Thursday, April 24, 2008

Florida lawmakers debate offering a Christian license plate

From The Associated Press:

MIAMI (AP) -- Florida drivers can order more than 100 specialty license plates celebrating everything from manatees to the Miami Heat, but one now under consideration would be the first in the nation to explicitly promote a specific religion.

The Florida Legislature is considering a specialty plate with a design that includes a Christian cross, a stained-glass window and the words "I Believe."

Rep. Edward Bullard, the plate's sponsor, said people who "believe in their college or university" or "believe in their football team" already have license plates they can buy. The new design is a chance for others to put a tag on their cars with "something they believe in," he said.

If the plate is approved, Florida would become the first state to have a license plate featuring a religious symbol that's not part of a college logo. Approval would almost certainly face a court challenge.

(read full article)
This clearly violates the separation of church and state. If drivers want to advertise to the world that they're brainwashed, they already have the freedom to place stickers and other emblems on their vehicles. There is nothing for lawmakers to debate. The state government has no role in the support and promotion of any religion for any reason. Period.

Update: It appears that this is unlikely to come to pass in Florida; however a similar measure in South Carolina may have a chance (more from Atheist Revolution).

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Ex-sect members escape polygamy, but not pain


(CNN) -- Long after she escaped a polygamist Colorado City, Arizona, community in 1986, Flora Jessop found another way to escape -- cocaine.

"It killed the pain. It killed the hurt," she said. "I didn't have to hurt so bad because I missed everything I knew."

Once she fled the fundamentalist Mormon sect, she was an apostate. She believed God hated her. Her parents and siblings thought she was wicked. Worst of all, she knew she was damned to hell, Jessop said.

Religion -- the reason these women say they stay -- is also used to validate the brainwashing, and in some cases, physical abuse employed to keep women and children submissive, said Marci Hamilton, author of "Justice Denied: What America Must Do to Protect its Children."

full article)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Clinton, Obama put politics aside to discuss faith

(CNN) -- On Sunday, after a tumultuous campaign season where religion -- both rumor and reality -- has had a starring role, the two remaining Democratic White House hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, again ventured onto terrain that has been dominated by Republican candidates.

It was a risk-filled journey for both: social issues like abortion and gay marriage have long been sticking points for Democrats in their efforts to reach some religious voters.

On a day when her campaign released a new ad talking about her struggles to "climb the mountain," Clinton told CNN's Campbell Brown and Newsweek's Jon Meacham. "I don't think that I could have made my life's journey without being anchored in God's grace and without having that, you know, sense of forgiveness and unconditional love.

"And I am not going to point to one or another matter. I mean, some of my struggles and challenges have been extremely public," Clinton said. "And I have talked about how I have been both guided and supported through those, trying to find my own way through, because, for me, my faith has given me the confidence to make decisions that were right for me, whether anybody else agreed with me or not."

Obama said that to him, "religion is a bulwark, a foundation when other things aren't going well. That's true in my own life, through trials and tribulations. ..."

Obama later added: "I am a devout Christian ... I started my work working with churches in the shadow of steel plants that had closed on the south side of Chicago ..."


Sad that in this modern time of supposed enlightenment, it's still necessary for candidates for public office to declare their faith and allegiance to an imaginary super-being and the archaic superstitions surrounding that idea in order to garner the trust of an electorate riddled with such beliefs. Frightening that these candidates may in fact hold these beliefs and may be influenced by them into making critical decisions perhaps less rationally. Frightening indeed.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Nun Too Soon

From The Associated Press:

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) -- A Roman Catholic nun accused of stealing from the Omaha Archdiocese and gambling much of the money away has pleaded guilty to theft.

An attorney says Sister Barbara Markey pleaded Monday to theft of more than $1,500. Defense attorney J. William Gallup says she also agreed to pay $125,000 in restitution.