Canada’s Supreme Court Hesitates on Municipal Government Prayer Question

Maybe you remember our previous coverage of the Saguenay prayer case.

To recap quickly: Alain Simoneau, citizen of Saguenay (Quebec), raised a challenge against his municipal government’s practice of opening public meetings with a prayer (containing references to Almighty God and bracketed on both ends by the Sign of the Cross, a particularly Catholic prayer gesture). Quebec’s human rights tribunal ruled that the rights of non-believers were being violated, the Court of Appeal overturned that decision (because tradition!), and now the case is being decided at the level of the national Supreme Court.

But not just yet.

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Christian News Suggests That Teaching Bible Classes in Public Schools Might Be OK… Because It’s a Tradition

Earlier this month, Friendly Atheist featured a story about several public elementary schools in North Carolina that are teaching Bible classes – and about the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s insistence that the school district puts a stop to that.

I just read the remarkable take on that situation over at Christian News. The publication first lays out the facts fairly. But then, three-fourths of the way into the article, author Heather Clark veers into this:

The first textbook used in the American colonies even before the nation’s founding, “The New England Primer,” was largely focused on the Scriptures, and was stated to be popular in colonial schools for at least one hundred years. It used mostly the King James Bible as reference, and spoke much about sin, salvation and proper behavior.



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Instead of Building the First Public High School in Morinville (Alberta), They’ll Build a Fourth Catholic One

The growing community of Morinville (Alberta, Canada) has a burgeoning youth population; fully one-quarter of the area’s citizens are under 18. Schools in the area are feeling the pinch, and it’s stirring up a holy controversy around the touchy subject of religious accommodation… or the lack thereof.

You see, Alberta is one of the Canadian provinces that still retains both public and Catholic school boards, a vestige of historical agreements made to appease a wary French-Canadian population who feared the takeover of their culture by English Protestantism if they joined the Confederation. Now, students in Morinville have two school boards vying to serve them.

Both boards recently applied for government funding to build a new school, given the overcrowding in the area’s existing schools: the Catholic board wanted another elementary school, while the public board hoped to create the city’s first secular high school. But when Premier Jim Prentice unveiled plans for the new building, only one was slated for Morinville.

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Churches Are Very Good at Dealing with Fear (Seriously)

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses how churches are very good at handling fear (seriously):



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The Pagans Are Coming…

Jeremiah Films produced a 13-part (!!!) series on the Pagan Invasion and the horrors of things like Halloween and evolution:



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