A Wiccan Priestess Delivered the Invocation in the Iowa State House This Morning

Last week, I posted about how Iowa State Rep. Liz Bennett invited Wiccan priestess Deborah Maynard to give the opening invocation in the State House.

That invocation took place this morning — and the House is still standing. You can check out the video here (starting at the 3:09 mark) or read the transcript below:



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After an Eighth Grader Stayed Seated During the Pledge of Allegiance, the School Nurse Refused to Treat Her

An eighth grader from Wilson Middle School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania was sitting in the nurse’s office last Thursday, waiting to be treated, when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited over the intercom.

The student chose not to stand for personal reasons… which apparently infuriated the nurse to the point that she refused to help the student.

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Having a Vasectomy, Sexting, and Several Other Things That’ll Get You Fired from Cleveland Catholic Schools

The Cleveland Catholic diocese, which oversees five high schools, will have teachers sign a contract next year that includes an expanded “morality clause.”

The teachers voted to adopt the wording — it’s the same contract elementary school teachers in the diocese had to sign last year — but it’s just amazing to see what’s on this list of offenses that will get you fired from these Catholic schools:

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Georgia Principal Defends Inviting Creationist Eric Hovind to Speak to High School Students

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how Creationist Eric Hovind had managed to obtain access to Troup County Comprehensive High School, where he gave a presentation promoting Creationism (even though he explicitly avoided saying that word or any religious term association with it) to a debate class. He claimed it was all about teaching “critical thinking” when, in reality, Creationism is all about accepting nonsense and avoiding evidence to the contrary.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Elizabeth Cavell sent a letter to the district last week wanting to know how this could have happened:

Creation Today’s website, www.creationtoday.org, explains that Eric Hovind has been engaged in “full-time ministry” since graduating college in 1999, and that he “lead[s] an apologetics ministry in the war against evolution and humanism.” Nothing in Hovind’s background indicates any expertise or experience in teaching “critical thinking” skills or any other topic relevant to secular education.

… it would have taken only a cursory glance at Creation Today’s website to verify its evangelical religious agenda. It is difficult for us to understand how this presentation could have been approved. Your community undoubtedly includes many people who have professional experience, training, and/or degrees and would be delighted, usually at no cost to the District, to discuss “critical thinking” with students interested in debate, and whose presence would not violate clear constitutional dictates.

There’s a bit of an update. The principal is now simultaneously saying that he doesn’t know exactly what Hovind spoke about in the classroom… but he *totally* knows it had nothing to do with religion (even though Creationism stems from religious belief):

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Turkey’s Government is Building Mosques on College Campuses, So Students Are Demanding Jedi Temples, Too

Last month, Istanbul Technical University announced it would build a mosque on campus to accommodate Muslim students. But now non-Muslims are speaking out and it’s glorious :)

One Change.org petition called for a Buddhist temple to go up at the school:

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