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Past News Items

smile October 29 — The U.S. District Court in Montgomery, Alabama, has granted a preliminary injunction, blocking an extreme law that would have banned abortion in nearly all instances and threatened doctors with up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion. This harmful ban, slated to go into effect on November 15, would have blocked abortion access for nearly one million women of reproductive age in Alabama.   [read more]
neutral Conference Announcement — When: November 15-17, 2019. Title: AT ONE International Festival. Where: Suzhou, China. Sponsor: The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) [see details]
frown October 24 — The famous photographer Oliviero Toscani has been convicted of blasphemy and fined €4000 for comparing the Catholic Church to a masochist club. [read more]
smile October 22 — The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court’s ruling in California v. Azar, blocking Trump administration rules that would allow employers and universities to deny their employees and students health-insurance coverage for contraceptive care.   [read more]
frown October 16 — In Nashville Tennessee, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered a “speech” that was — for all intents and purposes — a Christian sermon. Addressing an association of Christian counselors, Secretary Pompeo discussed how to be a good Christian leader, quoting scripture and urging audience members to conduct themselves in accordance with his interpretation of biblical tenets. He also commandeered State Department resources to advertise his sermon in advance, broadcast it live, and disseminate a video of it afterward using the State Department’s official social media channels and website. [read more]
frown October 14 — Speaking at Notre Dame's law school, Attorney General William Barr blames 'secular society' for drug overdoses, violence, and poor mental health.  [read report] Secular coalition responds: "If left unchecked, the Trump Administration will continue to make Christian Nationalism the law of the land, marginalizing and oppressing every non-Christian American in the process." [read more]
frown October 9 — The Scotland County, NC, sheriff's office has issued a new policy on cohabitation. The policy change makes it against the rules for any employee to live with another employee of the office unless "officially married according to the law and word of God." [ [read more]
smile October 4 — The U.S. Supreme Court announced it will review Louisiana’s Act 620, an abortion restriction nearly identical to one of the Texas restrictions struck down by the Supreme Court in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt just three years ago. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, which heard the nearly identical Texas law, blatantly disregarded Supreme Court precedent when it upheld Louisiana’s abortion restriction in September 2018. [read more]
frown October 3 — Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has placed a video on his official government social-media page showing him at his desk, with a bible in front of him, promoting “Bring Your Bible to School Day.” He proclaims that "The Judeo-Christian principles that are bound in this book are timeless, containing an amazing amount of history, knowledge, wisdom and guidance… Bring it. Read it. Share it. #WeAreKY" [read more]
frown September 26 — For the first time in nearly 20 years, the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations fails to repeal the Global Gag Rule.(On World Contraception Day, no less!) [read more]
neutral Conference Announcement — When: October 19-20, 2019. Title: Freedom From Religion Foundation — 42nd annual national convention. Where: Madison, Wisconsin, USA. [see details]
frown September 23 — The Wisconsin state legislature is considering a bill (LRB-2968/1) to provide $500,000 for grants to so-called "crisis" pregnancy centers that masquerade as women's reproductive health facilities where abortions are available. The catch is that none of these centers provides abortions, they only try to discourage them.  [read more]
frown September 23 — President's speech to U.N. on "religious liberty" full of falsehoods — surprise, surprise. [read more]
frown September 19 — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee voted today to advance a spending bill that includes a provision that blocks low-income residents of the District of Columbia (D.C.) from accessing safe, legal abortion. [read more]
smile September 18 — The Califronia state legislature has passed a bill to ensure that medication abortion is available to college students in public universities.  [read more]
smile September 18 — U.S. abortion rates have reached a historic low since 1973 when Roe v. Wade made abortion legal across the country. This low is due to a decline in pregnancies overall, including increased access to birth control since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in 2011. [read more]
frown September 10 — A teenager was disqualified after winning her 100-meter race because her swimsuit was exposing too much of her buttocks. The suit had been issued by the school and was identical to those worn by other swimmers. Apparently, her physical maturity was the problem. [read more]
frown August 29 — The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative recently placed Christian Bibles among about $2 billion worth of products it is exempting from the tariffs President Trump imposed on goods from China. The exemption was reportedly granted because Christian organizations argued that a tariff on Bibles would threaten the religious liberty of Christians. [read more]
smile Conference Announcement — When: September 20-22, 2019. Title: 43rd Annual Conference. Sponsor: SPR International. Where: Leicester, England. [see details]
neutral Conference Announcement — When: November 1-3, 2019. Title: Beyond the Brain 2019. Sponsor: The Scientific and Medical Network. Where: University of Westminister, England. [see details]
