Oregon may soon allow teachers to wear headscarves, crosses in class

Posted December 2, 2009 by iamtheblog
Categories: Uncategorized

Since 1923, it has been illegal in Oregon for teachers to wear religious clothing in the classroom. This ban may be eliminated in February, paving the way for teachers to show their religious affiliation to their students, according to a recent article in The Oregonian (via The Focus).

As with the issue of burqas in France (or even burqini swimsuits in England), this is a tricky one. Currently, teachers in Oregon are not allowed to wear anything identifiably religious, such as “turbans, yarmulkes, crosses and headscarves” according to the Oregonian. Dave Hunt, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, says the law dates back to anti-immigrant hatred against Catholics. The legislature is expected to vote on removing this ban, after a similar law for allowing religious symbols at private-sector jobs was recently passed in the state.

For more information, read: “Oregon may soon allow teachers to wear headscarves, crosses in class“.


Dan Barker to visit Memphis, address church-state violations

Posted November 29, 2009 by iamtheblog
Categories: Uncategorized

Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor
from FFRF. Source: http://ffrf.org/radio

Freedom from religion is finally coming to Memphis! Well, I should say: Dan Barker from the Freedom From Religion Foundation is coming; since the City Council here continues its unconstitutional prayers at its official meetings, we’ll have to see if freedom from religion will soon prevail here.

Dan Barker, co-president of FFRF and author of the recent book godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists (foreward by Richard Dawkins), will be coming to the University of Memphis campus on Thursday, December 3, 2009.

Barker, who is a minister-turned-atheist, will be speaking about the importance of state-church separation — a particularly hot issue now in Memphis.

In September, FFRF lodged a complaint with the Memphis City Council over starting its meetings with convocations (read: religious prayers) and giving gifts emblazoned with the city’s official seal to religious leaders (see my original post here and a follow-up here). The controversy made the local media and has sparked some debate in town.

For now the city is continuing the convocations, and Council Chairman Harold Collins has said they would be willing to take the matter to court. It will be interesting to see what Dan Barker has to say on the issue. The FFRF has a long history of championing the rights of non-believers to have church and state separation, including taking a case against the White House faith-based initiatives all the way to the Supreme Court.

Dan Barker’s event will be held at Dec. 3 at 7:00 pm in the Rose Theater (470 University Center: map). For more information, visit the Campus Freethought Association website or contact Jason Grosser. I’ll also be sure to post any news on the Memphis state-church situation, as well as information on Dan Barker’s visit (including a report after the event).

Atheist student groups on the rise

Posted November 24, 2009 by iamtheblog
Categories: Uncategorized

It’s good to have some positive news about schools for a change. According to an article in The Washington Times, atheist groups on universities campuses are flourishing in the US. Groups affiliated with the Secular Student Alliance alone have skyrocketed from 80 in 2007 to 174 in 2009.

Continue reading…Atheist student groups on the rise.

Selective ban of certain religions, atheism, LGBT from Indianapolis schools’ Internet

Posted November 15, 2009 by iamtheblog
Categories: Uncategorized

Selective ban of certain religions, atheism, LGBT from Indianapolis schools’ Internet.

Indianapolis public schools, in a clear breach of church-state separation, are banning students from viewing the websites of only certain religions, as well as atheist and LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) sites.

View the rest of this post here.

Should ministers have to pay taxes?

Posted October 24, 2009 by iamtheblog
Categories: Uncategorized

Churches in the US are given a lot of benefits by the government, including tax exemptions on property tax, donations, social security taxes, and sales tax.

But did you know that preachers also personally receive hefty tax breaks from the IRS at everyone else’s expense? According to ABC News Sacramento, a lawsuit filed this week in Sacramento against the IRS, Timothy Geithner, & the state of California will help determine whether it’s legal for preachers to get a free pass on taxes that other citizens must pay.

View this rest of this post here: Should ministers have to pay taxes?.

No God is trending right now on Twitter

Posted October 24, 2009 by iamtheblog
Categories: Uncategorized

As of 9:25 am Central Time, “No God” has gone from 8th or 9th to 2nd on the Trending Topics. **UPDATE** As of 9:40 am, it is now the top trending topic. Some people are voting for Know Peace = No God / No God = Know Peace, while others are voting for No God = No Peace. Check it out and make your voice heard!

See the rest of this post at http://iamtheblog.com/wordpress2/?p=832

Memphis council ready to go to court over prayers

Posted September 13, 2009 by iamtheblog
Categories: Uncategorized

The Memphis City Council, under fire for allowing prayers “in Jesus’ name” and giving gifts to preachers at its public meetings, would be willing to take the matter to court if challenged, according to an article in Memphis’ top-selling daily newspaper, The Commercial Appeal…

Memphis council ready to go to court over prayers