Today, a Judge Heard Arguments That Could Put an End to Saying the Pledge of Allegiance in New Jersey Schools

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center announced earlier this year that it had filed a lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in Monmouth County, New Jersey. If successful, the lawsuit would put an end to saying the Pledge of Allegiance in the state’s public schools.

Much like their (failed) lawsuit in Massachusetts, the plaintiffs are anonymous for the time being (presumably to avoid harassment from Christians) and the argument is all about discrimination. They’re not trying to take “Under God” out of the Pledge — instead, they’re arguing that reciting the Pledge itself goes against the state’s constitution and that ritual should stop immediately.

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FFRF Urges IRS to Investigate Ken Ham’s Noah’s Ark Theme Park

Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham‘s ministry, is a religious non-profit. That’s why the Creation Museum can require you to sign a “statement of faith” if you want to work there.

Ark Encounter, the Noah’s Ark theme park that’s eligible for millions of dollars in tax rebates, is a for-profit business. They cannot discriminate in hiring.

Sounds simple enough.



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Pastor’s Son Donnie Swaggart Says Gay-Rights Activists Are Just Like ISIS, But (For Now) Without the Head-Chopping

Last month, the city of Houston embarked on a bit of a fishing expedition when it subpoenaed, from five conservative pastors, their sermons and other communications about a controversial local equal-rights ordinance. The city’s request, overbroad and seemingly hostile to First Amendment protections, got a lot of criticism (some fair, some not), so the Houston legal beagles backed off, the subpoenas were rescinded, and the whole thing soon looked like a (bygone) tempest in a teapot. Hemant wrote about the case here and here.

Though its bones have been picked over one too many times already, the affair was like a mini-Benghazi for the Religious Right, a chance to sink its teeth into a juicy anti-left narrative with lots of potential for demagoguery… and not a whole lot of substance.

And so it is that, five weeks after the fact, we find Donnie Swaggart, the son of the thoroughly disgraced televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, on a panel of Christian talking heads, alleging that the Houston affair portends a “war on God.”

“All of this is to shut the Bible up. They want the Bible gone. And I’m going to make a statement: These people that are trying to do this in Houston, the only difference between them and ISIS, those thugs in Iraq, is those here cannot chop our heads off. That’s the only difference. The heart is the same. If they could silence us that way to intimidate others, that’s exactly what they would do.

Watch:



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A Nativity Scene at the Michigan State Capitol Could Open the Floodgates to Everyone Who Wants to Put Up a Display

The front lawn of the Michigan Capitol Building (below) could soon be home to a Nativity Scene… which means state officials sure as hell better allow displays from everybody else who wants to put one up.

(Hello, Satanic Temple and FFRF!)



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Atheist-Turned-Christian Files Complaint Against School District Because Teacher Wore a Star of David Necklace

I don’t understand this guy.

Two years ago, Ernest Perce V (below, the Pennsylvania State Director of American Atheists at the time) was one of the people trying to convince the Greencastle-Antrim School District board members to drop the Lord’s Prayer, a 50-year-old tradition.

And it worked! The board members realized they weren’t going to win this battle, so they stopped fighting it.



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