A bill that would require Pennsylvania public schools to put the national motto "In God We Trust" on display was passed by a committee in the state House of Representatives on Wednesday.
The legislation, called the National Motto Display Act, passed the House Education Committee by a vote of 14 to nine on Wednesday. State Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny/Washington), who sponsored the bill, hopes that displaying the motto in schools will inspire patriotism and also help educate students on part of the state's heritage, according to a press release.
James Pollock, who was a governor of Pennsylvania in the 1850s, was appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to serve as the director of the U.S. Mint, the bill states. Although "In God We Trust" was a phrase already known from Francis Scott Key's "Star Spangled Banner," it was Pollock who pushed for the motto's appearance on U.S. currency. In 1864, Congress approved the phrase to be included on two-cent pieces. more >>
The Secretary of the Army has ordered military leaders to halt all briefings on extremist organizations that labeled Evangelical Christian groups as domestic hate groups. The shutdown comes just four days after I reported exclusively about a briefing at Mississippi's Camp Shelby that labeled the American Family Association as a domestic hate group.
"On several occasions over the past few months, media accounts have highlighted instances of Army instructors supplementing programs of instruction and including information or material that is inaccurate, objectionable and otherwise inconsistent with current Army policy," Army Sec. John McHugh wrote to military leaders in a memorandum I obtained.
McHugh "directed that Army leaders cease all briefings, command presentations or training on the subject of extremist organizations or activities until that program of instruction and training has been created and disseminated," Army spokesman Col. David Patterson, Jr., tells me. more >>
Mikey Weinstein heads up an outfit called Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), which might be shortened to Murfs. These atheizers are not to be confused with those cuddly Smurfs. The little blue cartoon character Smurfs all wear Phrygian caps-a symbol of freedom. No, Murfs take it on themselves to smother religious freedom.
Mikey and the Murfs are bragging about their latest score. It took just 68 minutes for the Murfs to pull down a poster at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Why? Because the poster promoted the honor system and said-"So help me God." Well, Murfs can't stand any mention of You Know Who, so Mikey swung into action and demanded the offending poster be pulled down.
It took just 68 minutes for the Air Force brass at Colorado Springs to surrender to the Murfs. This is too bad. I recall that Fort Sumter held out for 34 hours in Charleston harbor in 1861. And the Alamo held out longer than that. more >>
A self-described "militant atheist" has severely attacked and physically beaten a pastor following his sermon at an Ohio church Sunday after the pastor attempted to give the man and his girlfriend relationship advice. The suspect has since been arrested and charged with an assault felony and a misdemeanor charge for resisting arrest. However, despite the frightening attack the pastor has said he believes there is still hope for his attacker.
Police say 28-year-old James Maxie was confrontational and interruptive while attending the service held by the Rev. Norman Hayes at Bridge Community Church in North Hampton Sunday morning. After the service, Hayes reportedly asked Maxie's girlfriend if she felt safe in her partner's company. This question infuriated Maxie so intensely that he began beating the pastor, ultimately breaking his nose in two places and leaving massive three to six inch cuts over his eyes and behind his ear. Maxie then fled the church to a nearby corn field, but was later apprehended by police while hiding behind a house.
Hayes told the Dayton Daily News following the incident that he feared for his life during the intense beating and was happy it stopped when it did, as he honestly felt he could have died had he been beaten more. Still, in spite of the intense violence Hayes encountered, the pastor told the local news outlet he hopes Maxie finds peace in the future. more >>
Evolutionary biologist and atheist author Richard Dawkins has revealed in an interview why he doesn't debate people who believe in the Young Earth creation theory, stating that simply engaging them on a platform allows them to get what they want.
"When the debate is with someone like a Young Earth creationist, as the late Stephen Gould pointed out – they've won the moment you agree to have a debate at all. Because what they want is the oxygen of respectability," Dawkins told Seth Andrews of "The Thinking Atheist" in a recently-published interview about his latest book, An Appetite for Wonder.
"They want to be seen on a platform with a real scientist, because that conveys the idea that here is a genuine argument between scientists," Dawkins continued. "They may not win the argument – in fact, they will not win the argument, but it makes it look like there really is an argument to be had." more >>
The Sunday Assembly, an atheist group started in the U.K., is looking to raise close to $800,000 to spread its message through digital platforms and continue expanding on a global basis.
"We are a charity, so we can't give stock options so we have to pay wages," explained Sanderson Jones, one of the group's founders. He told Wired.co.uk that there is "an incredible opportunity to change the world for the better," and pointed to studies that show that the community experience of going to church helps people lead healthier lives.
"If we increase people's social capital by creating real-life communities and supporting networks, then we can increase wealth, without spending loads. It's social capitalism. And we think the best way to create more of these meetings IRL, is to harness the power of networked computers, so that we can get away from networked computers," Jones added. more >>