The nation's largest group of atheists and agnostics is suing President Bush, the governor of Wisconsin and other officials over the federal law designating a National Day of Prayer. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued Friday in U.S. district court, arguing that the president's mandated proclamations calling on Americans to pray violates a constitutional ban on government officials endorsing religion.
I read about this in Libby Purves’s Times Online column, where she wrote,
The Washington Post reports that a group of atheists in Wisconsin are suing President Bush for having a National Prayer Day. Its going to happen on the first Thursday in May and they tearfully say it will create 'a "hostile environment for nonbelievers, who are made to feel as if they are political outsiders".
Tearfully? Purves gets snottier about the non-religious by the week.
A video has emerged showing Sarah Palin playing a central role in a church service in Alaska in which witchcraft is denounced. Thomas Muthee, a Kenyan who is a regular preacher at Palin's local Pentecostal church in Wasilla, made a passionate plea to defeat witchcraft and other supposed enemies of Palin during a sermon three years ago.
Sixty years ago, the UN composed a document setting out a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It lists a set of basic principles, such as that everyone should be treated equally, torture and slavery are forbidden, and everyone has the right to life, liberty and security.
The National Secular Society, together with the International Humanist and Ethical Union, has been working over the past year to try to raise the alarm about the concerted efforts by Islamic groups to write blasphemy laws into international human rights legislation. Our efforts seem to be paying off, as other countries and organisations begin to appreciate the profound dangers to free speech posed by proposals from the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).
Americans have an unhealthy desire to see average people promoted to positions of great authority. No one wants an average neurosurgeon or even an average carpenter, but when it comes time to vest a man or woman with more power and responsibility than any person has held in human history, Americans say they want a regular guy, someone just like themselves. President Bush kept his edge on the "Who would you like to have a beer with?" poll question in 2004, and won reelection.
Children start their new schools this week for the 12th year under Labour. Who could have predicted that more pupils than ever will be going to religious schools this term, as the churches boasted gleefully? Pews empty but faith schools multiply. There are about 14,000 non-religious schools, and nearly 7,000 faith schools.
Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin wants creationism taught in science classes. In a 2006 gubernatorial debate, the soon-to-be governor of Alaska said of evolution and creation education, "Teach both. You know, don't be afraid of education. Healthy debate is so important, and it's so valuable in our schools. I am a proponent of teaching both."