An atheist group celebrating the upcoming International Blasphemy Rights Day on Friday, has said that laws around the world that restrict or punish those who criticize religion take away the rights of atheists, Christians, and other people.
"In too many countries around the world, criticizing religion is illegal. We've seen the consequences of these laws too many times — when a tweet or a post on Facebook declaring one's atheism or questioning a tenet of religion leads to arrests, beatings, prison, and sometimes death sentences," the Center for Inquiry, which set up the first event in 2009, said in a statement on Monday.
"Sometimes religious militants make their own laws, deciding for themselves that expressions of dissent justify brutal killings, like the grisly murders of secularists in Bangladesh, or attacks on religious minorities in Pakistan," the group added. more >>
Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the status of the inner city African-American community at the first-ever debate between her and Republican opponent Donald Trump.
At the debate held Monday evening at Hofstra University and moderated by Lester Holt, Clinton took issue with Trump's assessment that the inner city was a horrible place for African-Americans and Latinos.
Asked how to heal America's racial divide, Trump argued that America's inner cities are "so dangerous" because "you walk down the street, you get shot." more >>
New TV shows coming this fall are better than what the Parents Television Council has seen for the past few years, markedly veering away from the serial killer genre pattern and moving toward family comedies, says a PTC official.
PTC's Head of Research Operations Christopher Gildemeister prescreened many of the major networks' TV fall lineup (from NBC, Fox, ABC, CBS). Although he said that he has not screened absolutely every new show coming out this fall, he told The Christian Post during an interview Monday, "There may be something out there much better or much worse — I doubt it."
Gildemeister said that the landscape of network TV this year seems to have improved. "This year is better than the last couple previous years have been. The good shows are better than (the ones) that got broadcast in past years, and the bad ones are not as bad — (as) they have been in the past. more >>
The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science has announced that the "new atheist" movement is set to partner with reform-minded Muslim leaders to tackle extremism and the jihadist movement.
According to the foundation, the so-called new atheist movement largely grew out of a response to the 9/11 attacks in the United States, and sought to confront the violent aspects of Islam. The movement also led to criticism of Christianity and the broader aspect of religion, as found in Dawkins' 2006 best-seller The God Delusion.
The foundation announced other targets for atheists as well. more >>
At the urging of America's largest secular legal organization, a public elementary school will no longer allow prayer during its kindergarten graduation ceremonies.
Springs Valley Elementary School in French Lick, Indiana, drew the ire of the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation after it's kindergarten graduation ceremony last May included a prayer offered by a 5 or 6-year-old student. The ceremony include an invocation and a designated time for prayer was listed on the ceremony program.
After the ceremony, a parent who was upset that the event included a prayer alerted FFRF. In August, FFRF legal fellow Ryan Jayne sent a letter to Springs Valley Community Schools Superintendent Tony Whitaker, arguing that the school had committed a "constitutional violation." more >>
The Christian owners of an Oregon bakery who were fined over $135,000 by a state government agency for declining to bake a cake for a same-sex wedding are continuing to fight for their First Amendment rights.
After Aaron and Melissa Klein of Sweet Cakes by Melissa were fined by the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries $135,000 last year for declining to bake a cake for the wedding of Rachel Bowman-Cryer and Laurel Bowman-Cryer in 2013 on the grounds that it would have violated their religious convictions, the Kleins paid their fine last December and filed an appeal with the Oregon Court of Appeals in April in hopes the court would rule that the government agency violated their religious freedom rights.
In response to a brief defending the government's actions against the Kleins filed to the Oregon Court of Appeals last month by state lawyers, the Kleins filed a reply brief to the court earlier this month. more >>