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Sectarian Prayer Policy Resumes In N.C. County After High Court Ruling

A North Carolina county has resumed its policy of inviting clergy from mostly Christian denominations to deliver sectarian prayers before its board meetings.

In yet another instance of fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 decision in Greece v. Galloway, U.S. District Court Judge James A. Beaty Jr. recently lifted an injunction that had barred Forsyth County from opening its meetings with Christian prayers. Read more

Boot These Bigoted Bans: Movement Seeks To Remove Anti-Atheist Bias From State Constitutions

Eight states still have provisions in their constitutions that either bar atheists outright from holding public office or require people to believe certain things about God and religion before they can be elected.

These provisions can’t be enforced. They were declared invalid by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1961 ruling in the case of Torcaso v. Watkins. Yet they linger on, a testament to the bigotry of bygone days. Read more

Divine Discrimination?: Religious Refusals Likely To Grow In Marriage Equality’s Wake

North Carolina’s same-sex marriage ban is probably history. But the Supreme Court’s decision to let a lower court ruling striking the ban doesn’t sit so well with the Religious Right, and thanks to the efforts of local extremists, a new front in the civil rights battle has emerged: religious refusals. Read more

Equal Access For All: Atheist Student Clubs Shouldn’t Be Subject To A Heckler’s Veto

If you have any contact with a public high school, you probably know that students can form an array of clubs that meet during non-instructional time.

My son, who is in 10th grade, reports a dizzying list of student-run clubs at his school, covering every possible interest. Along with some friends, my son joined the anime club and was for a time involved in a “duct tape club.” (Don’t ask.)

There are also many religious clubs at the school. Jewish students have a club, as do Muslim students. There are several Christian clubs.

How can this be? It’s a public school. Read more

Missed Opportunity: North Carolina’s Voucher Program Likely To Fund Homeschools

Supporters of North Carolina’s new voucher program say its “Opportunity Scholarships” are intended to benefit the state’s most disadvantaged students. This is common rhetoric from school choice advocates, who base their arguments on the assumption that private schools always offer students a better education.
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Equal Education: N.C. Christian School Rejects Vouchers After Discrimination Fight

A North Carolina private school will refuse voucher money after a public outcry over its anti-gay policies. Myrtle Grove Christian School had been approved to receive funds through the state’s new “Opportunity Scholarship” program, but under its ‘Biblical morality policy,’ it refuses admission to LGBT students and even the straight children of LGBT parents.

Critics called it state-funded discrimination.
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Monumental Mistake: Calif. City’s Memorial Doesn’t Honor All Veterans

The municipal leaders of Lake Elsinore, Calif., decided they wanted to honor local veterans with a special monument in front of a local baseball stadium.

No problem there. The southern California city of about 51,000 people has produced its share of veterans, and giving them special recognition is a nice idea.

Unfortunately, the way the city chose to go about it was not so good. The original design was for a black granite marker depicting a soldier kneeling in front of a cross. Read more

‘Rock Beyond Belief’: Secularist Rally Gets Fair Play At Fort Bragg

Thousands of people are expected to converge on Fort Bragg in North Carolina tomorrow for “Rock Beyond Belief.” The festival, featuring music, speakers and activities for children, may be unprecedented; it appears to be the first openly atheistic event to take place at a military installation.

How did this come about? Oddly enough, evangelist Billy Graham’s ministry had something to do with it. Read more

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