A Virginia-based businessman has withdrawn his sponsorship for a pro golfer due to the athlete's support for conservative television host Glenn Beck and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, as well as his Christian beliefs. The sponsor said in an email regarding the termination that he believes the golfer's political and religious views are "childish and uneducated."
Virginia-based businessman Brian McMahon, head of Nebraska Golf Card (NGC), a local promotional business, notified David Reynolds, agent to golfer Jeff Cochran a few weeks ago that his business would be dropping its sponsorship of Cochran. Cochran is currently an aspiring golfer who used the sponsorship of NGC as his primary income for he and his family.
McMahon told Reynolds, in emails obtained by The Blaze, that he was deciding to drop the athlete's sponsorship after Cochran told the two men at a previous dinner that he admired Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tx), a self-proclaimed member of the Tea Party, and his father, Pastor Rafael Cruz, referencing the elder Cruz's recent appearance on conservative radio host Glenn Beck's show, "The Glenn Beck Program." more >>
A local atheist chapter in New Jersey is bashing the Pope and other religious leaders for suggesting Christians pray for victims of natural disasters. The group has launched a series of digital billboards that read "Disaster victims need prayer [...] real help."
New Jersey's American Atheists chapter will be posting digital billboards with that phrase and others throughout the center of the state, the organization announced this week. The six billboards will include the same phrase with the words "bible" and "religion" crossed out instead of "prayer," and they will be erected on three major highways with the help of the advertising company Clear Channel Outdoors.
In a press release by American Atheists, the organization argues that following the massive destruction of Typhoon Haiyan earlier this month in the Philippines, Catholic leaders, including the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines and Pope Francis, have responded to the disaster in "non-helpful ways" that include sending bibles and rosaries to disaster victims and tweeting for Christians to pray for those affected by the Typhoon. more >>
The Freedom From Religion Foundation is putting up over 55 billboards across Sacramento, Calif., in November with messages like "I'm not a believer and life is still awesome." A local bishop has branded the ads as "propaganda."
"While I'm not happy about these billboards, I am certain people still, when they look deep down in their soul and in their heart, find a spark. They believe in a higher power," said Bishop Jaime Soto with the Cathedral of a Blessed Sacrament in an interview with FOX40.
FFRF, one of the largest secular groups in the nation, says that its idea behind the billboards is to show that atheists are regular people too who can be good and happy and love the holidays, but without a belief in God. The ads feature images of secular people and couples with declarations reading: "Integrity and passion require no gods" and "Reason. Equality. Doing good without Gods." more >>
Atheists in San Diego, Calif. are trying a new approach to recruiting non-believers by offering food, such as pretzels and cheezits, and putting up large banners that read "Relax: hell does not exist, or heaven either, enjoy your life."
The atheists are members of the San Diego-based group the San Diego Coalition of Reason, and every Saturday they set up a booth in the city's Balboa Park alongside other religious groups, such as Hare Krishnas and evangelical Christians, to educate passerby on their lack of beliefs. Along with the quirky banner that hangs over their booth, members of the group also lure people into a conversation using pretzels and Cheezits; the pretzels are used to symbolized the "twisted logic" of theism, while the cheezits represent the "power" of non-belief.
"We like to have a gathering place for our members, people that want to chat, get to know each other, they can come do that on any Saturday," Debbie Allen, one of the organizers for the atheist group, told local KPBS-TV. "But also we like to let the community know that there are groups that they may want to participate in." more >>
A second public school has ended ties with Franklin Graham's Operation Christmas Child after an atheist group threatened a lawsuit. However, angered by the developments, parents at the Colorado-area school have stated their commitment to continue raising funds for Operation Christmas Child independently of the school, and they also held a "Religious Rights Rally" outside of school on the public sidewalk on Wednesday afternoon.
SkyView Academy, a charter elementary school located in Douglas County, Colorado, announced last week that it will be ending its participation with Operation Christmas Child, a program of Franklin Graham's evangelical relief organization Samaritan's Purse that provides needy children around the world with Christmas presents during the holidays. Students at SkyView had been participating in the program for the past two years as part of their community service project, and their efforts included raising donations for the program and assembling shoe boxes to hold the gifts for each needy child.
Both Skyview Academy and East Point Academy in West Columbia, South Carolina recently received letters from the American Humanist Association threatening lawsuits if the schools continued to participate in the program. more >>
A small town in upstate New York has rallied together to continue funding its local community's Christmas celebration, even though an atheist's complaint forced the local government to stop supporting the event.
The town of Spencerport, N.Y., a small village located just outside of Rochester, has been celebrating its annual "Christmas on the Canal" event for 17 years until this year, when Elaine Spaziano, the event's founder and organizer, announced that the tradition had to be canceled after an atheist complained about First Amendment rights and the separation of church and state to the local government.
The event features an array of holiday-themed activities, such as a tree lighting ceremony, carols, a nativity, a blessing by a local clergy member, and other festive events. The celebration was funded partially by Spencerport and the neighboring village of Ogden, and both villages were forced to pull their funds and support for the celebration this year after an atheist activist complained that the event used taxpayer dollars to support Christianity. The activist reportedly had a petition and threatened to take the cities to court if they continued donating to "Christmas on the Canal." more >>