If a City Council’s Invocation Prayers Are Almost All Christian, Is It Illegal? The Supreme Court Will Soon Decide

Just over a year ago, I was celebrating a major court victory that put a stop to virtually non-stop Christian prayers at the city council meetings in Greece, New York. Now, that decision is back up in the air.

Here’s the story (pretty much as I wrote it then): The town of Greece, New York had opened board meetings with prayers since 1999 thanks to Town Supervisor John Auberger. While the invocations could be delivered by representatives of many different faiths, virtually all of the representatives were Christian. They still are (PDF):

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Update on Helping the People Affected by the Oklahoma Tornado

Yesterday, I posted about what the Foundation Beyond Belief is doing to help the people in Oklahoma and I wanted to give you more of a detailed update.

Foundation Beyond Belief will be distributing 100% of the funds raised to Operation USA and the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma (not necessarily a 50/50 split) with more beneficaries added as the nature of the immediate needs evolve. The money will be sent to these groups every 1-2 days for the first week.

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Police, Orthodox Church Look the Other Way After Mob Attacks at Georgian Gay Rights March

A group of priests led more than 20,000 people to attack participants in a gay rights march in Tbilisi, Georgia on Friday, but police refuse to take the incident seriously.

The New York Times reports that, in spite of the documented attack — which sent at least 14 people to the hospital after protesters punched them, threw rocks at them, and pulled people from cars — the Georgian police have made no arrests and are showing little signs of investigating further:

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Help Send These Students to Columbus

Those of you who read this site regularly are familiar with Daniel Koster, the high school student from Florida who fought back against Bible distributions at his school by having his group set up shop and pass out atheist literature. I’m sure that went over well with Christian parents not used to being challenged :)

Now, Daniel and members of the Wekiva Atheist and Secular Alliance are fundraising to attend this summer’s Secular Student Alliance conference in Ohio:

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How Can Atheists Help in the Aftermath of the Oklahoma Tornado?

The death toll from the massive tornado in Oklahoma is already above 50 and climbing and the damage financially and otherwise is likely to be staggering, too.

Like other natural disasters, people of all faith backgrounds are affected by the devastation, and while you can always donate to the Red Cross, the Foundation Beyond Belief wants to offer atheists a way to donate as a group to relief organizations that directly help the people in Oklahoma who need it the most. As always, 100% of your donations will be passed along to relief organizations:

We will name a beneficiary tomorrow, but the window for donating is now open.

Whatever you do, please do something.

God won’t make things better in Oklahoma; it’s up to us. [Read more...]