Catholic Morality Clause Drives Good Teachers Out of Louisiana Schools

What’s the best way to rid your school of deeply conscientious teachers?

Try drafting a restrictive-and-unusually-specific morality clause. Make it so unrealistic that most teachers will have to lie to follow it. Then sit back and watch some of your best educators leave for reasons of conscience, while keeping the liars on the payroll.

It’s hard to blame Catholic-school teachers in the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana for choosing to affirm a strict Catholic moral code built into their contracts; after all, their livelihoods are at stake and it’s a tough job market. But at least two professionals affiliated with Our Lady of Fatima, a Lafayette parochial school, have announced their resignation as a direct result of these restrictive clauses.

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How a Gay Student Came Out at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University

Let me say outright what we’re all thinking: If you’re gay, Liberty University is not the right school for you.

That’s what one former student thought at first, too; after all, Liberty’s founder, the infamous Jerry Falwell, is perhaps best remembered for founding the anti-gay Moral Majority, claiming that pagans, feminists and gays caused 9/11, and warning of a “homosexual steamroller” that would “literally crush all decent men, women, and children.” (In the years since his passing, the misuse of “literally” in Falwell’s steamroller quote has inspired one of the best Oatmeal comics of all time, but that’s another story.)

But in a piece for the Atlantic this week, former Liberty student Brandon Ambrosino says that when he came out as gay at Liberty, he was pleasantly surprised — at least to an extent. Ambrosino followed a girlfriend to Liberty, assuming God had intended for them to eventually get married. As the story often goes, they broke up, and it wasn’t long before Brandon knew he was actually gay.

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These Venn Diagrams Are Getting Out of Control

Inspired by Crispian Jago, Dehydration Station has made an updated, more complicated, and still-being-revised “Organized Collection of Irrational Nonsense” (click to enlarge):

Glad to see Scientology’s position still hasn’t changed. [Read more...]

Bill Maher and Zack Kopplin Take on Anti-Science GOP

Earlier tonight, young atheist and science advocate Zack Kopplin appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher. In the clips below, the conversation revolves around climate change, gay marriage, budget cuts, and why the GOP has such a hard time accepting reality:

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A Documentary Film About Pastors Who Lose Their Faith

Last weekend, at the American Atheists conference, I filmed a few segments for a new documentary film called Refusing My Religion. It’s about pastors who become atheists and the struggles they go through, and you’ll see a lot of familiar faces in this early trailer:

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