Catholic School Teacher Loses Her Job Because She’s a Victim of Domestic Abuse

Who would Jesus fire?

Catholic Holy Trinity School in El Cajon, California told second-grade teacher Carie Charlesworth she is out of a job. Charlesworth’s infraction? Funny story: There isn’t one.

She is a victim of a stalker who happens to be her ex-husband. The school has decided that Charlesworth is too unsafe to be allowed back in school, not because of anything she did, but because of the behavior of her former spouse.

Back in January, the man, who has a history of inflicting domestic abuse, showed up in the school’s parking lot and, in a likely overreaction, put the school into lockdown mode. Charlesworth, who is just now coming forward, was put on indefinite leave for three months, then fired.

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How Do You Tell Your Parents You’re an Atheist?

I’m working on a project with a local professor called The Atheist Voice in which I tackle some burning question people often ask atheists… It’s more or less off-the-cuff, so you’ll have to forgive me if I missed saying something totally obvious or repeated myself, but we’re experimenting with this so you can be the judge of whether or not it’s useful.

The video below answers the question: How do you tell your parents you’re an atheist?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next! [Read more...]

Children’s Museum, Citing ‘Religious Beliefs,’ Says Same-Sex Couples Are Welcome As Long As They Pay More

Florida resident Karen Lee-Duffell has two young kids, and a wife with whom she’s been together for 12 years. The four of them love the Jacksonville Hands-On Children’s Museum.

Well, make that loved. You see, when Lee-Duffell wanted to renew her family membership recently, museum staff unexpectedly balked when she put a woman’s name on the form in the section marked “dad.”

“They noticed the female name in the ‘dad’ space and told me that I would need to pay extra to add her as a ‘substitution’ because she is not a dad,” Lee-Duffell said. “I was confused for a second, but quickly realized what was going on. It sends a clear message that they are not interested in fairness to certain kinds of families. I don’t think that’s right, no matter what the proprietors’ personal beliefs are.”

Lee-Duffell claims that the museum’s refusal to qualify her partner for inclusion in the family rate “is no different than charging someone extra for their T-shirt because they are meat eaters and the store owner is vegetarian.”

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Gov. Rick Perry: ‘Religious Freedom Does Not Mean Freedom From Religion’

We knew this was going to happen weeks ago but it’s finally official: You won’t be punished in Texas if you say “Merry Christmas” (everyone can breathe out now):

The bill, signed into law Thursday by Governor Rick Perry, promises that teachers and students can say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Hanukkah” or “happy holidays” without repercussion. Even though no one was ever stopping them from doing that…

Religious holiday displays will also be allowed, as long as they don’t overtly promote one particular religion (tough loopholes are everywhere):

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This Woman is Being Denied U.S. Citizenship Because She’s an Atheist

On Thursday, I received an email from Chris Johnson, familiar to readers of this site because he’s been working on a multimedia book about atheists and what gives them joy and meaning in life.

It turned out his 64-year-old stepmother was applying to become an official U.S. citizen after living here for more than 30 years.

Part of the application asked her if she would “take up arms in defense of the United States” — join the military, in essence — and she responded, in part, like this:

… The truth is that I would not be willing to bear arms. Since my youth I have had a firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or in the bearing of arms. I deeply and sincerely believe that it is not moral or ethical to take another person’s life, and my lifelong spiritual/religious beliefs impose on me a duty of conscience not to contribute to warfare by taking up armsmy beliefs are as strong and deeply held as those who possess traditional religious beliefs and who believe in God

That bit at the end is what caught the eye of someone at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). They told her that if she had a “conscientious objection,” it had to be on religious grounds, not moral ones.

Her atheism wasn’t good enough.

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