Conservative Commentator: Atheists Can’t Hold Public Office Because They Can’t Defend God-Given Rights. Checkmate!

There’s been a lot of discussion this week about the seven states which have laws on the books banning atheists from holding public office.

Conservative commentator Jake MacAulay thinks those bans make perfect sense. And just wait until you hear why:

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GRACE Releases Report on Bob Jones University’s Culture of Sexual Abuse

A chronic and systemic issue in the more conservative Christian community is a degree of insensitivity toward sexual abuse victims. Purity culture and abstinence teachings often result in shaming of the victim, rushing post-traumatic processing and recovery, and flippancy about the responsibility of the perpetrator for the abuse.

Bob Jones University, a hyper-conservative private Christian college in Greenville, South Carolina with about 3,000 students, has been under some scrutiny over the past few years over swirling reports of mishandling of sexual abuse cases and victim-blaming.

In November of 2012, BJU voluntarily hired GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) to investigate and report on their handling of cases of sexual assault, after a protest by alumni. Partway through the investigative process, BJU fired GRACE abruptly, but eventually rehired and renegotiated the relationship before continuing on with the investigation.

Yesterday, the final report went public.

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Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Repealed in Fayetteville

Earlier this year, Fayetteville, Arkansas passed an anti-discrimination ordinance that “would protect LGBT citizens from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations.” The measure gained attention in large part due to the efforts of Michelle Duggar, who recorded a vicious transphobic robocall, equating trans women with child molesters, in order to get people to vote against it. Despite her efforts, the ordinance passed.

Camille Beredjick noted on the blog earlier this month that this “civil rights ordinance has brought out some people’s least civil sides.” At the time, Fayetteville voters were considering a repeal of the ordinance, and opponents of equality were engaging in some hardcore fear-mongering tactics.

Well, those tactics seemed to have paid off.

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ACLU Asks School to Drop Religious Ties in Fundraiser to Fight Hunger in Tanzania

San Marcos Middle School is working on a fundraiser to provide 14,000 meals to children in Tanzania. This worthy goal, however, has attracted the attention of the ACLU for its ties to a Christian organization.

The school is partnering with a local nonprofit called Friends and Family Community Connection, with the support of Illinois-based Kids Around the World … Kids Around the World “exists to reach children around the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” according to the group’s website.

This is where the difficulty for the school comes in — it runs afoul of California law for a public school (or other branch of the government) to partner with a religious organization.

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West Virginia County Officials Give Church $1,000 Grant to Bring In Christian Musician

The Immaculate Conception Men’s Group, part of a West Virginia church, really wanted to bring in musician John Angotti (below) for a concert. The cost was $3,000 and they raised most of the money… but they got a $1,000 grant from a strange place:

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