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Freethought Today · March 2013

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Overheard

Because the florist Marina Plowman no bouquet of roses wanted to deliver a 16-year-old atheist, she was now being sued by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Twins Florist, a florist business and family business since 1951, in the small town in Cranston, Rhode Iceland wants people really just be fun.

Online translation of a German story about FFRF suing over a florist’s refusal to deliver to Jessica Ahlquist 

translate.google.com, 1-31-13

 

I was a Brownie in 1978 and wanted to become a Girl Scout. It was not to be. I had a hard time fitting in as a kid. My Sunday school teacher’s eyes shot daggers at me when, after a lesson on the Virgin Mary, I asked, “Was Joseph a virgin, too?” I just didn’t take to the religion thing. Alongside my bible, I read Bulfinch’s Mythology, and I much preferred the Greek gods. They fell in love and had adventures and didn’t seem to take themselves so seriously. There was laughter in heaven.  Jesus was sort of OK — I liked some of his sermons. But the bible seemed filled with harsh de-sert people (mostly men) morbidly obsessed with death and suffering. What had they to do with me?

Lynn Stuart Parramore, “I was an atheist child, and the Girl Scouts didn’t want me”

salon.com, 2-10-13

 

When I think of an army sporting a Christian cross, I think Crusades. Neither my country nor my army force me to swear allegiance to Odin, Jesus, Buddha or Horus. Freedom from religious oppression is pretty much the reason why the United States was founded.

Email from Afghanistan by Sgt. Joel Muhlnickel, objecting to a cross and steeple, which was ordered to be removed, at Forward Operating Base Orgun-E 

NBC News, 1-24-13

 

CNN hasn’t flagged this iReport as inappropriate, but some community members have. This is a divisive topic, however it does not violate our Community Guidelines, so we ask people to please stop flagging it.

Daphne Sashin, producer, on a column by Texan Deborah Mitchell headlined “Why I Raise My Children Without God”

CNN, 1-14-13

 

As a Christian, I have no personal issues with a prayer being said at a public meeting. But we are elected to serve the public. We need to make the public meeting a comfortable environment for all those that wish to attend.

Councilman Jason Jones, Mount Holly, Pa., questioning Mayor Richard Dow’s insertion of a Christian prayer into the meeting without consulting the council

phillyburbs.com, 1-30-13

 

They operate like the Mafia. They walk into a store and say it would be a shame if your window was broken or you lost your clientele. They might tell the father of a girl who wears a skirt that’s too short and he’s, say, a store owner, “If you ever want to sell a pair of shoes, speak to your daughter.”

Rabbi Allan Nadler, director of Jewish studies at Drew University in Madison, N.J., on “modesty squads” operating in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods

New York Times, 1-30-13

 

A few heavenly sources speculated the catalyst for the Divine Creator’s most recent bout of existential anguish may have come earlier this month, when one of His routine tsunamis claimed the lives of 6,000 people in the Indonesian port city of Kupang, causing Him to question the meaning of existence in general.

God, quoted in “God Freaks Self Out By Lying Awake Contemplating Own Immortality”

The Onion, 1-31-13 

 

I did not believe my participation to be an act of joint worship, but one of mercy and care to a community shocked and grieving an unspeakably horrific event. I apologize where I have caused offense by pushing Christian freedom too far, and I request you charitably receive my apology.

Pastor Rob Morris of Christ the King Lutheran Church, Newtown, Conn., who was asked to apologize by the president of the Missouri Synod for taking part in “joint worship with other religions”

Reuters, 2-6-13

Our best estimate is that 700 people give up reading the bible every single day.

Paul Caminiti, vice president for bible engagement at Biblica [formerly the International Bible Society], Colorado Springs, Colo.

Mission Network News, 4-6-12

 

A number of courses and their instructional materials incorporate pseudo-scholarship, including claims that the bible provides scientific proof of a 6,000-year-old Earth (young Earth creationism) and that the United States was founded as a Christian nation based on biblical Christian principles. At least two districts’ bible courses include materials suggesting that the origins of racial diversity among humans today can be traced back to Noah’s sons, a claim that has long been an important element of some forms of racism.

Mark Chancey, professor of religious studies at Southern Methodist, in a report on bible courses in Texas public schools

Texas Freedom Network, 1-16-13

 

Hey Catholics, news flash — if the pope can quit, it’s OK for you to quit, too. ... Every poll of American Catholics shows they find most Vatican teachings to be irrelevant. Catholics use birth control, they get divorced, they have premarital sex, they masturbate, sometimes all in one night.

Entertainer Bill Maher, suggesting Hillary Clinton as a replacement for Pope Benedict because she “knows how to handle a guy who can’t keep his hands to himself”

“Real Time With Bill Maher,” 2-15-13

 

Percentage of freshmen at four-year colleges who declare “Roman Catholic” as their religious affiliation: 26. Who declare “None”: 25.

Harper’s Index, October 2012

 

The real reason for the bill is to allow certain religious or political groups to reject gay or lesbian students with the commonwealth’s blessing. It’s cut from the same mold as legislation passed last year to send taxpayer funds to adoption agencies that discriminate against prospective parents on the basis of religion and sexual preference.

Editorial calling on Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to veto a bill passed by the House of Delegates and the Senate allowing religious and student groups to enforce discriminatory membership practices

The Virginian-Pilot, 2-19-13

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