Several major secular organizations have filed a federal lawsuit against an Ohio public school for hosting a portrait of Jesus, which they claim is a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
"The maintenance and display of the portrait has the effect of advancing and endorsing one religion, improperly entangling the State in religious affairs, and violating the personal consciences of plaintiffs," the lawsuit reads. The suit was filed by The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio and the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation against the Jackson Middle School in Ohio.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three plaintiffs who chose to remain anonymous and were referred to as "Sam Doe" in the case, although The Associated Press said that one of the plaintiff was a student at the school, while the other two were parents of children who attend the same school. more >>
An interfaith atheist activist has claimed that the modern atheist movement in the United States and Europe lacks concern for the poor. Walker Bristol, a blogger for The Huffington Post, wrote an essay posted on Saturday arguing that the "new atheism" of the 21st century has been rightly stereotyped as "elitist" and "self-satisfied."
"The atheist movement, in composition and purpose, has in the last decade failed to demonstrate a meaningful dedication to fighting economic inequality and building a safe space for nontheists regardless of their socioeconomic class," wrote Bristol.
"Despite all their talk of building a better world and upholding diversity, contemporary atheism and humanism's most prominent authors and leaders have been suspiciously silent on the topic of poverty." more >>
The Sunday Assembly, an atheistic church in London, England, is growing, and managed to attract 300 people in its second gathering, 100 more than their first gathering in January.
"I feel sorry for the church next door, waiting for their three people to trickle in," said Nick Julius, one of the members of this new Assembly, which seeks to celebrate community without the "dogma" of religion, according to The Guardian.
Started by British comedians Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans, the Sunday Assembly meets every month in north London at the site of a former Christian church. The organizers have described the idea behind this atheist church as "a godless congregation that meets … to hear great talks, sing songs and generally celebrate life." more >>
A nationwide secularist organization has sent President Barack Obama a letter asking for him to use his position as "honorary president" of the Boy Scouts of America to change their policy on atheists.
Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, co-presidents of the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, sent President Obama the letter on Monday urging him "to lead the way toward an America 'with liberty and justice for all.'"
"As we applaud the willingness of the national board of Boy Scouts of America to reconsider its hurtful blanket exclusion of gays from membership, we must not forget that BSA has embraced exclusion of two minorities in our nation: gays and nonbelievers," wrote Gaylor and Barker. more >>
An ad created by Chrysler that uses conservative Christian and celebrated broadcaster Paul Harvey's 1978 "God Made a Farmer" tribute has emerged as a favorite among Super Bowl viewers.
"And on the 8th day God looked down on His planned paradise and said, 'I need a caretaker!' So, God made a farmer," begins Harvey's remarks that play over Chrysler's dramatic Super Bowl commercial. "God said I need somebody to get up before dawn and milk cows and work all day in the fields, milk cows again, eat supper and then go to town and stay past midnight at a meeting of the school board. So, God made a farmer."
The "Farmer" ad played during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVII in which the Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31. The commercial drew praise Sunday night and has become one of the most-talked about ads among viewers, including many Christians who took to Twitter to share their reactions. more >>
Atheist philosopher Dr. Alex Rosenberg told Christian theologian Dr. William Lane Craig, and those attending a debate on the existence of God, both at Purdue University and online during a live webcast Friday evening, that he would "turn Christian" if Craig could explain why God would allow evil.
"In all honesty, if Dr. Craig could provide me with any kind of a logical, coherent account that could reconcile the evident fact of the horrors of human and infer human life on this planet over the last 3.5 billion years with the existence of a benevolent, omnipotent agent then I will turn Christian," Rosenberg said at the conclusion of his first allotted rebuttal.
Rosenberg prefaced his promise by saying that evil and suffering "needs to be desperately explained." He asked why a benevolent, omnipotent God would allow such human tragedies as the Holocaust, World War I, and the bubonic plague. He said he found the question perplexing. more >>