A Utica, N.Y. Fire Chief is refusing to take down a Christmas-themed sign displayed outside of a firehouse, despite growing complaints from atheists.
The sign, which reads "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS WE LOVE YOU," is displayed outside Firehouse No. 4 in South Utica in the spirit of Christmas, however; atheists are demanding that it be removed, according to CBS.
Atheist professor and author Richard Dawkins has said that it's faith in God that makes organized groups capable of great acts of evil, such as the Pakistan school massacre earlier this week where the Taliban killed 132 children and nine staff members.
Dawkins posted a wide variety of tweets in response to the slaughter, blaming both Islam and also religion as a whole.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, one of the largest secular groups in America, announced it is erecting 11 different billboards across Chicago this week with various messages. Some of the ads ask people to "think for (themselves)," while others argue that kindness "comes from altruism" and not from "seeking divine reward."
"Research shows that atheists and other nonbelievers remain at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to social acceptance. One reason for that is that even though at least 20% of the population today is nonreligious in the United States, many Americans have never knowingly met an atheist," said Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. "We're trying to change that."
The ads feature several atheist writers, bloggers, speakers and activists from FFRF and its chapter, FFRF Metropolitan Chicago. more >>
A county in Florida is refusing to change its invocation policy for public meetings in response to a Wisconsin-based atheist group's demand.
Denise Marie Nieman, an attorney for Palm Beach County, recently rejected the request of the Freedom From Religion Foundation to change the Board of Commissioners' policy for invocations. In a statement given to both The Christian Post and FFRF, Nieman wrote that the county's policy of having commissioners give invocations is constitutional.
"While I appreciate FFRF's position, it is not applicable to Palm Beach County's practice. The Commissioners' chosen invocation isn't a prayer in the traditional secular sense," said Nieman. more >>
An atheist whose recent invocation at a Florida city's meeting prompted a walkout of some of the commissioners is fighting to give an invocation at another city meeting elsewhere in the state.
Preston Smith of Miami, who saw four members of the Lake Worth County Board of Commissioners walk out on his previous invocation, was denied a request to give a secular invocation at a Palm Beach County Commissioners meeting.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Smith explained that "my next invocation was aimed at the Palm Beach County Commissioners Meeting. However, they have denied my request, opting instead to strictly allow the Commissioner's themselves to give (overtly Christian-themed) invocations. I consider this a monopoly of a certain religious viewpoint, the very opposite of the Supreme Court's intention." more >>
Comedy Central's long-running news satire program "The Daily Show" broadcast a segment Tuesday night poking fun at an atheist group's legal action against a North Carolina diner that offered a discount for praying in public.
A segment featuring "Daily Show" correspondent Jordan Klepper spotlighted the action the Freedom From Religion Foundation took against Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem when it argued that a 15 percent discount was discriminatory toward non-theists and threatened to file a lawsuit against the diner.