Reza Aslan, author of the controversial nonfiction work Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, said in a recent column that atheist public figures like Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Bill Maher don't accurately represent atheism.
Known as the "New Atheists," Aslan argued in a Salon column published Friday that these public figures "do not speak for the majority of atheists."
A Pennsylvania parent upset that his child was being exposed to religion through the Star of David necklace being worn by a teacher filed a complaint but learned that the school board supported the teacher's freedom.
"They are there to learn about education, not to learn about religious points of view," Ernest Perce, the man responsible for the complaint, told ABC 27 news. "If a child is subjected to a teacher where a symbol of Judaism is allowed to skirt the law, I believe that a Muslim should be allowed to cover her head as well as a Christian to cover her head like the Bible commands."
Perce was once the state director of the Pennsylvania chapter of American Atheists and led a protest against politicians supporting a resolution calling 2012 the "Year of the Bible." Even though he received a great deal of blowback for a billboard featuring a person in a yoke, with the words: "Slaves, obey your masters. Colossians 3:22," Perce was determined to stand firm. more >>
A court in New Jersey heard arguments Wednesday on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an atheist group that wants to remove the phrase "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance after parents complained that their child's public school was reciting the phrase.
Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David Bauman heard arguments on the motion to dismiss the atheist group's lawsuit, which was filed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty on behalf of New Jersey high school student Samantha Jones.
In April, the legal arm of the American Humanist Association filed a lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District and its superintendent, David M. Healy, in the Superior Court of New Jersey on behalf of the family that took issue with the phrase. more >>
A planned abortion debate at Oxford University organized by a pro-life group was shut down this week following intimidation by members of the Student Union's Women's Campaign group. A barrister has accused the college of caving into "criminal intimidation" and not respecting free speech rights.
"We only expected to have the same rights of expression as any other Oxford student society, and we're disappointed that scare tactics proved successful," the Oxford Students for Life group said in a statement on Tuesday.
"Our society exists to defend the rights of the most vulnerable, including the unborn, elderly, and disabled. We think it is essential that Oxford University allows an open debate on these issues. We're confident that most Oxford students would prefer free speech to censorship, and we look forward to continuing this hugely important conversation." more >>
Church leaders are upset after a recent article in The New York Times revealed that the Internal Revenue Service can use undercover agents disguised as members of the clergy as a means to gather privileged information.
Following the Times' report last weekend that over 40 federal agencies use undercover agents disguised as attorneys, doctors, news media and other positions to gain access to privileged information, church leaders are appalled to find out that IRS agents are also allowed to pose as clergy, even though the agency doesn't have a crime-fighting function that warrants such a use of undercover tactics.
In a Tuesday interview with The Christian Post, Director of the Christian Defense Coalition, Rev. Patrick Mahoney, said he thinks it's an "absolute disgrace" that the IRS is allowed use undercover agents disguised as clergy. He added that he couldn't think of any justifiable reasons as to why the agency should be allowed to disguise agents as clergy. more >>
A Fox Business reporter is accusing her former CNBC bosses of reprimanding her for pursuing reporting angles that pointed out the mathematical flaws in the president's Obamacare law.
Financial reporter Melissa Francis disclosed on her Fox Business program "Money with Melissa Francis" that when she worked for CNBC, she was told numerous times by her superiors to stop "disrespecting the office of the president" by reporting on what she called "the math of Obamacare."
Francis explained that while at CNBC she pointed out to her viewers that it's not possible to increase the number of people receiving health coverage, including those with preexisting conditions, and not have healthcare coverage cost more for most people. more >>