A website that depicts Jesus Christ as a modern tattoo artist has argued before an appeals court that a Texas school district discriminated against it when it rejected an ad for a high school stadium.
Little Pencil Ministries, which oversees the website tattoojesus.org, filed a lawsuit last year against the Lubbock Independent School District over not being allowed to run an ad on a jumbotron display at a stadium.
Arguments were heard Tuesday in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals between Little Pencil and Lubbock, with the former being represented by the religious freedom legal group, Alliance Defending Freedom. more >>
Icelandic atheist group Vantru has suggested it would like to register all newborn children as atheist members, mocking the National Church's practice of automatically registering babies if their mothers belong to the church.
"In a satirical statement to highlight the flaws of the National Church, the atheist society revealed that everyone would be a member of the organization until they deregistered their membership," Ice News reported.
"Soon-to-be parents were told any babies born from 1 March onwards would not be left out of their 'lively community' as they would automatically be registered at birth — even if parental consent had not been given. It added that this was the 'best and fairest' way to go about things." more >>
A West Virginia school has agreed to remove crosses that were part of a memorial honoring a teacher who died in 2004 following a complaint from an atheist organization.
Ravenswood Middle School, part of the Jackson County School District, was the site of a memorial that included crosses and angels.
In a vote taken Thursday, the Jackson County School Board decided to remove the crosses following a complaint from the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. more >>
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.
U.S. Army Chaplain Capt. Joseph "Joe" Lawhorn has been wrongly disciplined for offering spiritual guidance, including biblical references, during a suicide prevention meeting, said 24 senators and representatives in a letter.
"We are concerned that this disciplinary action violated First Amendment free speech protection that are undergirded by state reflected in the FY2013 and FY2014 NDAAs, along with the accompanying DoD regulations," states the letter from the senators, sent to Army Secretary John McHugh.
"In fulfilling his duties as chaplain, Captain Lawhorn shared both his personal struggle with depression as well as biblical references and materials in accordance with the views of his endorsing agency and complementary to personal convictions." more >>
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 >>