Members of the Satanic Temple are celebrating Florida Gov. Rick Scott's recent bill defending religious freedom and will be holding a rally in his honor.
Satanists are getting ready to show solidarity with Scott on Jan. 25 at a rally in front of his office in Tallahassee, celebrating his recent approval of State Senate Bill 98, which allows children to read inspirational messages at assemblies and sporting events.
"The Satanic Temple embraces the free expression of religion, and Satanists are happy to show their support of Rick Scott who -- particularly with SB 98 -- has reaffirmed our American freedom to practice our faith openly, allowing our Satanic children the freedom to pray in school," a press release by the Satanic Temple states. The temple's leader, Neil Bricke, will deliver a speech to the crowd during the rally. more >>
A Wisconsin-based atheist organization has threatened a middle school in Ohio with a lawsuit should school officials not remove a portrait of Jesus Christ from a hallway.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation of Madison sent a letter last week to officials at Jackson City Schools over the portrait, which hangs in the Jackson Middle School building.
In an interview with local media, FFRF staff attorney Rebecca Markert said that the portrait is unconstitutional and also alienating to non-Christian students. more >>
Two British comedians have announced their plan to start an atheist "church," known as The Sunday Assembly, to be offered for free once a month in London.
"We thought it would be a shame not to enjoy the good stuff about religion, like the sense of community, just because of a theological disagreement," said Sanderson Jones, a stand-up comedian who hatched the idea for the "church" with fellow comedienne Pippa Evans.
The Londonist blog describes the monthly morning meeting, held at a former church in Islington known as The Nave, as a "godless gathering for people who want to hear funny and interesting people talk, sing songs and celebrate life." more >>
A Wisconsin-based atheist organization has filed suit against the Internal Revenue Service over what it deems "preferential treatment" for churches regarding taxes.
Freedom From Religion Foundation filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin last Thursday against Steven Miller, acting commissioner of the IRS.
"The plaintiffs seek a declaration that preferential application and informational filing exemptions for churches and certain other religious organizations and affiliates under §501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, as well as the equal protection rights mandated by the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment," reads the suit in part. more >>
Peter Higgs, the world famous physicist who introduced the theory of the so-called "God particle," says outspoken atheist and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins needs to realize science and religion aren't necessarily incompatible.
In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, reports Herald Scotland, Higgs said Dawkins is at risk of becoming like those people he usually opposes – fundamentalists.
"What Dawkins does too often is to concentrate his attack on fundamentalists. But there are many believers who are just not fundamentalists," said Higgs. "Fundamentalism is another problem. I mean, Dawkins in a way is almost a fundamentalist himself, of another kind." more >>
Atheist professor Richard Dawkins has clarified remarks he made when he stated that being taught to believe in an eternal hell as a child is worse than being sexually abused, reminding critics that he himself was abused by a priest at a young age.
"It was a very unpleasant and embarrassing experience, but the mental trauma was soon exorcised by comparing notes with my contemporaries who had suffered it previously at the hands of the same master," Dawkins writes on his official website. "Thank goodness, I have never personally experienced what it is like to believe – really and truly and deeply believe – in hell. But I think it can be plausibly argued that such a deeply held belief might cause a child more long-lasting mental trauma than the temporary embarrassment of mild physical abuse."
The evolutionary biologist's remarks come in light of a recent article by the Daily Mail that referenced an interview on Al Jazeera in which Dawkins said: "Horrible as sexual abuse no doubt was, the damage was arguably less than the long-term psychological damage inflicted by bringing the child up Catholic in the first place." The scientist wrote similar claims in his 2006 bestseller The God Delusion. more >>