President Barack Obama will be taking the oath of office for the second time on Jan. 21, 2013. And atheists want him to do so without mentioning "God" and without a Bible.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent Obama a letter following his re-election, asking him to reject the way "this country politicizes religion."
"When you stand to reaffirm your oath, do so using the language of the Founders. Eliminate the religious verbiage. While you're at it, why not place your hand on the Constitution instead of a bible?" FFRF attorney Andrew L. Seidel wrote in the letter. more >>
A Unitarian Universalist minister who this fall started a church service program for atheists and non-believers has said the services meant to attract America's growing "nones" population have been successful.
"These are people who are not inspired to live their lives a certain way by ideas of God or by Scripture but who have the same human needs for community, compassion, meaning and marking the significant passages of birth, coming of age, marriage and death," the Rev. Marlin Lavanhar of All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Okla., told the Tulsa World.
The weekly non-theist Humanist gathering, called "The Point," was launched back in September, and in some ways follows the proceedings of regular church meetings – the congregation gathers on Sunday mornings, listens to sermons from the pastor, and addresses the needs of the community. But there are no invocations to God, no prayers or hymns, and the Bible is not referenced. more >>
The Nov. 6 general elections overall could be seen as a major victory for Democrats, but atheists concerned that Republicans have won control of the U.S. House of Representatives have composed an open letter asking lawmakers to refuse to join the Congressional Prayer Caucus, because it treats them like "second class citizens."
"Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus have repeatedly introduced and supported legislation that many secular Americans feel is unconstitutional and often favors Christianity above all other religions," said American Humanist Association Executive Director Roy Speckhardt, whose organization sent the open letter to U.S. representatives.
Notable democratic victories on Election Day included President Barack Obama's re-election, the approval of same-sex marriage in the four states that held a voter referendum, and Democrats winning 53 Senate seats against 47 for the Republicans. The Republican Party retained control of the House of Representatives, however, winning 242 seats against 193 for the Democrats. The Congressional Prayer Caucus represents a group of representatives from the House who join together to recognize the role prayer has in the lives of people of faith, and to promote prayer as a means to unite and empower people and protect religious freedom in America. more >>
One of Scotland's leading Christian thinkers has said that atheist professor Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion book has actually paved the way for the Church to share its message about God, because it drew millions of people around the world to the debate on God and the Bible.
"Richard Dawkins has done us a big favor," said the Rev David Robertson, a minister from the Free Church of Scotland, ahead of the Faclan Book Festival on the Isle of Lewis later this week ,where both he and Dawkins will be speaking about spiritual literature.
"A book about God and the Bible has become a bestseller and as a result has opened up a discussion that many people thought was over," Robertson added to the Stornoway Gazette. more >>
A school district in Chilliwack, British Columbia has said that it will continue offering free Bibles to students despite protests from an atheist parent who describes the handouts as "religious marketing."
"The Board approves the distribution of Gideon Youth Testaments to Grade 5 pupils with parental consent," the Chilliwack school board said last week in response to the concerns of the parent, Richard Ajabu. He said his daughter showed him a permission form to receive a free Bible at school from Gideons International, an evangelical Protestant association that has handed out free Bibles to Canadian grade five public school students since 1946.
Ajabu has called the free Bibles "indoctrination," and said the program discriminates against parents belonging other religious groups who do not want to raise their children with the Bible, the Chilliwack Times reported. more >>
A prayer walk initiative birthed in New York City three years ago will again gather thousands of young people from every borough of New York City this weekend to declare once more "God Belongs In My City".
The prayer walk, started in 2009 by school principal Daniel Sanabria and his church youth group in response to an atheist ad, has been making its way across dozens of U.S. cities and abroad, with events held this year in Haiti, Switzerland and Canada.
This Saturday, however, will bring the tour full circle as local Christian churches, groups and individuals converge at various NYC locations to declare their faith and pray for the city this Saturday, Oct. 27. more >>