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.
A church in Alma, Arkansas has responded with "love and support" to the American Atheists holiday "skip church" billboards by putting up its own ad, welcoming doubters and those who have questions about faith.
"Our goal is not to oppose their message, but rather to respond with love and support. We actually welcome their desire to support those who have felt alienated by believers and start discussion between and among the Atheist and Christian communities," Grace Church wrote on its website, referring to American Atheists' recently erected billboards in several Bible Belt cities.
The new ad reads, "Questions, Doubts, Curiosity? All welcome at Grace," and runs on the same digital billboard as the AA ad in Springdale, Arkansas. more >>
In years past, atheists have put up billboards in places like New York City to discourage people from attending church at Christmas time (or any time, for that matter). Now they're bringing their campaign to the Bible belt.
A report from their own source notes: "The billboards feature a young girl writing a letter to Santa; her letter reads, 'Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is to skip church! I'm too old for fairy tales.' The billboards are located in Memphis; Nashville, St. Louis; and Ft. Smith, Arkansas."
Of course, the premise of this whole campaign is that Christianity is supposedly a "fairy tale." But, in fact, Jesus is "the Truth." Here I'll focus only on prophecies fulfilled by Jesus. Only God knows the future. Only God could have written the Bible. more >>
Although these bans aren't enforceable under federal law, a coalition of atheists are now lobbying to remove language from constitutions in Maryland and six other states that prevent people who do not believe in God from holding public office.
Along with Maryland, the constitutions of Arkansas, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas all bear language prohibiting people who do not believe in God from holding office according to The New York Times. And the Openly Secular coalition wants the language removed.
"If it was on the books that Jews couldn't hold public office, or that African-Americans or women couldn't vote, that would be a no-brainer. You'd have politicians falling all over themselves to try to get it repealed. Even if it was still unenforceable, it would still be disgraceful and be removed. So why are we different?" Todd Stiefel, chairman and the main funder of the Openly Secular coalition told the Times. more >>