If You Could, Would You Outlaw Certain Religious Expressions?

Someone posted this photo of a Creationist exhibit in Oklahoma to Reddit Atheism the other day, with the headline “This should be illegal”:

No, it really shouldn’t.

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This Teacher Never Told a First Grader ‘You’re Not Allowed to Talk About the Bible in School’

I have a hard time believing Christians are under attack in America. Mostly because they’re so totally not. Usually, when Christian groups are upset, it’s not because their rights are being violated, but because they’re no longer getting the privileged treatment they’re used to receiving. So you should always take their complaints with a grain of salt and search for whatever they’re not telling you.

When I heard about first-grader Brynn Williams‘ story, in the back of my mind, I was wondering what really happened because I knew Advocates for Faith & Freedom (a Christian version of the Freedom From Religion Foundation) couldn’t be trusted to share the entire story.

Here’s how AFF explained what happened:

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After Being Cancelled by Christian Politicians in Northern Ireland, Satirical Bible Play is Back On and Sold Out

A few days ago, I mentioned that evangelical Christians in the Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) wanted to censor two performances of a comedy play called “The Bible: The Complete Word Of God (abridged)” because they felt it was too blasphemous:

Well, they changed their minds pretty damn quickly after everyone started laughing at them. The shows are back on!

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Vampires, Common Thieves, Satanic Kidnappers? Blood of Pope John Paul Stolen: Perhaps, Church Says, for Ransom

We’re not even in February, but I think this is a potential winner in the category “Bizarre Whodunnit of the Year”:

Thieves broke into a small church in the mountains east of Rome over the weekend and stole a reliquary with the blood of the late Pope John Paul II, a custodian said on Monday.

Dozens of police with sniffer dogs scoured the remote area for clues to what the Italian Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana called “a sacrilegious theft that was probably commissioned by someone”.

Franca Corrieri told Reuters she had discovered a broken window early on Sunday morning and had called the police. When they entered the small stone church they found the gold reliquary and a crucifix missing.

One of Christianity’s more unsettling practices is the veneration Catholics have for the body parts — and bodily fluids — of their purported saints.

Nothing is too ghoulish to turn into a religious object. Jesus’s foreskin. The finger of Doubting Thomas (the one he poked into the gash in Christ’s side). The breast milk of the Virgin Mary. The thumb and head of St. Catherine of Siena. St. Fiacre‘s semen-encrusted sock.

OK, I made that last one up, but is it really any crazier than the preceding relics?



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A Georgia Republican Legislator Wants To Legalize Prayer During Morning Announcements, Football Games, and Graduation

Last year, Mississippi’s Republican Governor Phil Bryant signed into law a bill that made student-led, administration-supported proselytizing perfectly legal in the state’s public schools.

On the surface, the bill appeared to be useless — as one Americans United lawyer said of similar legislation, “This bill is a solution in search of a problem.” It said students could “express their beliefs about religion in homework, artwork, and other written and oral assignments free from discrimination”… even though they could always do that. It said students could form religious clubs that met before or after school… which was also never in doubt.

Here’s where things got really weird. The bill said:

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