Ontario Catholic Teachers’ Union Faces Criticism for Pride Parade Participation Plans

This June, on top of the usual Pride Week festivities that culminate in downtown Toronto’s Pride Parade, the city of Toronto hosts World Pride 2014, an annual international festival celebrated in a different city each year to highlight the culture, achievements, and activism of the world’s LGBTQ people as they strive for full legal and social equality.

Only three cities have been World Pride hosts thus far — Rome, Jerusalem, and London — and Toronto expects World Pride to bring more than $130,000,000 of tourism dollars into the city. So it’s kind of a big deal.

Specifically because of World Pride, teachers in the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA) voted to “have a presence in the parade in support of students, teachers, and others in the LGBT community,” according to OECTA president James Ryan. Explaining the group’s convictions, he spoke of “trying to stand in solidarity with a group that is quite marginalized” and “their right to be free from bullying and harassment.”

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New Reality Show in Which Chosen Participants Agree to Marry at First Sight Will Feature Humanist Chaplain

Check out the premise of this new reality show premiering in July on the soon-to-launch network FYI (formerly The Biography Channel):

Hundreds of single people interested in long-term relationships are pared down to 6 individuals — 3 “scientifically”-matched couples — on the basis of four areas: clinical psychology, sociology, sexology, and religion/spirituality. After they are matched up by experts in those fields, the couples agree to get legally married before even meeting each other.

It’s called Married at First Sight. Consider it an arranged marriage where your parents have nothing to do with it.

And guess who the religion/spirituality adviser is?

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Don’t Put Your Religious Beliefs on Your Resume… Especially if You’re Atheist, Muslim, or Pagan

When I applied for my first teaching job, I decided to leave off any mention of volunteer work I’d done with atheist groups, any leadership positions I held in them, and any scholarships I received from them. I just didn’t know who would look at the application and why give them a reason not to hire me?

At the same time, I knew that if I had volunteered with, say, a church youth group, it would probably boost my chances of getting the job.

Now, two new studies confirm that line of thinking.

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Former Irish President: Having Celibate Bishops Review Catholic Teachings About Family is “Completely Bonkers”

It’s not exactly a new idea, but few people have said it better.

Discussing the pontiff’s plans for an October synod so bishops can review questions of family life in Catholic doctrine, former Irish president Mary McAleese (below) had some very direct remarks; she said it was “completely bonkers” as well as “profoundly wrong and skewed.” But if you ask me, the money quote is this:

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A Church, Seemingly Doubling as a PAC, Endorses a Republican Candidate. So Why Is It Still Tax-Exempt?

Last month, this full page ad appeared in The Mississippi Link, a Jackson-based newspaper aimed at an African-American audience:

It’s an ad supporting Republican Senator Thad Cochran (who ultimately didn’t earn enough votes to win his primary and will compete in a run-off election next Tuesday). But the curious part is that the ad was paid for by “All Citizens for Mississippi,” a political action committee (PAC).

Derek Willis of the New York Times investigated the group and discovered something incredibly shady:

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