Category Archives: History

President Includes Atheists On Religious Freedom Day

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created image of a wall between words Church and StateToday is Religious Freedom Day and President Obama issued a Proclamation to honor the day. The text included atheists as part of the religious diversity and cultural fabric of the United States. He also mentioned the important thing isn’t someone’s faith but that we all should support freedom, equality, justice, and separation of church and state.
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Fifty Years After Abington School District v. Schempp, Church & State Still In A Struggle

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photo of Ellery Schempp in 2012
Ellery Schempp – His protest of required Bible reading in his High School lead to the case Abington School District v. Schempp being decided in 1963

On June 17th 1963, the US Supreme Court handed down its landmark decision that supported the separation of church and state in public schools – Abington School District v. Schempp. Even 50 years after the decision, we seem to have to fight the same battle over and over again. That is what happens in the struggle for civil rights. You have to be vigilant or they can be taken away. We need to celebrate dissenters like Schempp and we all need to try and emulate his activism.
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The IRS Also Targeted Camp Quest

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the logo for Camp QuestThe recent media dust up about the Internal Revenue Service doing their job when considering group tax exemptions under the 501(c)4 rules focused on conservative groups being ‘targeted’ for political reasons. What hasn’t been reported as much is that non-conservative groups, including Camp Quest, were also targeted for extra scrutiny. This just shows that the conservative group’s claim of victimhood is more hysterical than the facts support.
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Religious Freedom Only Counts If You’re Christian

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cartoon showing hypocrisy of those who want unity but exclude MuslimsTwo recent church and state stories once again prove that some Christians in this country only believe religious freedom counts if you’re a Christian. Debate over a Defense Department budget bill in Congress and Hecklers at a Muslim Group’s Event In Tennessee shows there are still people on the wrong side of history. This is why we have to remain vigilant against attempts by bigots to violate the separation of church and state.
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Judge Says World Trade Center Cross Is Secular – Tosses Atheist Lawsuit

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image of WTC Cross being blessed before installation at the 9/11 memorial in New York
WTC Cross being blessed before installation at the 9/11 memorial in New York

Back in July of 2011, American Atheists filed a lawsuit to prevent a Christian cross from being installed at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. On Good Friday, U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts ruled that the obvious Christian cross was really a secular item. I don’t know who should be more angry with the decision, atheists who don’t have any symbol marking their dead at the site, or Christians who keep having their symbols deemed generic and secular.
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Overzealous Application Of Separation Can Give The Principle A Black Eye

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created image showing Seperation of Church and StateMost of the posts on this blog talk about agents of the government NOT doing enough to support or ignoring the principle of the separation of church and state. Some religionists, in an effort to refute the principle, bring up examples of the overzealous application of the principle. Their intention is clear. They think that if the government goes too far in separation that it hurts the rights of believers but such overreaches are few and far between and don’t refute the principle that separation of church and state is needed.
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