Religious Home-Schooling Parents in Virginia Aren’t Regulated At All, but One District is Trying to Change That

Last year, The Washington Post‘s Susan Svrluga wrote an incredible story about a home-schooled student, Josh Powell, who desperately wanted to attend public school because he knew his parents were not teaching him properly.

It didn’t work. Despite the setback, Josh eventually enrolled in a community college and later got accepted to Georgetown University (based on his strong desire to learn). As for his 11 (not a typo) siblings? They were still stuck at home, doomed to the same fate.

[Read more...]

Shocker: Bus Driver Whose Bible Supposedly Stopped Two Bullets Made the Whole Thing Up

Remember the Dayton, Ohio public-bus driver who, in February, was assaulted by three teenagers? Rickey Wagoner‘s assailants supposedly fired three shots at him, point blank, and stabbed him for good measure. The story made national news because Wagoner told everyone his survival was a bona fide miracle: two bullets aimed at his chest never penetrated the Bible that he happened to carry there. Praise the Lord!

Just like the bulk of the stories in Wagoner’s favorite book, his account of the attack turns out to have been nothing but a fanciful fabrication (I guess the man doesn’t believe in the Biblical commandment that prohibits bearing false witness).

[Read more...]

Pastafarian Advice: Wearing a Colander on Your Head Is Amusing on a Driver’s License, Not So Much on a Gun License

I posted yesterday about a New Zealand man, Russell, who took a driver’s license picture with a colander on his head (as members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster do):

The reception was almost universally positive. I’m sure there were a few people scratching their heads if they didn’t understand the statement he was actually making — about how you can get away with just about anything if you say it’s part of your religious beliefs — but that’s inevitable.

It turns out an Australian atheist learned about that confusion the hard way. Guy Albon wore the Pastafarian head-covering when he took the picture… for his gun license:

[Read more...]

A New Website for Atheists Who Have Suffered the Death of a Loved One

In 2011, after dealing with the loss of her three-month-old son and the typical reactions she received from well-meaning friends and family members, atheist Rebecca Hensler began a Facebook group called Grief Beyond Belief:

[Read more...]

Jason Heap, Atheist Candidate to Become a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy, Gets Rejected

Jason Heap wanted to become a chaplain in the U.S. Navy and seemed perfectly qualified for the position: He earned two master’s degrees (including one in divinity), passed his physicals, and completed the paperwork… but what he doesn’t have is the endorsement of a religious organization that’s currently approved by the Navy.

That’s because Heap is a Humanist whose endorsement comes from the Humanist Society.

Last month, the Navy rejected his application. They didn’t say why, only that a lot of people were rejected, but it’s not hard to connect the dots given Heap’s impeccable credentials.

[Read more...]