American Atheists, the group that has been trying to remove the Ground Zero Cross from the National 9/11 Museum in New York, has been asked by a federal appeals court to explain why it finds the artifact to be "offensive," "repugnant," and a violation of the Establishment Clause.
"Plaintiffs' brief should, at a minimum, clarify both the injuries alleged and legal theories relied on to support standing," the Second Circuit Court of Appeals asked in an order late last week.
"Further, to the extent plaintiffs allege that they have been 'injured in consequence of having a religious tradition that is not their own imposed upon them through the power of the state,' First Am. Compl. because individual plaintiffs view use of the challenged 'cross, a Christian symbol, to represent all victims of the 9/11 Attacks' as 'offensive,' 'repugnant,' and 'insult[ing]' to them as atheists, plaintiffs should explain how such offense states a cognizable constitutional injury." more >>
An atheist from Gardiner, Maine is suing his previous employer for religious discrimination, alleging that his supervisor at the local Olympia Sports store pressured him to attend her church and become a Christian.
Atheist Jason Rines filed his lawsuit in the Androscoggin County Superior Court this week, alleging that his former supervisor at the Olympia Sports store in Lewiston was very vocal about her Christian faith, and even pressured him to attend her church. Ultimately, Rines states in the lawsuit that the continued pressure forced him to quit his job at the sporting goods store.
The lawsuit points to Lori Brooks, the store's supervising manager who began working at the Lewiston location in October 2012. "Brooks began to interject her religious beliefs into conversations with [Rines] during work hours at the store," reads the plaintiff's complaint, according to the Sun Journal. "Brooks made it clear to [Rines] that she was devoutly Christian and that her religion plays a paramount role in her life." more >>
Secular groups in the U.K. are rejoicing after the government clarified that creationism, supported by biblical literalists, is not allowed to be taught as a scientifically valid theory at academies and public-funded schools.
The Department of Education's funding agreement, under the "Church of England and Catholic single academy model supplemental agreement" document published earlier in June, states that creationism "does not accord with the scientific consensus or the very large body of established scientific evidence; nor does it accurately and consistently employ the scientific method, and as such it should not be presented to pupils at the Academy as a scientific theory."
The statement adds: "The requirement on every academy and free school to provide a broad and balanced curriculum in any case prevents the teaching of creationism as evidence based theory in any academy or free school." more >>
An atheist teacher claims he was recently fired from his position at Middlebury Community Schools in Indiana due to his lack of religious beliefs, but school officials are arguing the 29-year-old educator was fired for his poor performance.
Teacher Kevin Pack recently filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that he was fired from his position as a German teacher at Northridge High School because he is an atheist and the school's principal, Gerald Rasler, is an evangelical Christian.
Pack told The Goshen News that expressing his atheism during the school year led to the recent termination of his work contract. The 29-year-old teacher has disputed the district's claims that he was fired due to poor work performance that included missing parent-teacher conferences, arriving at work late and leaving students unattended in the classroom. more >>
Brooks Hamby never wanted to be a rabble-rouser. He just wanted to thank Jesus in his high school graduation speech.
But the Brawley Union School District in Brawley, Calif., said the references to Jesus and prayer in Brooks' graduation speech were "inappropriate" and violated "prevailing legal standards."
School officials rejected three versions of the young man's graduation address, and one administrator went so far as to redact every religious reference with a black marker – as if it were some sort of top-secret government document. more >>
Father Robert Barron, founder of Word on Fire ministry and Rector/President of Mundelein Seminary near Chicago, has said that HBO talk show host Bill Maher does not understand neither faith nor the Bible, responding to the numerous attacks on Christianity the outspoken comedian has made recently.
"I don't know what possesses me to watch 'Real Time With Bill Maher,' for Maher is, without a doubt, the most annoying anti-religionist on the scene today. Though his show is purportedly about politics, it almost invariably includes some attack on religion, especially Christianity," Barron wrote for Catholic News Agency on Sunday.
Maher has made a number of anti-Christian comments on his show. Earlier this year he called God a "psychotic mass murderer" for the flood as described in the biblical account of Noah's ark, and in June asked Christian Coalition founder Ralph Reed to explain why Jesus had to come down to Earth to "correct His dad" on Old Testament laws such as stoning of adulterous women to death. more >>