In January, the Sudbury Transit Authority (in Ontario, Canada) approved a month-long ad campaign for the Sudbury branch of the Centre for Inquiry with the message “Don’t believe in God? You’re not alone!”
… they wanted to keep the ad as a piece of history, marking the first time a secular group in Northern Ontario advertised itself.
“As far as I know, it’s only the second time in Canada,” [group leader Spencer] Lucas said. “So it was a rare thing, and for Sudbury it was a first. So yeah, it was a pretty big deal to us.
“A lot of our members were excited about it, and would have gotten a real kick to see the sign in person, since most didn’t get to see it on the bus, other than in photos.”
Lucas went to the Transit Authority to pick up the ad, but he wasn’t expecting to hear this:
I’ve been following the saga of Bryan College. Due to outside pressure from the likes of Ken Ham and other creationists, Bryan College issued a clarification of its mandatory Statement of Belief so that it spelled out a literal belief in Adam and Eve. It’s become a thing in the media, and you can see [Read More…]
Yesterday, the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly in favor of H.R. 1814 (the “Equitable Access to Care and Health Act”), a truly nefarious bill that would not allow anyone claiming a religious justification to entirely opt out of compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Whatever you think of “Obamacare,” you have to have your hackles raised by the idea that someone can entirely avoid obeying the law of the land simply by claiming it’s against some tenet of his particular religion.
As anti-“faith healing” activist Rita Swanwarns us, this bill is not just popular among your standard conservative religionists, but particularly among Christian Scientists and other medicine-eschewing faiths who want carte blanche to remove themselves — and thereby their children — from science-based medicine and treatment.
And of course that effects everyone. If more and more people leave the insurance system, they put more of a burden on the health care system as a whole when they face emergencies or seek care without the safety net of insurance, making all of our costs go up.
Alaska’s Constitution currently requires that, when it comes to public education, taxpayer funds cannot benefit private or religious schools. Makes perfect sense. Public funds should benefit the public, not help schools that thrive on donors and indoctrination.
However, a new bill could eliminate that provision, opening the door to public funding of religious education. Senate Joint Resolution No. 9 would remove the clause forbidding the funding of private and religious schools:
Greg Candelaria didn’t get on the Malaysian airplane that disappeared with all crew and passengers now feared lost. He was too tired from previous trips and decided to cancel his ticket.
The Houston-based IBM worker calls the fact that he’s alive the “providence of God”:
"The very grace of God and nothing more. It wasn’t a coincidence — it was by design."
If you’re a mayor, here’s a simple rule: Never use this as your salutation:
But “your servant in Christ” are the words Green Bay, Wisconsin Mayor Jim Schmittused in a letter attempting to get the Pope to visit his city:
With this letter, it is my deep and personal honor to extend an invitation to you, The Sovereign Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Francis. During your visit to the United States for the World Meeting of Families in 2015, I invite you to extend your visit to the greater Green Bay community and make pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help. …
The Blessed Virgin is an expression of the important bonds of family through the joining of herself with her maternal spirit to His sacrifice. We as a community are filled with a generous heart for having this connection to the Virgin Mary.
Over the weekend, anyone who threw cash or a check into the collection platebasket barrel at Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church got some very bad news:
We were heartbroken to learn today that funds were stolen from the church over the weekend. This includes cash, checks and envelopes containing written credit card information, and it is limited only to those funds contributed in the church services on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, 2014. If you made a contribution during these weekend services, we would encourage you to pay close attention to your accounts over the next several days and weeks and report any suspicious activity to your financial institution or credit card company immediately.
You can read more about this story here, here, and here.
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!
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Hector Avalos, the biblical scholar calling for an end to biblical studies, occasionally posts over at Debunking Christianity. His latest two posts expand on a debate he had with pastor and apologist Rev. Juan Valdes. The debate was over the scientific accuracy of Genesis 1-3, and now both men are answering questions and drawing out [Read More…]
Spare the rod, spoil the child? That’s the credo that members of a church in Wisconsin live by. The courts, however, call it child abuse. A couple who spanked their young children on their bare bottoms with wooden dowels in keeping with the teachings of the church they belonged to were convicted Friday night of [Read More…]
Syracuse resident Marcell Washington was a follower of Islam. So when, back in November 2011, he started feeling uneasy about hearing strange whispers — some, perhaps, emanating from his three-year-old son, Ameen — he asked a religious elder what he should do.
The man told him to take Ameen (below) to a mosque, where Washington should read the Qur’an and pray.
Marcell Washington put his 3-year-old son into a cold shower and demanded to know if the young boy worshiped only God. When Ameen said “no,” Washington forced open the boy’s eyes so water could fill them. ”I did this because I wanted to kill the Shatan that I believed was in my son,” Washington explained later. “I thought by killing a portion of Ameen, it would kill the Shatan in him.”
The boy’s frantic struggle convinced his father even more that “Shatan,” or the devil, remained in him. The exorcism continued. Washington held his son’s face under water for about 10 minutes.
There’s a law in Oregon — it’s been around for decades — that allows public school students to skip classes for up to two hours a week (or five if they’re in high school) in order to get “instruction in religion.”
PREP4Kids is one of those indoctrination programs. They even provide a shuttle to take kids, in one case, from Banks Elementary School to Banks Community United Methodist Church… because who needs to learn about math or reading when you can learn about Jesus and Genesis?