Openly Secular, a non-theist organization, has added two new high-profile members to its coalition and released a new trailer encouraging others to come forward.
Former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and former NFL star Chris Kluwe are the most recent high-profile persons to come forward and speak out about discrimination against atheists, agnostics, and humanists.
"It's important for secularists to be vocal about who they are … in a truly functional society, in a stable society, everyone is afforded the same freedom to be who they are no matter what that is as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of other people to be who they are," Kluwe said in a video published by the organization's site. "If you want to enjoy your own beliefs, then you have to fight for everyone else's beliefs just as hard, because if you don't, someday you might be on the other side of that line and you're not going to be very happy when that day comes." more >>
A 14-year-old student's family is suing Sparkman Middle School after she was allegedly used as bait to catch an accused sexual predator and raped in the school's bathroom.
"It has essentially devastated her life," attorney Eric Artrip, who represents the victim and her family, told CNN.
In 2010, the girl, who has special needs, told a teacher's aide that she had been approached repeatedly by the accused assailant for sex. June Simpson, the aide, decided to set a trap for the abuser, using the 14-year-old student as bait. She managed to convince her to "meet the boy in the bathroom where teachers could be positioned to 'catch him in the act' before anything happened," court documents stated. more >>
A decision by Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas to pay Presbyterian Church (USA) $7.8-milion for a building that the congregation built in the 1920s, nearly 60 years before it joined PCUSA, may strand countless other congregations as they struggle with leaving PCUSA over its policy of allowing non-celibate homosexuals to marry and be in leadership.
HPPC agreed to a settle in a court case that sought to challenge PCUSA's strong assertions that it owns all property under "trust" if a congregation joins the denomination. The position has become a central battleground for churches struggling with PCUSA's progressive positions on homosexuality.
Despite getting an initial injunction in their favor as well as a date in October for a hearing, last week Highland Park and Grace Presbytery reached a settlement wherein the Dallas church will pay $7.8 million by November. more >>
The Air Force announced that it will no longer require airmen to include the phrase "so help me God" as a part of an enlistment or officer appointment oath.
Under the new policy, Air Force support offices will now allow airmen to omit "so help God" from the end of their enlistment of appointment oath if they prefer to do so. Previous Air Force regulations did not permit the support offices to process enlistment paperwork with any omissions. The policy change is effective immediately while the Army and Navy already allow their enlistees to omit the phrase.
"The Air Force will be updating the instructions for both enlisted and commissioned Airmen to reflect these changes in the coming weeks, but the policy change is effective now," the Wednesday Air Force press release said. "Airmen who choose to omit the words 'So help me God' from enlistment and officer appointment oaths may do so." more >>
An appeals court has denied a rehearing in a case surrounding a California high school's banning of American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the lawsuit Mariano vs. Morgan Hill Unified School District will not be heard before the full court.
In a move that may prompt a new meaning to the phrase "monkey trial," a New York appeals court has set the date for arguments in a lawsuit where the plaintiff is a chimpanzee.
The Nonhuman Rights Project will get to argue its case on behalf of Tommy, a chimpanzee in New York state who supporters argue is being unlawfully held against his will.
Oral arguments in the lawsuit, which seeks to established legal rights for an animal, will be heard Wednesday, October 8 before the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Department. more >>