The Freedom From Religion Foundation is putting up over 55 billboards across Sacramento, Calif., in November with messages like "I'm not a believer and life is still awesome." A local bishop has branded the ads as "propaganda."
"While I'm not happy about these billboards, I am certain people still, when they look deep down in their soul and in their heart, find a spark. They believe in a higher power," said Bishop Jaime Soto with the Cathedral of a Blessed Sacrament in an interview with FOX40.
FFRF, one of the largest secular groups in the nation, says that its idea behind the billboards is to show that atheists are regular people too who can be good and happy and love the holidays, but without a belief in God. The ads feature images of secular people and couples with declarations reading: "Integrity and passion require no gods" and "Reason. Equality. Doing good without Gods." more >>
There was once a stream of thinking in this country that the best way to defeat an idea you disagree with was to beat it with a better idea. Now, the paradigm has shifted and the new rule is, if you hear something you disagree with, silence it. Stories of atheistic animosity seem to be dominating the news lately. Take, for example, this story from South Carolina.
Each year, around the holidays, Samaritan's Purse invites people to show compassion to needy children throughout the world through a project know as Operation Christmas Child. The International Christian relief organization asks people to fill shoeboxes with basic items like tooth brushes, small toys, books, socks and a personal note.
The mission of Operation Christmas Child is to demonstrate God's love in a tangible way to needy children around the world, and together with the local church worldwide, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ – and therein lays the news story. more >>
Atheists in San Diego, Calif. are trying a new approach to recruiting non-believers by offering food, such as pretzels and cheezits, and putting up large banners that read "Relax: hell does not exist, or heaven either, enjoy your life."
The atheists are members of the San Diego-based group the San Diego Coalition of Reason, and every Saturday they set up a booth in the city's Balboa Park alongside other religious groups, such as Hare Krishnas and evangelical Christians, to educate passerby on their lack of beliefs. Along with the quirky banner that hangs over their booth, members of the group also lure people into a conversation using pretzels and Cheezits; the pretzels are used to symbolized the "twisted logic" of theism, while the cheezits represent the "power" of non-belief.
"We like to have a gathering place for our members, people that want to chat, get to know each other, they can come do that on any Saturday," Debbie Allen, one of the organizers for the atheist group, told local KPBS-TV. "But also we like to let the community know that there are groups that they may want to participate in." more >>
Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the American Humanist Association (AHA), which effectively stopped two schools from participating in Operation Christmas Child by threatening lawsuits, said he's satisfied with the outcome.
As previously reported by The Christian Post, AHA sent letters to East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., and SkyView Academy, a charter elementary school located in Douglas County, Colo., threatening to file lawsuits against the schools if they continued to participate in Operation Christmas Child, a project of evangelist Franklin Graham's international Christian relief organization Samaritan's Purse that seeks to deliver Christmas toys to needy children throughout the world.
Containing small gifts, the shoeboxes also include a small note inviting recipients to join in Christianity. more >>
A public charter school was recently warned by an unidentified, anti-religion organization to not perform faith-based Christmas carols during their winter concert and threatened that they would pursue possible litigation if they did not comply.
The band director at York Preparatory Academy in Rock Hill, S.C., decided to exclude "Joy to the World" and "O Come All Ye Faithful," from their Dec. 19 performance after the school received the letter, even though the songs were going to be a part of the program before the communication was sent out by the organization.
In defense of concerned parents whose two children attend the school, the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), an alliance-building legal ministry that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith, sent York a letter urging them to immediately rescind the ban put in place by school officials. The ADF told The Christian Post that the school would not specify which organization sent them the letter and after several attempts, York did not return CP's phone call for comment. more >>
A second public school has ended ties with Franklin Graham's Operation Christmas Child after an atheist group threatened a lawsuit. However, angered by the developments, parents at the Colorado-area school have stated their commitment to continue raising funds for Operation Christmas Child independently of the school, and they also held a "Religious Rights Rally" outside of school on the public sidewalk on Wednesday afternoon.
SkyView Academy, a charter elementary school located in Douglas County, Colorado, announced last week that it will be ending its participation with Operation Christmas Child, a program of Franklin Graham's evangelical relief organization Samaritan's Purse that provides needy children around the world with Christmas presents during the holidays. Students at SkyView had been participating in the program for the past two years as part of their community service project, and their efforts included raising donations for the program and assembling shoe boxes to hold the gifts for each needy child.
Both Skyview Academy and East Point Academy in West Columbia, South Carolina recently received letters from the American Humanist Association threatening lawsuits if the schools continued to participate in the program. more >>