they were trying to cram buzzwords on its spine. Idea! Think! Book! But those are minor issues. It’s a cute sign that I’m sure serves some purpose.

It actually went up earlier this year when the other two elementary schools in the district shut down and the remaining school was renamed and given a bit of a makeover. This sign helped inaugurate the new building.

But when LeRoy High School Class of 1943 graduate Carl Gustafson made the sign, the spine of the book had another phrase on it: “In God We Trust.

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Christian British B&B Owners Who Illegally Turned Away Gay Couple Claim to Want Only ‘Freedom and Tolerance’

Hazelmary Bull was saddened and distressed when Britain’s highest court told her and her husband Peter on Wednesday that they had no right to refuse a double room to a gay couple.

Peter and Hazelmary Bull had asked the Supreme Court to decide whether their decision not to let Martyn Hall and his civil partner Steven Preddy stay in a double room constituted sex discrimination under equality legislation. … They argued their decision was founded on a “religiously-informed judgment of conscience” and that earlier judgements against them were a breach of their human rights to freedom of religion.



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After a Reporter’s Biased Story of a Christian Politician’s High School Visit, a Student Who Was There Speaks Out

The other day, I posted about Pennsylvania state Rep. Rick Saccone‘s visit to a local high school to discuss, among other things, his plan to put the words “In God We Trust” in every public school in the state.

Saccone visited Avonworth High School to speak to students in a “Problems in Democracy” honors-level class. Reporter Trina Orlando‘s coverage of the event for Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate made it sound like everything went just fine:

“I think [the bill] teaches students the history of our national motto and I also think that it reeducates people that there isn’t always a strict separation of church and state,” [student] Brady Collins said.

“I thought that they were very-well versed in the subject. They had great questions. Actually, they had better questions than some of the committee questions I received. So, they did their homework and I thought it was very exciting,” Rep. Saccone said.

Students at Avonworth took an informal vote on the issue prior to today’s debate.

About 60 percent of students supported the bill.

Even though that report featured students who supported Saccone’s bill, and the commentary implied a general level of support, too, the comments on the news station’s website told a very different story. Students who were at the assembly, it appeared, were chiming in that a majority of them firmly disagreed with Saccone — and took him to task for trying to push God into the classroom — and that perspective was missing from the news report.

Yesterday, I was able to get in touch with Max, one of the seniors who attended the event. (I was able to verify that he is, indeed, a student at the school.)

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