A school district in Florida is considering a complaint sent by a Washington, D.C.-based atheist organization regarding a high school's morning announcement including the phrase "God Bless America."
The legal arm of the American Humanist Association recently sent a letter of complaint to Nassau County School District and Yulee High School on behalf of two students who took issue with the phrase "God bless America" being used on the school intercom.
A legal law group representing atheist students in Florida has said that a daily morning announcement at Yulle High School which includes the statement "God bless America" is a constitutional violation. The school has, in turn, agreed make the student who added the phrase on his own accord to stop saying it.
"Students at Yulee High are free to express their beliefs all day long, but not during the school announcement. This student deviated from the script and has been instructed (not to) deviate from the script; he is a good student and he meant no harm," said Nassau County schools spokesperson Sheryl Wood in a reply earlier this week, according to USA Today.
The complaint against the "God Bless America" phrase was made by two atheist students who contacted the American Humanist Association. The Appignani Humanist Legal Center, the legal arm of the AHA, then sent a letter to Drake and Nassau County Schools Superintendent John L. Ruis, where it calls the student's statement a "constitutional violation." more >>
Craig Hicks, the atheist accused of killing three Muslim students in North Carolina on Tuesday, is said to be a devoted follower of prominent British atheist, Richard Dawkins. Although Hicks' wife insists that the brutal killings were not hate crimes, anti-religious sentiment on his Facebook page suggests otherwise.
The 46-year-old Chapel Hill resident was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of first-degree murder following the deaths of newlywed couple Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, and Yusor Mohammad, 21, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. All three were shot in the head at a condominium complex near the University of North Carolina campus following a parking dispute.
As police continue to investigate the possibility of a hate crime, Hicks' atheist beliefs – as seen in various posts on his alleged Facebook page – have fueled concerns amongst the victims' loved ones that anti-religious views may have precipitated the shootings. more >>
Former Anglican Archbishop Dr. Rowan Williams has responded to atheist actor Stephen Fry's recent criticism of God by saying that only a "stupid and insensitive person" would never protest suffering in the world. At the same time, Williams said that he hopes Fry would actually wait for God's reply, if he got a chance to speak with Him.
"It's interesting that already in the Psalms and the book of Job, you're beginning to have that kind of protest voice within religious communities," Williams, who led the Church of England for 10 years, said on BBC's Newsnight.
The former Archbishop was responding to Fry's controversial comments earlier this month, when the actor called God "utterly evil" and "monstrous" for designing a world which includes bone cancer in children, and other such diseases. more >>
Grammy-nominated bluegrass singer Rhonda Vincent, who was deemed the "new queen of bluegrass" by The Wall Street Journal in 2000, shared in a recent interview how she stood up to an atheist who made a mockery of her gospel music.
The 52-year-old Vincent sat down for an interview with The Blaze over the weekend and shared a time when she and her band were touring in Canada and her faith and integrity were put to the test by a trying atheist who obnoxiously made a mockery of a gospel song that she was singing, a song that she had held so sacred in her heart.
"The most challenging time that I ever had with my faith, we played up in Canada at a folk festival, I think it was the Calgary Folk Festival or Edmonton Folk Festival. They put us on a stage on a Sunday morning with four other artists and we would alternate. To me, it was a Sunday morning service. I did a gospel song, then the next group did one, and the next group did one." Vincent explained. "Then a guy came up and he was an atheist. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. He started making fun of us." more >>
The Sydney Atheists group in Australia has put up a billboard campaign with the message: "Have you escaped religion? We have!" The atheists are arguing that the world suffers because of religion, and said that it makes "no sense" to believe in such "fantasy."
"This world suffers so much at the hands of religion; it doesn't make any sense to believe these stories. It's just fantasy," Steve Marton, the organization's president, told news.com.au.
"Every religion has an agenda, and those agenda are to control people. Most religions have an end goal and usually that involves power and money," he added. more >>