An atheist state lawmaker in Arizona has been barred from offering a prayer at the beginning of legislative sessions after being told that prayers on the house floor must be directed toward God.
According to TusconNewsNow, in the Arizona House of Representatives for many years, lawmakers or other individuals issue an invocation to kick off every session.
But when Democratic state Rep. Juan Mendez, a self-proclaimed atheist from Tempe, requested an opportunity to issue the prayer, he was informed in a memo issued by Republican House Majority Leader Steve Montenegro to all state representatives that no one will be allowed to lead the traditional prayer unless they intend on calling on a deity. more >>
A national atheist group petitioned President Barack Obama to give nonbelievers the same attention and protections as other religious minorities after he recently visited a Baltimore mosque.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) letter, composed by co-presidents Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, references the president's recent visits to a U.S. mosque and the Israeli embassy, where Obama called on Americans to stop religious-fueled bigotry.
"It is laudable for the President to embrace citizens of all colors and religious viewpoints as being part of 'one American family' and to caution citizens not to be 'bystanders to bigotry,'" FFRF acknowledged. "But there is one U.S. minority that has been consistently excluded from such notice: nonreligious Americans." more >>
President Barack Obama claimed in a wide-ranging interview that he has met most hopes and expectations people had of his presidency, and also singled out Pope Francis' visit to the White House as a stand-out moment.
"I've done a lot of them and I've made progress on almost all of them," Obama told "CBS This Morning" about voters' expectations in an interview that was posted on Tuesday.
"I feel pretty good about being able to match up what I said I would accomplish with what has been accomplished. I mentioned in the State of the Union that one of the things I regret though is that I haven't been able to drain some of the rancor that exists here in Washington," he continued. more >>
NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, has been accused of censoring religious speech among its Christian employees, including banning the name Jesus.
The JSC reportedly told employees last year that the name "Jesus" could not appear in newsletters pertaining to the Praise and Worship Club that meets during the lunch hour.
"NASA has a long history of respecting the religious speech of their employees, including defending, in court, the astronauts who read the biblical account of creation while orbiting the moon. That tradition should continue here," said Liberty Institute Senior Counsel Jeremy Dys to The Christian Post in an interview Tuesday. more >>
A Colorado college is banning all locker room nameplates in its gym to avoid allowing people to include Bible verses on the plates, despite perviosuly allowing phrases like "Give 'em Hell" and "Take your whiskey clear."
Colorado School of Mines in Golden was sued last year when it refused to allow a donor to include references to Colossians 3:23 and Micah 5:9 on a nameplate.
Last Friday the Alliance Defending Freedom, which sued the school over the censorship of the Bible references, officially withdrew its legal action against the School of Mines. more >>
Over 150 Coptic Christians reportedly staged a sit-in protest on Sunday at the provincial administration office in Minya, Egypt, spreading awareness for the continued kidnappings of Christians across the country.
The protest in Minya specifically highlighted the case of an 18-year-old Coptic girl who has been missing for several days, with her family in the city of Samalot convinced she has been kidnapped, according to Fides News Agency.
"Kidnappings that target Christians remain a scourge for the Coptic community in many areas of Egypt. Already several appeals have been launched by Christian organizations to Egyptian authorities, including President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, so that adequate measures are taken to combat this phenomenon," the agency reported. more >>