There's an old joke that says: How do you describe an atheist at his funeral? "All dressed up with no place to go."
Now, all jokes aside, there is a place atheists can go on Sundays. There's a new type of "atheist church" that has been founded by a couple from England, and apparently it's taking off.
Writing for the Associated Press, Gillian Flaccus penned an article called, "Atheist 'mega-churches' are now a thing in the U.S as popularity spreads from U.K." These groups, write Flaccus, are "people bound by their belief in non-belief." They have had large gatherings in Los Angeles, "San Diego, Nashville, New York and other U.S. cities." more >>
The Air Force Academy has admitted they removed the phrase "so help me God" from three oaths in the 2012 edition of their official cadet handbook.
The revelation came after more than two dozen members of Congress sent a letter to Academy Supt. Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson demanding that she explain why the phrase was removed.
The lawmakers contend the 2012 edition of the Contrails Cadet Handbook excludes the phrase 'so help me God' in the Cadet's Oath of allegiance, the Oath of Office for Officers and the Oath of Enlistment. more >>
A college prep high school teacher in Italy is coming under fire from liberal activist groups for asking students in a Catholicism class to rank the severity of sin on a list that includes homosexual behavior.
According to the U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom legal group, during the optional hour on Catholicism at Liceo Classico Mariotti, a university preparatory high school in Perugia, the teacher distributed a questionnaire to students asking them to rank from 0 to 10 the gravity of sinfulness of a list of activities, including selling drugs, war, terrorism, murder, contraception, abortion, premarital sex, and homosexual behavior.
Two groups, Arcigay and Omphalos Association, learned of the assignment and filed a complaint with the National Anti-Discrimination Office, claiming that the questionnaire provoked discriminatory arguments among the students, ADF said in a statement released Tuesday. more >>
Boots Hawks, a retired U.S. Army veteran, was suspended without pay from his job just before Veterans Day for including the phrase "God Bless America" under his company email signature.
According to Hawks, who has worked at Dameron Hospital in Stockton, Calif., for 10 years, he complied with his supervisors' request that he stop using the religious phrase as one of the quotes under his email signature, but informed them that he would also seek legal counsel about the situation.
A former Navy chaplain turned conservative social commentator is working to suspend the YouTube Account of a Progressive organization's watchdog group.
Gordon "Dr. Chaps" Klingenschmitt, speaker with The Pray in Jesus' Name Project, has filed multiple copyright infringement complaints against Right Wing Watch.
His efforts have resulted in YouTube taking down RWW's account earlier this month. At present, RWW is appealing the video website's decision. more >>
Something significant happened last week when the Supreme Court considered the issue of public prayer: a few of the Justices gave Americans an unusually candid peek behind the judicial curtain, revealing some provocative opinions on the role of faith and the purposes behind the First Amendment's religion clauses. The case was Town of Greece, New York v. Galloway and it centers on the practice of the Town to open its monthly board meetings with prayer. The Town has invited, without limitation, members of the public, including clergy, to deliver a short prayer at those meetings, but gave no restrictions on content or theme. The lower court ruled that, despite the fact that invocations were offered from persons of a variety of different faiths, the predominance of "sectarian Christian prayers" meant that the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment had been offended. That decision was appealed, and in oral arguments before the Supreme Court last Wednesday, some of the Justices took the occasion to travel outside the facts of the case and to offer up a fascinating, and somewhat troubling, view of religious liberty in our nation.
Justice Stephen Breyer commented, "in my own opinion … a major purpose of the religion clauses is to allow people in this country of different religion[s], including those of no religion, to live harmoniously together." Later, as counsel for the parties continued their arguments, Justice Elena Kagan picked up on those comments and remarked, in a similar vein, "[p]art of what we are trying to do here is to maintain a multi-religious society in a peaceful and harmonious way."
No one would deny the benefit of societal peace and harmony. The point, though, is whether those goals are what really energized and directed the Founders to recognize in our First Amendment the notion of religious freedom in the first place. To the contrary, my reading of the historical record tells me that religious freedom was recognized at our nation's founding as a good in itself. The consensus back then was that a belief in, and acknowledgement of, a sovereign God was an inherent liberty and privilege, indeed a spiritual duty, originating not from government, but from God. When Justices Breyer and Kagan (and I would surmise a few others on the Court as well) indicate that "peace and harmony" is the goal, then we can predict, ironically, that a very un-peaceful assault on faith will result. After all, under the view of Breyer, Kagan, et al., the concept of religious freedom would be ultimately reduced to a kind of de facto social bromide, permitted in practice only to the extent that it can keep the masses quiet. Such a utilitarian idea reduces faith in God to a mere social component for the courts to protect, or not, whichever way they wish, as long as the perceived goal of community harmony is being pursued. more >>