BY TYLER O’NEIL , CP REPORTER
The Festivus pole, a relic from the 1990s NBC sitcom “Seinfeld,” made an appearance in the Florida Capitol on Tuesday, after a self-described “militant atheist” received permission to set it up near a Nativity scene.
“A Pabst Blue Ribbon Festivus pole is a symbol of ridiculousness,” Chaz Stephens, editor in chief of South Florida advocacy blog MAOS (My Acts of Sedition), told The Christian Post on Tuesday. He set up the pole, not to celebrate a 1990s holiday, but to protest the Nativity scene and other religious monuments set up in public spaces.
“It’s a made up holiday from the 1990s, but it’s a symbol of separation of church and state, in my mind,” Stephens explained… FULL STORY
“It’s a sad, sad commentary on the attitudes of the day that a nearly 60-year-old Christmas tradition is now having to hunt for a home, something like our savior had to hunt for a place to be born because the world was not interested.” – Hunter Jameson, head of the nonprofit Santa Monica Nativity Scene Committee. (AP)
“Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas – and that certainly includes a 5th-grader’s Christmas party invitations,” ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman said. “America’s public schools should recognize the constitutionally protected freedom of religious students who wish to hand out these kinds of fliers. The district court was right to stop this unconstitutional ban on Christmas party invitations. Numerous courts have upheld similar fliers around the country.”
The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers say it is seeking an alternative to the services provided by Christian and other faith-based chaplains in VA hospitals and hospices. The group is campaigning for more secular humanist representatives for veterans – the equivalent of chaplains for non-believers.
THE CHRISTIAN POST
As part of the atheist group’s campaign, its president released a letter written by Vietnam veteran Phil Heycock before he succumbed to cancer during an extended stay at a VA hospice.
“Currently, religious, theistic oriented Chaplains are on staff and visit patients including secular humanist atheists like myself. While the Chaplains have been friendly, according to their Christian beliefs I will be burning in hell after my demise. While I respect their right to believe as they wish, I don’t find their perspective on death comforting,” wrote Heycock.
MAAF President Jason Torpy said that Heycock expressed that he received good quality care but felt that the Christian chaplains generally available were not comforting to him as a secular humanist. “He also requested the letter be held until after his death to avoid alienating his caregivers, whom he knew to be religious,” stated Torpy.
Chaplain (Col.) Ron Crews, executive director for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post on Monday that he feels that VA chaplains are doing their best to accommodate everyone and that the MAAF is using the letter in an effort to gain public support.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/military-atheist-group-unhappy-with-christian-majority-chaplaincy-in-va-care-79156/#Mkgx1FRdFAKIh3gJ.99
Stony Brook says by ending a practice that “honors only some religions,” it is aligning itself with other major research universities and leveling the playing field.
“We believe this provides two essential things – a sound educational calendar and at the same time an equal level of respect for all religions and faiths,” said Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Charles Robbins, according to New York-based newspaper Newsday.
NY University Will No Longer Observe Jewish, Christian Holidays FULL STORY: http://www.christianpost.com/news/ny-university-will-no-longer-observe-jewish-christian-holidays-71976/
Lawsuit filed by an atheist couple who believe that their children are being discriminated against because the Pledge of Allegiance – which is said every day in Mass. public school classrooms under state law – contains the phrase “under God.” … Oral arguments were heard in a Massachusetts Superior Court on Monday.
WASHINGTON, D.C., CP – Members of the House of Representatives have been told they are not allowed to wish their constituents “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year” via the mail.
The Congressional Franking Commission, which reviews congressional mail to determine if it can be paid for with tax dollars, issued a rule saying that no holiday greetings, including the traditional Christmas greeting, may be stated in official mail.
FULL STORY: http://www.christianpost.com/news/reps-banned-from-saying-merry-christmas-in-official-letters-65227/