Tag Archives | Freedom Of Religion

New York’s Satanic Temple Launches Campaign Promoting Freedom Of Prayer To Satan In School

schoolCould offerings to the devil in the classroom help close the test score gap between the United States and other developed nations? From the Satanic Temple’s press release:

The Satanic Temple, a religious organization based in New York City, has declared May 15th as “Protect Children Day” with the mission of putting an end to corporal punishment and the use of isolation rooms in schools for Temple followers as well as for others who share their beliefs.

In addition to making a letter available to students, The Satanic Temple is also providing fact sheets on corporal punishment and solitary confinement, a Satanic-themed activity book, and FAQs so that students can understand their religious rights in school. “We want children to know that they are permitted to pray to Satan in school and that they can even share their religious beliefs with others in accordance with certain guidelines,” Greaves said.

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Satanists Fight For Display In Florida State Capitol Alongside Nativity Scene And Festivus Pole

nativityI am normally against displays of religion on public property, but I would be curious to see this come to fruition. The Florida Times-Union reports:

The state Department of Management Services on Wednesday denied an attempt by “Satanists” to put up a display in the Florida Capitol, which currently showcases the Florida Prayer Network’s Christian Nativity scene, a Festivus pole made of beer cans, posters from atheists, and a crudely-made Flying Spaghetti Monster.

“The department’s position is that your proposed display is grossly offensive during the holiday season,” DMS Administrative Assistant Sherrie K. Routt emailed a group calling itself the Satanic Temple. The proposed display that bannered the phrase “Happy holidays from the Satanic Temple” atop a diorama of an angel falling into hell.

Lucien Greaves, a spokesman for the temple, said in an email the group was “surprised and dismayed” by the rejection. However, before possibly challenging the decision, the temple is seeking clarification from DMS.

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Florida Atheist’s Challenge Leads To Display Of Festivus Pole In The State Capitol

festivusA Florida man has forced the state to display his homemade pillar of beer cans alongside a nativity scene at the state capitol, NBC 6 South Florida reports:

A nearly 6-foot-tall pole made from emptied beer cans will be put up in the Florida Capitol this week as a not-so-subtle protest to the recent placement of a Christian nativity scene.

The homemade Festivus pole will be erected most likely on Wednesday in the same first-floor rotunda as a nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus Christ that was put up last week by the Florida Prayer Network. Festivus is a “holiday” created for the TV sitcom “Seinfeld”.

Chaz Stevens, a Deerfield Beach resident, applied to the state Department of Management Services to put the Festivus pole on display. Stevens said the intent of the Festivus pole is to make a political statement on the need for the separation of church and state.

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Czech Pastafarian Wins Rights To Wear Strainer At All Times

pastafarian

Someone stop this before it makes a mockery out of religion! The Daily Mail reports:

Prankster Lukas Novy, from Brno in the Czech Republic, claims that his Pastafarian faith means he has to wear the sieve at all times. Novy claims to be a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Officials ruled that turning down Novy’s request would be a breach of the country’s religious equality laws. Brno City Hall spokesman Pavel Zara explained: ‘The application complies with the laws of the Czech Republic where headgear for religious or medical reasons is permitted if it does not hide the face.’

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Slandering the Heretics

Heretics“There is a war going on for your mind;” a war being fought on battlefields and on billboards, in universities and Sunday schools, in blogs and boardrooms, capitol buildings and city parks. From Wall Street to Main Street, from Kabul to Kansas City, the combined facts of seven thousand years of civilization and seven billion human beings struggling to eat, breathe, live and believe are all coming to a head. It has many names and many forms, running the gamut from Terror to Women to Drugs to Christmas—all inextricably linked by the immense power of ideas and the belief systems that propagate them.

In the United States, as we move unsteadily into the second decade of the new millennium, there are two reigning champions vying for supremacy over the American soul. These sometimes united, sometimes conflicting ideologies are called Christianity and Consumerism—the Pillars of Hercules for the modern age—shakily supporting the fading glory of the last of the global superpowers.… Read the rest

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A Pastafarian Is A U.S. Soldier (Finally)

FSMThanks for the find from Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing:

Justin Griffith, an atheist in the US military, tells the story of how he ended up with ATHEIST/FSM on his dogtags. It all started when he enlisted as an atheist, only to have his recruiter record his religion as “Baptist.” Even switching recruiters didn’t end up with the error corrected. At boot camp, recruits were only allowed one “holy book” from their stated religion, so he brought The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which became the most-loved book in camp, much-borrowed and re-read by the other recruits. Even his drill sergeant liked it. Kinda.

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Republicans Rally Against ‘War On Religious Freedom’

2012ValentinesTeaParty028-1AFP on the widespread belief that there is a war on Christianity in America:

Life has gone from bad to worse since Donna Sturdivant’s husband was laid off four years ago and now the thing which brings her comfort — her faith — is under threat. “We’re starting to see our religious freedom taken away. Our Christian faith is being stepped on. Like kids in the schools — they can’t talk about God,” Sturdivant, 60, told AFP. “There’s something wrong in America.”

At a recent rally in Wisconsin, Rick Santorum painted the upcoming election in stark terms: “The lights of freedom may well go out if we don’t win this election.”

Barry Dean, who like Santorum home schools his many children, is also deeply concerned about the direction of the country. “Christians are persecuted in many other countries and I think this is the next one,” said Dean, sipping a soda after the rally.

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The JFK Speech That Made Rick Santorum Want to “Throw Up” (Video)

I’m really wondering if the goal now of the Republican Party is to get Barack Obama re-elected. Scott Collins reports in the LA Times:

Rick Santorum has not been a frequent presence on the Sunday morning chat shows during his Republican presidential campaign. But when he shows up, he really makes an impression.

On Sunday, the former Pennsylvania senator told ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” that a 1960 speech by John F. Kennedy to Baptist ministers in Houston made him want to “throw up.” In the speech, Kennedy, then running for president, tried to reassure critics that, as a Catholic, he would not take orders from the pope and that he believed in “absolute” separation of church and state.

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10 Scariest States to Be An Atheist

AtheistsInteresting article from Greta Christina on Alternet last year. How many people agree with the list?

Let’s be clear. It’s not like it’s easy to be an atheist anywhere in the U.S. Atheists are the most distrusted and disliked of all minority groups — more than blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, immigrants, and gays and lesbians — and polls show that Americans are less likely to vote for an atheist than they are for a person in any other minority or marginalized category. And this hostility can have serious consequences, in the form of harassment, bullying, ostracism, vandalism, alienation from family, loss of jobs, and more.

But to be honest, there are parts of the country where being an atheist really isn’t all that awful. Heck, I live in one of them. There’s some bigotry, some discrimination, a fair amount of misunderstanding and even hostility … but all things considered, it’s pretty okay.

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Atheist Girl In Rhode Island Faces Stream Of Death Threats

Jessica Ahlquist is a 16-year-old self-described nerd who has garnered nationwide attention after successfully suing to have a giant banner emblazoned with an official school prayer removed from the auditorium of her public high school in Cranston, Rhode Island. The response has demonstrated the limits of Christian love — she has basically become the villain of her entire city, with her state representative, Peter Palumbo, called Jessica an “evil little thing” on the radio, and a sample of the online outpouring of hatred from other Cranston residents can be seen on JesusFetusFajitaFishsticks:

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