Atheist Alliance of America National Convention Tickets Now Available

The annual conference for Atheist Alliance of America takes place on Labor Day Weekend in Boston this year and early bird registration is coming to a close soon. If you’re able to attend, get your tickets now! Kids are welcome, there’s a strong group of speakers, and the student discounts are terrific:

[Read more...]

Court Strikes Down New Hampshire’s Tax-Money-For-Religious-Schools Law

On Monday, New Hampshire was the scene of a state court verdict (PDF) that struck down a recent law allowing tax dollars to flow into religious schools:

The program provided a large tax credit to businesses that contributed to scholarship organizations that paid for tuition at private schools. Though the program was purportedly designed to expand educational opportunities, Justice John M. Lewis held that the program violated the state’s constitution because it had the effect of diverting public funds to religious schools.

“New Hampshire students, and their parents, certainly have the right to choose a religious education,” the Stafford County Superior Court judge wrote in the ruling. “However, the government is under no obligation to fund religious education. Indeed, the government is expressly forbidden from doing so by the very language of the New Hampshire Constitution.”

With that phrase, Lewis was referring to the Blaine Amendment that is enshrined in the Constitution of no fewer than 39 states, including his.

The amendment has a pretty fascinating genesis.

In the 1870s, Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of the United States, frequently expressed his commitment to keeping tax money out of religious education. In fulsome tones, Grant praised the separation of church and state, and attacked the idea of government support for “sectarian schools” run by religious organizations.

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Scouting Group Girlguiding UK Revises ‘Promise’ So That Non-Religious Girls Can Join

Two years ago, seven-year-old Maddie Willett was told that she had to pledge an oath to god if she wanted to remain in Girlguiding UK (their version of the Girl Scouts).

The pledge reads: ‘I promise that I will do my best, to love my God, to serve the Queen and my country, to help other people and to keep the Brownie Guide law.’

Her parents, Barry and Juliette Willett, are furious the 2nd Crawley Down Brownies troop in West Sussex has refused to alter the wording so their daughter could make the promise.

‘We don’t have a belief in God and our daughter is yet to make her decision,’ Mrs Willett said.

‘It’s a big decision for her to make and it would be offensive for an atheist to say they love God.’

Much like the Boy Scouts of America still do today, atheists were not allowed to become members of Girlguiding UK — at least not ones who were open and honest about their non-belief.

Unlike the BSA, though, Girlguiding UK has done something wonderful: Today, they announced a revision to the Promise that will allow openly non-religious girls to join the organization without a problem.

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Did You Know That Christians Are Getting Bullied (and Beaten Up) by Gays?!

Samantha Bee, I love you:

[Read more...]

Catholic Blogger: Selling Gay People Flowers for a Wedding is Like Selling Bank Robbers a Bag for the Money

Rebecca Hamilton, a fellow Patheos blogger, recently posted about a small business owner in Washington (state) who is being sued for refusing to provide flowers for a wedding.

As you might expect, the only reason she denied the couple in question flowers for their wedding is because they happened to be gay. Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts in Richland, claimed that she had no problem selling flowers to LGBT people… as long as it’s not for a gay wedding because that would involve “actively participating in something that just about all traditional Christians consider sinful.” As a result, she’s countersuing the state saying that her constitutional rights were violated.

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X