A small town in upstate New York has rallied together to continue funding its local community's Christmas celebration, even though an atheist's complaint forced the local government to stop supporting the event.
The town of Spencerport, N.Y., a small village located just outside of Rochester, has been celebrating its annual "Christmas on the Canal" event for 17 years until this year, when Elaine Spaziano, the event's founder and organizer, announced that the tradition had to be canceled after an atheist complained about First Amendment rights and the separation of church and state to the local government.
The event features an array of holiday-themed activities, such as a tree lighting ceremony, carols, a nativity, a blessing by a local clergy member, and other festive events. The celebration was funded partially by Spencerport and the neighboring village of Ogden, and both villages were forced to pull their funds and support for the celebration this year after an atheist activist complained that the event used taxpayer dollars to support Christianity. The activist reportedly had a petition and threatened to take the cities to court if they continued donating to "Christmas on the Canal." more >>
It was one of the most disturbing discoveries in the recent history of the Americas. Hundreds and hundreds of bodies throughout an agrarian community, each led to their death by a charismatic leader.
Monday marked the thirty-fifth anniversary of the mass murder-suicide in South America of the Peoples Temple, a sect created in the United States by Jim Jones.
Jones, an ordained Disciples of Christ pastor who was also a professed atheist, led hundreds from his church in California to South America to create a new world called Jonestown. more >>
The dictionary defines the word "church" as "a building that is used for Christian religious services." If that is true, and most of us would agree with that definition, than how can atheists have a "church?"
It appears to be some kind of English import to America. Two British comedians have started something they call Sunday Assembly. The "Assembly" defines themselves as "a godless congregation that celebrate(s) life. Our motto: live better, help often, wonder more. Our mission: to help everyone find and fulfill their full potential. Our vision: a godless congregation in every town, city and village that wants one."
Not unlike most religious' organizations, the Sunday Assembly has a type of doctrinal statement. Its statement of non-faith goes like this. The Sunday Assembly: more >>
A humanist organization is threatening lawsuits against two public schools for their participation 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.
The American Humanist Association recently sent letters to two public elementary schools, one in South Carolina and one in Colorado, threatening legal action if they continue participating in Operation Christmas Child, which delivers thousands of shoe boxes stuffed with gifts to needy children throughout the world every year during the holidays. Along with containing small gifts, the shoe boxes also include a small note inviting recipients to join in Christianity. The American Humanist Organization argues that Operation Christmas Child's commitment to "[sharing] the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ" means that public schools in the U.S. should not participate in the program.
In its letter sent to East Point Academy in West Columbia, S.C., the humanist association accuses the school of "promoting student participation" in the Operation Christmas Child program by encouraging students to assemble shoeboxes and donate money. According to the humanist organization, East Point Academy has been involved with Operation Christmas Child since 2011. more >>
The American Atheists group is appealing against a federal district court's decision to keep a cross fashioned by two steep beams recovered from the Twin Towers' collapse at the 9/11 memorial museum, while the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed an amicus brief in support of the decision, criticizing the attempt to "literally rewrite history."
"As the district court correctly held, it is entirely appropriate and lawful for the curators of a museum to acknowledge the Cross's actual, historic role by placing it in the September 11 Memorial Museum," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.
"A museum has the freedom to display religiously-themed artifacts of historical or artistic significance without running afoul of the Constitution. We urge the appeals court to affirm the decision of the district court which rejected this bizarre legal challenge." more >>
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is gearing up for the so-called "War on Christmas" this year by promoting products to help nonbelievers celebrate the winter solstice.
"Most people think December is strictly for Christians and view the solstice as an intrusion, when actually it's the other way around," Dan Barker, FFRF co-president, said in a statement. "People have been celebrating the winter solstice long before Christmas. We see Christianity as the intruder, trying to steal the natural holiday from all of us humans."
The Madison, Wis.-based organization said in a press release that winter solstice is "the real reason for the season." FFRF is selling, among other things, 14 varieties of winter solstice greeting cards that say things like "Reason's Greetings" and "Yes, Virginia . . . There Is No God" and more. more >>