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March 26, 2012

Atheists Rally for Reason; Urged to Mock the Religious

WASHINGTON – Thousands of atheists showed up at the National Mall Saturday for what they believe will be a game-changing event for secularists. Though the Reason Rally was billed as a celebration of reason and a "coming out" event for atheists, as opposed to an anti-religion one, some viewed it as the latter. "They said it wasn't going to be anti-God but all the signs are. So it doesn't fit because they're really not rallying for reason. They just say they are," said Tom Gilson, a writer and missions strategist.

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March 26, 2012

Atheist Activists Adopt Civil Rights Strategy of Current, Past Movements

An atheist activist leader says that atheists are discriminated against socially and politically in the U.S., and compares their struggles to that of African-Americans during the era of Martin Luther King Jr. and the homosexual rights movement of today. Al Stefanelli, author of A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World: The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth and who says he is a former Southern Baptist pastor, told The Christian Post that atheists in this nation are not only discriminated against, but marginalized and stereotyped as well.

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March 26, 2012

Federal Court Hears About Pregnancy Center Signs

Lawyers from the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) were in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today, arguing for a pregnancy center in Maryland forced to place a sign on its property noting that local government thinks women need to seek help someplace else. Montgomery County doesn’t require abortion facilities to put any such signs on their buildings, noted ADF attorney Matt Bowman.

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March 23, 2012

Art imitating life

When producer/directors Jon and Andrew Erwin asked Shari Rigsby to consider a small but crucial role in their film October Baby, none of them realized how closely the script about a young woman who discovers she survived an abortion attempt paralleled Rigsby’s own life. Rigsby, who turns in a phenomenal, emotionally wrenching performance as the young woman’s biological mother, recently spoke with me about the experiences she brought to the part and what she hopes audiences will take away from October Baby as it opens today. (For a review of the film, see “Sharp eyes,? Dec. 07, 2011.)

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March 23, 2012

Student sues Ga. school over proposed prom changes Read more: http://articles.pikespeakparent.com/a

TLANTA — A suburban Atlanta high school student says in a federal lawsuit that administrators removed him as student body president after he promoted changes aimed at making the prom more inclusive to gay students. Reuben Lack, an 18-year-old senior at Alpharetta High School, filed the lawsuit this week in U.S. District Court. He's asking a judge to issue an injunction reinstating him as student body president.

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March 23, 2012

‘Stand Up for Religious Freedom’ Rallies Draw Attention to Obama’s Contraceptive Mandate

Tens of thousands of people are estimated to gather Friday in 131 cities across the nation to rally around the mantra of religious liberty brought on by President Obama's mandate on birth control. "We are honored to be hosting a 'Stand Up for Religious Freedom' rally here in Washington, D.C. at the HHS building," the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Fund, told The Christian Post. "When the president issued the HHS mandate, what he failed to understand is this is not an issue about health care – it is one of religious freedom."

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March 23, 2012

Pro-Life Caucus Discusses Abortion in ObamaCare

The Congressional Pro-Life Caucus, joined by members of several family advocacy organizations, on Wednesday held a press conference exposing the mechanisms by which the federal health insurance exchanges set up in the new federal health care law force all taxpayers to subsidize abortions. While Congress was out of session last week, the Obama administration issued a final rule saying that all insurance companies wishing to take part in the exchanges will include surcharges of “no less than $1 a month? in every plan consumers buy. They also aren’t allowed to tell consumers about it up front.

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March 22, 2012

Atheist ‘flabbergasted’ at Christians’ assistance

Athens — Sometimes life can take a turn that makes you see things in a different light. A few weeks ago, Patrick Greene of San Antonio, was known in Henderson County simply as a professed atheist who threatened to sue Henderson County about the courthouse manger scene. Greene’s experience with Christians was of narrow-minded individuals who had treated him unkindly throughout his life.

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March 22, 2012

Atheists don’t own reason

The new atheists--participants in the contemporary anti-religion movement led by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, among others--are working overtime to tell the world that reason favors atheism, and atheism alone. Richard Dawkins leads his Foundation for Reason and Science. Sam Harris is founder and chair of Project Reason. The upcoming March 24 Reason Rally in Washington, D.C. is the new atheists’ latest and most visible attempt to send the message that reason belongs to the atheists. For years, though, knowledgeable critics have been calling attention to new atheist’ rational fallacies, emotionally loaded rhetoric, and illegitimate, selective use of evidence. It’s time now to add that up together and recognize what it means: the new atheists have no business proclaiming themselves the defenders of reason, simply because they don’t practice it competently.

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March 22, 2012

Attempt to Repeal Same-Sex Marriage Fails in N.H.

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gay rights advocates are declaring victory after New Hampshire's failed attempt at repealing its gay marriage law, saying it resounds in a region where opponents have concentrated efforts to reverse momentum. The state House voted Wednesday to kill the measure, ending a push by its new Republican majority to rescind New Hampshire's 2-year-old law. Nevertheless, both sides are pledging to continue fighting into the fall elections.

