Remembering the Brave Young Woman Who Refused to Say the Pledge of Allegiance Nearly 80 Years Ago

Usually, when I mention Jehovah’s Witnesses on this site, it’s not for a good reason. But we owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude.

In 1935, fifth-grader William Gobitas refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance because treating the flag like an idol went against his family’s JW faith. His 12-year-old sister Lillian did the same thing the next day.

[Read more...]

Pittsburgh Newspaper Calls Proposed “In God We Trust” Display a “Misplaced Motto”

The Allegheny County Council in Pennsylvania is considering putting up an “In God We Trust” display in the County Courthouse in the name of patriotism. It’ll come as no surprise to you that the proposal was made by an openly evangelical council member Sue Means (below), since this is really just a cover to push her faith through the government.

But I was pleasantly surprised to see the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette come out with an editorial today calling the display a “Misplaced Motto“:

[Read more...]

It’s Incredible How Easy It Is for These New Zealand Politicians to Admit They Don’t Believe in God

The New Zealand Herald asked the leaders of the nation’s various political parties to give their thoughts on a variety of subjects, including whether or not they “have a God.”

Check out this unbelievable video:

[Read more...]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 15: Myq Kaplan, Comedian

Our latest podcast guest is comedian Myq Kaplan:

[Read more...]

Are Catholic Priests Obligated to Report Confessions Involving Abuse? The Supreme Court May Soon Decide

It’s a long-standing tradition: What’s revealed to a priest in the sacrament of confession cannot be repeated or shared with anyone else. They call it the Seal of Confession. Up until recently, the law accepted this as moral and desirable.

But that tradition has now been called into question and the Supreme Court may end up ruling on it.

The Diocese of Baton Rouge has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the State of Louisiana Supreme Court, in which local priest Father Jeff Bayhi was punished for failing to report the sexual abuse of one of his young female parishioners, which the child in question allegedly disclosed during a confession in 2008. The abuser (another parishioner, not a priest) is now dead, but the girl’s parents have sued him — as well as Father Bayhi and the Diocese of Baton Rouge — for the priest’s failure to report the abuse to authorities, as per the state’s mandatory reporting laws. The family alleges that Bayhi’s silence allowed the abuse to continue until the abuser died.

[Read more...]