A magistrate judge has ruled that a New York public school's removal of Christian items from a science teacher's classroom was legal. The teacher, Joelle Silver, had multiple Bible verses on display, as well as a painting that included three crosses on a hill, and a prayer request box on her desk that was placed there by the school's Bible Study Club, which she served as a faculty monitor.
The decision given Tuesday by a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York dismissed part of the motion given by the Christian teacher.
Judge Leslie G. Foschio argued that Silver's lawsuit against Cheektowaga Central School District, its Superintendent Dennis Kane and its Board of Education President Brian J. Gould could not proceed on the basis of her rights being violated when they removed the Christian items. more >>
WASHINGTON – A lawyer involved in a major church and state Supreme Court case has said that the decision may change how the Court interprets religious expression in the public sphere.
Last month, the highest court in the land ruled in Town of Greece v. Galloway that a New York State town can have Christian invocation prayers before its monthly town meetings.
Thomas M. Johnson, Jr., associate with Gibson, Dunn, & Crutcher's office in Washington, D.C., who worked on the case, told The Christian Post that with the decision the Court might be moving away from the Lemon Test. more >>
A Nigerian man who came out as an atheist to his ultra-conservative Muslim family claims he was badly beaten, then committed to a psychiatric ward and placed on medication for his loss of faith, according to his lawyer.
A report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union said the man, Mubarak Bala, is being held against his will and has been on medication since June 13, at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital's psychiatric ward in Kano state, Nigeria.
The report said he contacted human rights activists through a secret smartphone, explaining that he was detained at the hospital for having a "personality change" which renounced Islam and adopted atheism. more >>
HBO talk show host Bill Maher said in a Monday interview with the "Daily Show's" Jon Stewart that he does not find President Barack Obama's Christian faith to be genuine, arguing that he is really an atheist, and mocked former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's recent comments that the Bible is her biggest influence.
"You know who's a liar about this, is Obama," Maher said about the president's religion.
"Obama is always spouting spiritual [expletive] and I don't believe it for a second," he continued. "He's a drop-dead atheist, absolutely." more >>
American Atheists, the group that has been trying to remove the Ground Zero Cross from the National 9/11 Museum in New York, has been asked by a federal appeals court to explain why it finds the artifact to be "offensive," "repugnant," and a violation of the Establishment Clause.
"Plaintiffs' brief should, at a minimum, clarify both the injuries alleged and legal theories relied on to support standing," the Second Circuit Court of Appeals asked in an order late last week.
"Further, to the extent plaintiffs allege that they have been 'injured in consequence of having a religious tradition that is not their own imposed upon them through the power of the state,' First Am. Compl. because individual plaintiffs view use of the challenged 'cross, a Christian symbol, to represent all victims of the 9/11 Attacks' as 'offensive,' 'repugnant,' and 'insult[ing]' to them as atheists, plaintiffs should explain how such offense states a cognizable constitutional injury." more >>
An atheist from Gardiner, Maine is suing his previous employer for religious discrimination, alleging that his supervisor at the local Olympia Sports store pressured him to attend her church and become a Christian.
Atheist Jason Rines filed his lawsuit in the Androscoggin County Superior Court this week, alleging that his former supervisor at the Olympia Sports store in Lewiston was very vocal about her Christian faith, and even pressured him to attend her church. Ultimately, Rines states in the lawsuit that the continued pressure forced him to quit his job at the sporting goods store.
The lawsuit points to Lori Brooks, the store's supervising manager who began working at the Lewiston location in October 2012. "Brooks began to interject her religious beliefs into conversations with [Rines] during work hours at the store," reads the plaintiff's complaint, according to the Sun Journal. "Brooks made it clear to [Rines] that she was devoutly Christian and that her religion plays a paramount role in her life." more >>