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March 22, 2012

Atheists Want Wider Recognition in the Military

Atheists and humanists are working hard to gain wider recognition in the United States Military. At Ft. Meade, an army base in Maryland, Army Reserve Captain Ryan Jean recently submitted a lay leader application with support from The Military Association of Atheists & Free Thinkers (MAAF) and an endorsement from the Humanist Society.

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March 22, 2012

Wisconsin Returns Sex-Ed Decisions to Schools

The Wisconsin Legislature recently repealed a law mandating that comprehensive sex education be taught in schools — allowing educators to decide what kinds of lessons are appropriate for their students going forward. The measure, which the governor is expected to sign, requires schools that choose to teach sex education to emphasize the fact that abstinence is the only foolproof method of birth control, and that marriage has the greatest socioeconomic benefits for individuals and society. In contrast to the former law, schools are no longer required to teach about contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

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March 21, 2012

Religious Freedom Group Names Worst Offenders

The U.S. Commission on International Freedom (USCIRF) today released its annual report listing the nations most prone to violating religious freedom. Countries of Particular Concern (CPCs) most in need of close monitoring by the State Department include Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam, where governments sanction discrimination and violence against unpopular religious sects — including Christians, Baha’is, Buddhists and Sufi and Uighur Muslims.

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March 21, 2012

Idaho Senate Passes Ultrasound Bill

On Monday, the Idaho Senate passed on a 23-12 vote a bill requiring all women seeking abortions to have fetal ultrasounds first. The measure, SB 1387, is expected to pass the House of Representatives.

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March 21, 2012

Religious Freedom Rallies To Be Held This Friday

Before the U.S. Supreme Court begins hearing three days of arguments on the constitutionality of the new federal health care law on Monday, thousands of people are expected to make their voices heard in rallies taking place nationwide, saying the law violates their religious freedom. Nearly 60 groups, including the Pro-Life Action League, Citizens for a Pro-Life America, Students for Life of America and the Alliance Defense Fund, have joined forces as the Coalition to Stop the HHS Mandate, and are sponsoring rallies in more than 120 cities nationwide at noon local time on Friday.

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March 20, 2012

Mothers/Lawyers Launch Petition Against Obamacare Contraceptive Mandate – 20,000 Signatures So Far

(CNSNews.com) – Two female law experts have launched a petition that they say answers liberal members of Congress who claim women do not have a voice in the debate over the Obamacare mandate for contraceptive coverage and whether it infringes on religious liberty. “Where are the Women? Here We Are? is the headline at the Web site and petition campaign launched in February by Helen Alvare, associate law professor at George Mason University, and Kim Daniels, former counsel for the religious liberty advocacy group, Thomas More Law Center. So far, more than 20,000 women have signed the petition, which is also posted on Facebook.

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March 20, 2012

Congresswoman: We’re Not ‘Promoting Sterilization’ of College Girls, We’re Just Making It Free

(CNSNews.com) – Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D.-Ill.), a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee which has oversight over the Affordable Care Act (AKA "Obamacare"), said Monday that a new Obamacare regulation announced on Friday afternoon that requires all student health insurance plans to offer college women free sterilizations does not mean the government is “promoting sterilization.? “This isn’t about promoting sterilization,? said Rep. Schakowsky said. “No one--there aren’t college girls lining up to become sterilized because they feel like it.?

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March 20, 2012

Postmortem conception

WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court debated Monday over who counts as a “child? for the purposes of inheritance law and Social Security benefits. The Social Security Administration sparked the case when it denied survivor’s benefits to twins who were conceived and born after their biological father’s death.

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March 20, 2012

Utah Governor Vetoes Abstinence-Education Bill

On Friday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a bill that flew through both chambers of the Legislature, mandating that any sex education in Beehive State schools must be based on the concept of abstinence until marriage and fidelity within it. HB 363 would have prohibited the teaching of alternative lifestyles, as well as detailed information on intercourse and contraception. State Rep. Bill Wright, who sponsored the legislation, said he was deeply disturbed by the information he saw Planned Parenthood presenting in classrooms, and wanted to make sure parents were mostly responsible for what their children learn about sex.

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March 20, 2012

Supreme Court Won’t Hear Christian Student Group Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today turned down the chance to hear the case of Christian student groups at San Diego State University challenging the school’s “nondiscrimination? policy — letting stand a federal court ruling saying they must allow non-Christians to become members and even hold leadership positions if they want campus recognition. Alpha Delta Chi, a Christian sorority, and Alpha Gamma Omega-Epsilon, a Christian fraternity, sued the school in 2005, saying the nondiscrimination policy tramples on religious freedom. Though a lower court agreed, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned that decision in 2011.

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