Jewish Court Tries to Force Mother to Circumcise Her Young Son, on Penalty of Daily Fines

An Israeli rabbinical court has told a mother who is divorcing her husband that she must have her young son ritually circumcised. She’s being fined $140 a day until she complies.

The rabbinical judges in the case said in their decision the woman was opposing the circumcision as a means to bringing her husband back to her. They also referred explicitly to the growing debate around ritual male circumcision elsewhere in the world, and voiced their fear of the precedent that could be created by a Jewish Israeli woman allowed not to circumcise her son.

“We have witnessed for some time now public and legal struggles against the brit milah in many countries in Europe and in the United States,” the judges wrote. “The public in Israel has stood as one man against these trends, seeing them as yet another aspect of displays of anti-Semitism that must be combatted.”



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Watauga School District Will Accept Non-Theist Posters, but Principals Don’t Have to Display Them

A Humanist group in North Carolina has offered a matching donation to the public schools in Watauga County: posters that remind the pupils of the historical Treaty of Tripoli, which states, courtesy of founding founder John Adams,

The United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.

The “matching” aspect is in the fact that the same schools recently accepted posters proclaiming “In God We Trust,” provided by a chapter of the American Legion.

Late last week, in a brief phone call, Marshall Ashcraft, the district’s Director of Public Information, told Cash Wilson, VP of the Western North Carolina Humanists, that the district will accept their Tripoli-poster offer.



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Did the Gay Waitress Who Claims She Received a Hateful Note From a Customer Fabricate the Whole Thing?

The bottom just fell out of a viral story that also made it onto Friendly Atheist a week and a half ago.

Waitress Dayna Morales‘ account of being stiffed on her tip by a customer who wrote on the credit card receipt that she did not agree with Morales’ “lifestyle” has been thrown into doubt. That’s because the still-unidentified woman and her husband contacted a local TV station and produced their own copy of the credit card receipt — with the same time stamp — that showed they left Morales an $18 tip on a $94 bill. More importantly,

They also produced a credit card statement showing they had been billed for the full amount of the bill plus the tip.


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In Downtown Chicago, Near a Life-Size Nativity Scene, a Scarlet ‘A’ Goes Up Alongside an Atheist Banner

If you happen to visit the life-size Nativity Scene in downtown Chicago’s Daley Plaza (on Dearborn and Washington), don’t forget to also stop by the local chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s new 8.5-foot-tall Scarlet A which stands alongside a new banner. Both were unveiled this morning:



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Students Victorious in Lawsuit Against Public High School’s Mandatory Come-to-Jesus Assembly

Last April, students at Northwest Rankin High School in Mississippi attended a mandatory assembly featuring representatives from nearby Pinelake Baptist Church who told the students that they needed to accept Jesus in their lives. They even showed a video:

In the video, two young men were interviewed who had once led “troubled” lives. To find hope, the men described various behaviors such as turning to drugs, sex, cutting, suicide, and the like. They then explained how turning to Jesus Christ solved their problems and recommended that other people turn to Jesus Christ as well.

The American Humanist Association said at the time that when students tried to leave the Performing Arts Building so they wouldn’t have to listen to the preaching, they “were harassed by a principal and told to sit down.”

The Appignani Humanist Legal Center of the AHA immediately sent the school a complaint letter (PDF). After not hearing back from the administration, they filed a lawsuit (PDF) against the school in which the extensive and jaw-dropping details about the assembly were listed in full.

But why read that when you can just watch a video of the assembly taken by students?

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