The world's first ever all-atheist TV channel officially launched Tuesday, with American Atheist president David Silverman declaring it is geared toward all atheists, everywhere. Silverman also criticized TV channels that present religion as truthful, using as an example the History Channel's "The Bible" miniseries in 2013.
"Atheist TV is geared toward every atheist in the broadest possible sense. Whether they call themselves atheists or skeptics or humanists or any of the other labels that people use to identify themselves, Atheist TV is for them," Silverman announced in a speech at the launch party.
He noted that the number of non-believers in the United States is on the rise, making up as much as one-fifth of the population. Silverman then criticized TV channels that, despite those statistics, continue "kowtowing" to religious preferences. more >>
An appeals court has ruled against an atheist organization that was suing to have a cross removed from the National September 11 Museum.
A three-judge panel from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that "the cross at Ground Zero" at the museum does not violate the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
"American Atheists contend that the Port Authority and the foundation impermissibly promote Christianity in violation of the Establishment Clause and deny atheists equal protection of the laws by displaying the cross at Ground Zero in the museum unaccompanied by some item acknowledging that atheists were among the victims and rescuers on September 11," read the opinion. more >>
The Internal Revenue Service has reached a lawsuit settlement agreement with the Freedom From Religion Foundation, agreeing to investigate churches that violate a federal law that activist groups often cite in an attempt to silence them by threatening their tax-exempt status.
"This is a victory, and we're pleased with this development in which the IRS has proved to our satisfaction that it now has in place a protocol to enforce its own anti-electioneering provisions," FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement last week, following which the Alliance Defending Freedom asked the IRS to release all documents related to it.
The lawsuit, Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Koskinen, accused the IRS of failing to investigate churches the way the atheist group would like. Despite the agreement, only a court has the jurisdiction to close down the case. more >>
An atheist group has convinced an Indiana school district to ban its teacher led-prayers in its local public schools.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to the Vigo County School Corporation in Terre Haute in May, demanding that it halt the practice of allowing teachers to lead prayers in area public schools. The letter came after an anonymous parent contacted the atheist organization, saying that a teacher at the local Sarah Scott Middle School had led a prayer during a recent school banquet.
The letter demanded that the school district investigate the incident and provide an outline as to how it would educate its teachers and staff on the constitutional separation of church and state. more >>
A city in Michigan has become the subject of a lawsuit after refusing to allow an atheist to display a "reason station" at its city hall atrium.
Three groups filed the lawsuit on behalf of Douglas Marshall against the city of Warren and its mayor Wednesday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division.
"When the government opens a forum for private speech, it must treat viewpoints equally, and it is strictly forbidden from favoring religious expression over non-religious speech," read the lawsuit's introductory statement. more >>
An atheist group is encouraging those opposed to the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby ruling to crochet or knit rectangular pieces of fabric, meant to represent bricks, and send them into the organization's national office in Washington, D.C.
The Secular Coalition for America launched its "knit-a-brick" campaign earlier in July, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 decision that corporations may refuse to provide birth control insurance coverage to its employees based on strongly-held religious beliefs. The atheist group plans to collect the "bricks" built by its supporters and sew a giant "wall" to symbolize the Separation of Church and State that it believes has been violated by the recent Supreme Court ruling.
The atheist group said on its website that it started the "knit-a-brick" campaign earlier this month to "harness outrage" following the Supreme Court ruling, as well as "create a striking visual impact for lawmakers and speak directly to Hobby Lobby's consumer base with the Knit a Brick campaign." more >>