An atheist police officer in Puerto Rico filed a lawsuit on Friday for discrimination after allegedly being fired due to his refusal to participate in Christian prayer while on duty.
The 14-year veteran of the Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD), Alvin Marrero-Méndez, claims in the lawsuit filed on Friday that he suffered severe mental distress, anguish, humiliation, and shame, causing him to seek professional psychological help due to what he perceives as retaliation within the department. The defendants listed are employees, agents, and supervisors within the PRPD.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed the lawsuit on Marrero-Méndez's behalf. William Ramirez, executive director of the ACLU of Puerto Rico said in a statement, "Government agencies cannot require employees to take part in prayer in their workplace. To do so runs afoul of one of the great pillars of both the U.S. Constitution and the Puerto Rico Constitution, which mandate separation of church and state." more >>
Well-known atheist Richard Dawkins made an appearance as the devil on the long-running U.S. animated show "The Simpsons."
Dawkins shows up in Ned Flanders' nightmare in the form of a giant horned devil, stirring a cauldron of people in a fiery underworld. "I'm making Catholic Saint stew!" Dawkins says in the nightmare.
Flanders is Homer Simpson's devoutly religious neighbor. In the latest segment, Flanders has a nightmare about going to hell after he loses his patience with Homer and punches him. He encounters several "warning" signs on his way to hell, such as "Brief Nudity" and "Non-Jesus-y Beards," before reaching a large cavern nicknamed "Hell's Kitchen" where the devil – Dawkins – resides. more >>
An atheist student group from a Wisconsin academic institution will be holding an "Atheist Pride Parade," said to be the first of its kind in the United States.
The Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics of the University of Wisconsin-Madison expects hundreds to show up for the event, scheduled for Saturday.
Chris Calvey, executive director for the AHA, told The Christian Post that the Pride Parade was part of the student club's second annual Freethought Festival. more >>
An atheist "church" in London has modeled itself after the Christian church and plans to add more locations worldwide soon. Since its launch, The Sunday Assembly has heard from over 200 people who want to start their own location.
The Sunday Assembly's website says that it is "a godless congregation that meets on the first Sunday of every month to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate the wonder of life." They say that it is a service for anyone who wants to "live better, help often and wonder more."
Atheist "church" co-founder and comedian Sanderson Jones says in the group's recent video, "It's part-foot-stomping show, part-atheist church, and 100% celebration of life." more >>
A Canadian University journal is preparing to release a paper that seeks to discredit the life and work of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, commonly known as Mother Teresa, the Roman Catholic nun who became a global symbol of charity and goodwill for dedicating her life to helping the poor in India.
Bill Donohue of The Catholic League, America's largest Catholic civil rights organization, has dismissed the claims presented by humanities scholars Serge Larivée and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal's Department of Psychoeducation, calling it nothing more than a "rehash" of previously disproven arguments.
The paper, which will be published in March, claims to be peer-reviewed, mostly by atheist critics. The researchers openly admit to have based much of their study on famous atheist writer Christopher Hitchens, who targeted Mother Teresa on many occasions, most notably in his book The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice, which tries to portray the nun as anything but a saint. more >>
Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has issued a "thank you" to the American Atheists organization for quoting him on a recent Texas billboard that encourages Americans to "Go Godless Instead."
The billboard, one of seven posted in Texas to commemorate the 50th anniversary of American Atheists, includes a quote from the former Pennsylvania senator that reads: "Our civil laws have to comport with a higher law. God's law," referencing a 2011 speech by Santorum at the The Family Leader's Thanksgiving Family Forum.
The billboard also includes a photo of Santorum, and in large letters at the bottom it reads: "Go Godless Instead." more >>