On Tuesday, a federal appeals court dismissed the three-year long lawsuit of a Florida-based atheist group against the City of Lakeland, which was being accused of violating the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause by conducting prayers at the beginning of its City Commission meetings.
A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined Tuesday that the city and its mayor, Gow Fields, had not violated the Constitution, as argued by the Atheists of Florida organization, due to a 2010 policy implemented by the city which allows speakers of various denominations to deliver the opening prayer at the meetings.
"The selection procedures of the invocational speakers invited to deliver an invocation at Lakeland City Commission's meetings pursuant to policies and practices initiated informally in March 2010, which were codified with the passage of Resolution 4848 in August 2010, do not support the AOF's contention that Lakeland attempted to exploit the prayer opportunity to proselytize or advance or disparage any one faith or belief," Judge Arthur Alarcon of the Eleventh Circuit Appeals Court wrote on behalf of a three-judge panel. more >>
Dr. William Lane Craig, research professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, Calif., has dismissed the American Atheists' 50 year anniversary convention as "nothing but posturing," arguing that their intellectual arguments against theism do not hold up.
"Their motto '50 years of reason' is nothing but posturing. It's an attempt to present themselves as intellectual and that their atheism is based in reason, when in fact that is far from the truth," Craig, who has written over thirty books on theology and philosophy and frequently debates atheist scholars, said on Monday in a phone interview with The Christian Post.
American Atheists, the largest secular group in America, which supports civil rights for atheists, will kick off their 2013 National Convention on Thursday, featuring three days of speakers. more >>
A German-based atheist shoe company is accusing the United States Postal Service of discrimination, claiming that when using "atheist" branded packaging tape on its shipments, the company's packages arrived to their U.S. destination at far greater delays compared to when they used a generic packaging tape.
The company, known simply as ATHEIST, explains on its official website that it conducted a trans-Atlantic experiment to determine if "atheist" packages were actually experiencing longer delays in the U.S. than "non-atheist" packages.
"We have lots of customers in the USA, but sometimes the shoes we send them take longer than they should to arrive, or even go missing," the company, which is based in Berlin, states on its website. more >>
An atheist group is trying to force the city of Coos Bay, Oregon to take down a cross that serves to honor Vietnam War heroes, because they say, the monument is on public property and so violates the separation between Church and state.
"Our complainants inform us that a white cross sits in the park near a playground," a letter from The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) stated, according to Christian News. "Our complainants further inform us that this display has been in the park for several decades. There have also been recent efforts to restore the cross."
The cross is currently displayed at Mingus Park in Coos Bay, and is accessible to all who wish to pay their respects to those who died in the Vietnam War. FFRF are saying, however, that a number of citizens have protested against the monument, because they believes it violates the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution. more >>
Massachusetts' highest court will consider a suit against a state school district by an atheist family who protests the usage of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Massachusetts Supreme Court recently announced that it would hear arguments against Acton-Boxboro Regional School District regarding usage of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge in early May. One of the plaintiffs in the case is the American Humanist Association, with its legal arm the Appignani Humanist Legal Center helping to bring the suit forward.
Roy Speckhardt, executive director of the AHA, told The Christian Post that this case will be "markedly different" from past failed efforts to get "under God" taken out of the Pledge. "Instead of arguing that 'under God' in the pledge is a violation of the rule of church-state separation, it is explained as a specific infringement on the right of nontheists to equal protection under the law," said Speckhardt. more >>
American Atheists, one of the country's biggest secular groups, put up a new billboard in Texas Monday morning slamming Texas Gov. Rick Perry for saying that prayer can solve America's gun violence.
"His solution to school shootings? Prayer," the billboard reads. The secular organization's ad refers to comments the former GOP presidential candidate made back in January responding to President Barack Obama's push for stricter gun control.
"As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children," Perry said then. more >>