The Museum of Natural History in Los Angeles, Calif., has removed a donor's plaque referencing "God's creatures" after receiving a complaint from an evolution professor and outspoken proponent of atheism.
The museum's Nature Lab previously included a plaque with a quote attributed to an anonymous donor that read: "The Nature Lab is a gift to Los Angeles to celebrate all of God's creatures and enable [Natural History Museum] to broaden our understanding of the natural world through the process of scientific discovery." The Nature Lab allows visitors of all ages to participate in hands-on science projects and multimedia exhibits.
The plaque was reportedly removed Monday, according to Southern California's KPCC public radio station, after some viewers, including Jerry Coyne, took issue with the reference to "God's creatures" in a museum that highlights the importance of evolution and scientific discovery. Coyne is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago, and runs the blog "Why Evolution Is True." more >>
Creation Museum and Answers in Genesis CEO and President Ken Ham called atheists "intolerant" following their criticism of his recent interview with Fox and Friends host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, where he stood up for his beliefs and commented on atheist billboards.
"So why do those who oppose AiG's message get so upset when we are able to articulate our message publicly in the secular media? It's because they really are intolerant of any beliefs but their own," Ham wrote Tuesday on Facebook.
"Anti Christian ideology has permeated much of the secular news media and so often Biblical Christians are mocked, misrepresented or attacked for what they believe by anti-Christian agenda driven reporters. Secularists have had their way so long in the secular media now, when a Christian is allowed to represent a Christian worldview, even if for a short time, the opposition goes ballistic," the creationist continued. more >>
In Chicago's Daley Plaza, wedged between – and in front of – the traditional nativity display and a giant menorah, there sits something new this year: an 8-foot-tall letter "A" lit up in red.
The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) placed the big "A" in downtown Chicago. They say the "A" stands for Atheist, but it also represents Attack, given its timing and placement. While the nativity scene is linked to Christmas, and the menorah is part of Hanukah, the only apparent purpose for this lighted letter "A" is to demean the other displays.
In Florida's State Capitol, the rotunda is available to different groups who apply for space. In early December, a group called the Florida Nativity Scene Committee sponsored a traditional nativity scene of Jesus' birth to mark the Christmas season. FFRF wasted little time in snagging a spot immediately following them, displaying what they describe as a "nativity scene parody in which Ben Franklin, the Statue of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison on bended knee, gaze adoringly at a copy of the Bill of Rights in a crib." This display is not an expression of faith or faithlessness, or even a political statement, but an uncalled-for attack on the traditional nativity. more >>
A church in Wisconsin has filed a motion against an atheist group suing the Internal Revenue Service over its alleged refusal to enforce a ban on church politicking.
Holy Cross Anglican Church of Wauwatosa, headed by Benedictine Abbot Father Patrick Malone, filed the motion to intervene last week in U.S. District Court.
Holy Cross Anglican's motion was done in response to the Madison, Wis.-based Freedom From Religion Foundation's lawsuit against the IRS. more >>
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is countering the "Keep Christ in Christmas" billboards with its own "Keep Saturn in Saturnalia" ad – a reference to an ancient Roman god festival – which went up on Thursday in Pitman, N.J.
The atheist association, one of the largest in America, explained in a press release that the billboards are in a direct response to "Keep Christ in Christmas" displays by Roman Catholic society the Knights of Columbus. FFRF says that its local members were "stonewalled" in December 2012 when Pitman officials denied them a permit to display their "Saturn" banner, but allowed the Christmas one.
"FFRF first became involved in December 2011, when a resident reported the Christian banner as a potential state/church violation. Legal staff made numerous calls and sent messages to various public agencies and the Chamber of Commerce, including open records requests, and asked to erect FFRF's own banner, which wasn't allowed," the organization explained. more >>
Last Christmas season (2012) a fellowship of Christians from Orange County, Calif. partnered with believers in Santa Monica to deliver a Nativity flash mob gift to the popular Los Angeles County tourist destination. Watch soprano Lynette Tapia stun shoppers with her beautiful voice opening up the flash mob.
As a wonderful and heartfelt reminder of the purpose of Christmas, this was performed at the Santa Monica Place mall on December 16th, 2012.
The group decided it was time to encourage others, to let them know that celebrating Christmas with outward expressions of faith in the public square was OK. It did not matter that the city of Santa Monica decided that holding its 60-year tradition of Nativity scene displays at Palisades Park had become a hassle because of protesting atheists. It was not of major concern that the city cancelled the displays or that the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee had to find private land to keep its tradition alive. more >>