After Filing a Lawsuit Against a Public School District That Hosted a Christian Rapper, an Atheist Family Needs Help

Since we often talk on this site about the need for young atheists to stand strong against religious indoctrination in their public schools, it’s only fair that we also discuss the backlash that sometimes results from that.

One particular story — that has a not-so-happy-ending — began in September of 2011 at New Heights Middle School in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, a place that’s home to over two hundred Christian churches.

I wrote about an assembly held at the school in The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide:

Not only did [Pastor Christian Chapman] use his time to rail against atheism, evolution, and homosexuality, he told the students that “a relationship with Jesus is what you need, more important than anything else.” Christian rapper Bryan Edmonds (a.k.a. B-SHOC) later joined him onstage and performed “overtly Christian songs” for the crowd. Even the principal joined the mix by telling students to attend a local church.

But that wasn’t all. Students were told to sign a pledge dedicating themselves to Jesus Christ and teachers were told to pray with students before returning to the classroom. Afterward, the public school’s own website declared that “[b]efore the day ended, 324 kids had either been saved, or had re-committed their lives to the Lord.”

We know about this incident for two main reasons.

First, B-SHOC idiotically posted a video of the event to YouTube (the relevant portion begins at the 3:04 mark):

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This Christian Sorority Had a Choice: Kick Out Two Dating Members or Lose Its Charter

What happens when two women join a Christian sorority, rise to leadership positions within it, and then begin a relationship?

At the UC Berkeley chapter of Alpha Delta Chi, that’s what happened to Kylie Foo and Sophia Chaparro in the spring of 2012. Their decision to be open about their relationship began a chain reaction that led to the sorority’s national board ultimately forcing the members of the group to choose between their charter and their sisters. Sara Grossman does a remarkable job telling the story in The Daily Californian:

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An Atheist Member of the Arizona House of Representatives Delivered Another Godless Invocation This Week

Last May, when Arizona State Representative Juan Mendez (below) delivered a secular invocation on the House floor, a Christian colleague delivered two religious invocations the following day — to make up to God for the “mistake,” I suppose.

Hopefully that won’t be the case this time around.

On Monday, Mendez delivered another secular invocation, this time appealing a bit more to the religious legislators in the room (as opposed to last time, when he quoted Carl Sagan):

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Locked in Their Echo Chamber, Most Gay-Marriage Opponents Mistakenly Think They’re In the Majority

Like the 80′s Moral Majority that was neither, same-sex marriage opponents have an odd inclination to think of themselves as a mighty army, rather than as a few battalions of increasingly scattered troops.

Data journalist Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post‘s Wonkblog looks at the numbers:

According to a new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, only 41 percent of Americans oppose allowing same-sex couples to marry. But that same 41 percent has a highly skewed perception of where the rest of the country stands: nearly two-thirds of same-sex marriage opponents erroneously think most Americans agree with them. And only two in 10 same-sex marriage opponents realize that the majority of Americans support marriage equality.

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Despite Supreme Court Decision, Homeschooling Family That Fled Germany For U.S. Is Allowed To Stay

Most people looking for asylum in the United States say they’ve been persecuted in their home country — sometimes imprisoned and tortured. Life-and-death stuff. Real terror, real danger.

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are a little different. They hail from Germany, and the worst that happened to them there was that their government told them they were expected to abide by the national Schulpflicht — mandatory state-sponsored schooling for all children aged six and older.

Not wishing to taint their Christian purity with the worldly teachings of Germany’s schools, the Romeikes fled to the United States — and applied for political asylum — on the invitation of a network of Christian homeschoolers represented by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the Romeikes’ case, setting off a choir of right-wing voices howling that if we needed more proof of the Obama administration’s hostility towards Christianity, this was it.

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