Quebec Charter of Values Lifts Christianity Above Non-Christian Faiths

In a move that has been criticized by English-Canadian politicians as “playing identity politics,” the provincial governing party of Quebec has unveiled plans to institute a Quebec Charter of Values that will bar most symbols of religious observance worn in public service.

For the secularly-minded, it’s tempting to celebrate the Parti Quebecois for their efforts at enforcing church-state separation… Until you look more closely at the rules being proposed.

Some religious symbols are seen as more acceptable than others, mostly because they are small, unobtrusive, and easily concealed. The “acceptable” items include small, modest pieces of jewelry featuring a cross, Star of David, or other religious symbol. Items deemed “unacceptable” include Sikh turbans, Jewish kippahs, and Islamic head coverings like the hijab and niqab. In other words, the faith symbols typical of Quebec’s Judeo-Christian history are — coincidentally, I’m sure — mostly acceptable, but symbols of “immigrant faiths” are banned.

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

Humanist Group Sues School District That Held Graduation in Church and Included Christians Prayers in Ceremony

Back in June, we learned that administrators at Mountain View Elementary School in Taylors, South Carolina held their “graduation” ceremony inside of a church.

Maybe they could’ve gotten away with that — other public schools have held cermonies in similar places — but the event’s program didn’t even attempt to shy away from promoting Christianity, listing two separate prayers:

As I wrote then, “school officials didn’t just cross the line. They destroyed the line and then prayed to Jesus to patch it back up.”

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent the district a letter warning them of the consequences of continuing future ceremonies in the same location with these prayers.

The district responded the next day, but failed to say how they would change their plans for the future:

With regard to the prayers given at the program by students of Mountain View Elementary School, the District can assure you that the school will not endorse the use of prayer by students at any awards program or school-sponsored event in the future.

That’s legalese for “We won’t publicly admit that we support the students, but we’re not going to stop the Christian prayers.”

In fact, a school official asked a student to deliver the first prayer. And the closing prayer, also recited by a student, was this:

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

Texas Textbook Reviewers Are Trying to Push Creationism Into the Classroom

How did the Texas State Board of Education get back into the news?! I thought we were done with them after Don McLeroy left, but they’re back and they’re once again promoting bad science:

Records show that the textbook reviewers made ideological objections to material on evolution and climate change in science textbooks from at least seven publishers, including several of the nation’s largest publishing houses. Failing to obtain a review panel’s top rating can make it harder for publishers to sell their textbooks to school districts, and can even lead the state to reject the books altogether.

The Texas Freedom Network and the National Center for Science Education put out a joint press release this week explaining how the TFN obtained the review panel’s notes from the Texas Education Agency “through a request under the state’s Public Information Act.”

Among the most egregious examples they found:

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

Judge Throws Out Atheists’ Lawsuit That Would Have Removed ‘In God We Trust’ from U.S. Currency

Earlier this year, Michael Newdow, the atheist who took his case to remove “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States Supreme Court nearly a decade ago, filed a complaint in a New York district court in order to remove “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency:

The plaintiffs included Newdow, his mother, the New York City Atheists, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, several families (with children), while the defendants included the U.S. Congress and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner.

href=”https://www.dropbox.com/s/swkzl1532chynf4/167161662-Newdow-v-United-States.pdf”>threw the lawsuit out.

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

Is the Internet Destroying Religion?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Is the Internet destroying religion?

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...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X