Mikey Weinstein Appears on FOX News Channel to Discuss Religion in the Military

After right-wing websites wrongly claimed that Mikey Weinstein (founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation) had been hired by the Pentagon, Mikey appeared on The O’Reilly Factor last night to discuss the religion problem in the military (totally a coincidence, I’m sure):

All things considered, they had way more in common than I thought they would. Since Bill O’Reilly kept trying to elucidate exactly which Bible passages the “Jesus Rifles” cited — as if that actually matters — here’s what they said:

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The Five Pillars: A Non-Religious Rap EP

Normally, I’d be put off by an album called “The Five Pillars” but rapper Jack of Co.Z and producer The Mad Psyentist are using it as a launching pad for a conceptual EP with secular themes. All five pillars — Pray, Mono, Give, Fast, Hajj — are included in the song below. It took a minute or so for me to get into the music, but I really enjoyed it after that! Just fantastic lyrics (which you can find here):

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Atheists Meet with Conservative Kansas Governor Sam Brownback

Sometime last year, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback was interviewed on a call-in radio show. A listener asked him on air if he would ever consider meeting with atheists, and Brownback said he would. Was he just trying to be nice?

It didn’t matter. Local atheists worked for months to get that “promised” meeting with him and yesterday a small group of them (along with one Christian) finally met with the Governor:

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Chicago Church Leaders Want Special Exemption So They Don’t Have to Pay for Water

The city of Chicago — and the whole state of Illinois, really — doesn’t know how to handle money. I know (first-hand) how horribly they’ve handled pensions for teachers and our last mayor left a legacy of throwing away millions of future dollars to fill short-term budget gaps.

The latest controversial money-making decision involves asking non-profits in the city to pay for water, which they’re generally been able to use for free. Over the weekend, Mayor Rahm Emanuel put forth a compromise plan that would only require non-profit groups with assets over $1,000,000 to have to pay for water.

But churches are non-profit groups, too, and the Catholic Church isn’t exactly synonymous with poverty… so they’re not taking this news well, as they made clear in a press conference yesterday:

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After Turning Last Year’s Graduation Into a Church Service, a Superintendent Finally Sees the Light

At last year’s graduation ceremony for Veterans High School in Georgia, Superintendent Robin Hines went full-force in making sure Christianity was honored along with the students. The event included a formal prayer, the singing of a gospel song (“Find Your Wings” by Mark Harris), and Hines himself spoke to the students about how they needed to “live life with a strong faith in God.”

Wes Bryant, an actual veteran who was there to watch his niece graduate, couldn’t believe what he was hearing so he alerted the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which sent the school a complaint letter:

“It’s really angering to come back and be exposed to that — to be expected to be a Christian wherever I’m at and not have your beliefs or lack of belief honored in your community,” said Bryant, an atheist, when reached by phone Monday. “(Christianity) is the majority religion, we know that, but it is nonetheless honoring one religion at a public school forum.”

“It alienates everyone else that doesn’t believe the same way, and it does send a message from the school, which does in some way represent the government,” he said.

At the time, Hines made no promise of changing anything in the future, and that’s usually a bad sign. You would expect him to keep things just the way they are.

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