North Alabama Freethought Association board member Kelly McCauley will open the Huntsville City Council meeting Thursday in a non-religious invocation after a secularist group threatened to sue the council over its tradition of Christian Prayer.
McCauley, who according to his Meetup page was confirmed in the Lutheran Church and "dropped out" at age 23, told AL.com, "My goal is to offer a non-sectarian invocation that, I hope, will lend gravity to the meeting and point to our civic values."
McCauley was invited by Huntsville leaders to give the body's first atheist "prayer" after secularist group Freedom From Religion Foundation complained about its Christian opening prayers. more >>
A New Jersey high school student and her family have entered the ongoing legal battle over a lawsuit by an atheist group seeking to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Samantha Jones, a senior at Highland Regional High School in Blackwood, and her family filed an official response to a lawsuit by the American Humanist Association.
A judge in Oklahoma ruled that a Ten Commandments display erected on the grounds of the state's capitol building is constitutional and may remain at the public location.
In his decision, Oklahoma County District Judge Thomas Prince wrote that the Ten Commandments display was one of many present on the Capitol grounds, each having their own blend of historical and spiritual significance.
"Many of these monuments and plaques depict both the secular and spiritual history of Oklahoma," wrote Prince, who noted that multiple images of Native American spiritual imagery exists in the various monuments. more >>
The American Humanist Association announced Monday a "Don't Say the Pledge" campaign, arguing that their recent AHA poll found a third of Americans support removing the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.
Christian groups dispute the poll's findings, saying other polls show overwhelming support for keeping the phrase.
Roy Speckhardt, executive director for AHA, told The Christian Post that the "under God" in the pledge leaves out atheists, and thus negates "the all-important 'indivisible' that follows." more >>
A newly enforced nondiscrimination policy issued by the California State University system that requires InterVarsity Christian Fellowship to allow non-Christians to be chapter leaders has forced the nationwide organization to develop a new style of campus ministry, IVCF officials said Tuesday.
"InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is now developing a new style of campus ministry on CSU campuses where we have been banned from participating in campus life as a recognized student organization," IVCF stated. "In order to maintain a ministry presence with 23 chapters on 19 CSU campuses, InterVarsity is introducing creative new ways to connect with students and share the gospel message — though doing so as an 'unrecognized' student group will prove considerably more costly."
IVCF officials added that because it is no longer allowed to participate in campus organization fairs, InterVarsity will make contact with students by deploying new tools such as mobile banner stands, interactive displays, social media, and other techniques that don't rely on established campus structures. more >>
The federal government has decided to continue its legal action regarding a lawsuit from a Catholic order seeking an exemption from the Health and Human Services Department's contraception mandate.
In a "supplemental brief for the government" filed Monday in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, the government decided it will continue to defend the mandate against a suit by the Little Sisters of the Poor.