smile August 27 — A federal appeals court has ruled that Kentucky officials are responsible for paying nearly a quarter of a million dollars in legal fees accumulated by the people whose rights were violated by Kim Davis. The former Rowan County, KY, clerk made headlines in 2015 after she refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples due to her fundamentalist religious beliefs. [read more]
smileAugust 26 — The Democratic National Committee (DNC), or the first time, has adopted a resolution that recognizes the contributions to society of non-religious people -- who make up approximately one-quarter of the U.S. population. [read more]
frown August 19 — Planned Parenthood Federation of America announced today that the Trump administration has forced Planned Parenthood grantees out of Title X, the nation’s decades-old bipartisan program for affordable birth control and reproductive health care. Planned Parenthood health centers have been a part of the program since it was created nearly 50 years ago, and have been the largest provider, serving 40 percent of all patients who get care through the Title X program. [read more]
frown August 16 — The U.S. Department of Labor has published a new rule that would allow federal contractors to discriminate against employees based on “sincerely held religious tenets,” putting minority rights in immediate danger. Under this rule, Chrisitan employers could refuse to hire Jews, Muslims and atheists, but Christian employers can also refuse to hire anyone they deem to be a “bad Christian.” This is codified taxpayer-funded discrimination based on religion. [read more]
smile August, 2019 — The Freedom From Religion Foundation has begun broadcasting a new weekly TV show, “Freethought Matters” in cities across the country. As an antidote to religion on the airwaves and Sunday morning sermonizing, the half-hour talk show will air Sunday mornings in eight cities.covering more than 22 percent of the United States TV market. [read more]

frown July 25 — A new South Dakota law mandates displaying an “In God We Trust” logo in all public schools. The law — insultingly confusing patriotism with piety — is part of the nationwide legislative push by Project Blitz, which is a stealth campaign to inject religious bills into state legislatures across the country. [read more]
frown July 16 — The city of Mount Vernon, Ill., has issued a proclamation establishing a day to “recognize God in our City.” Further, Mount Vernon took the step of officially recognizing “the biblical five-fold ministry of apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, and evangelists.” By so doing, the city unilaterally decided to discard the Constitutionally mandated separation of church and state in favor of the mayor’s preferred vision of a Christian theocracy. [read more]
frown July 16 — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recently announced a change to its directive on “Religious Symbols in VA Facilities.”  Instead of protecting religious freedom, the new guidelines will embolden misguided government employees to promote religion with government-endorsed displays on VA property. [read more]
smileJuly 12 — The U.S. House of Representatives approved two amendments to the Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would expand contraception and reproductive health care access for service members. Most service members receive health insurance coverage through TRICARE, which currently does not offer comprehensive contraception coverage and reproductive health care resources for service members and their families. [read more]
smile July 8 — The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today unanimously ruled that the Brevard County, Fla., Commissioners’ policy of using religious beliefs to determine who can offer invocations at public meetings is unconstitutional, discriminatory and a violation of religious freedom. Judge Stanley Marcus opined: “In selecting invocation speakers, the commissioners may not categorically exclude from consideration speakers from a religion simply because they do not like the nature of its beliefs.” [see details]
neutralJune 28 — A new study by European researchers has found one in 10 people have undergone a “near-death experience.” The findings were presented at the fifth European Academy of Neurology Congress. The study analyzed 1,034 people from 35 countries and found that 289 people reported a near-death experience with varying spiritual and physical symptoms. [see details]
frownJune 27 — Arkansas legislators have passed a law that bans abortion based on a person’s motivation for seeking one. This would turn patients into suspects, health providers into investigators, and clinics into interrogation rooms. [read more]
K June 21, 2019 — Oscar-winning director, Ron Howard, threatens to boycott Georgia and other states over abortion. [read details]
L June 21, 2019 — A Church's Police Force! The Governor of Alabama has signed a law allowing a Presbyterian church to form its own police squad. Pastor Harry Reeder III has publicly stated that God's decree is supreme and must be obeyed even if this means contravening secular law, [read details]
L June 19, 2019 — Tony Perkins, a notorious anti-LGBTQ hate monger,  has been announced as the chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). “It is ironic that someone who is so widely known for intolerance outside of his brand of American Christianity would be authorized to defend religious freedom internationally,” states FFRF Co-President Dan Barker. [read details]
K June 18, 2019 — Startup that makes sex toys for women sues New York transit system for banning its ads [read details]
K June 5, 2019 — Town officials asked if they would display Satanic Temple relic in public square. [read details]
J June 3, 2019 — U.S. Court of Appeals rules that individuals often have a First Amendment right to utter profanity — even "Fuck You," directed at police officers. [see details]
J May, 2019 — A New Jersey condominium association cannot maintain gender-segregated hours at a community swimming pool, a federal appeals court has ruled. [read details]
J May 2, 2019 — The 2019 IANDS Conference, themed “Revolutionary Experiences,” will be held August 29 thru September 1 in King of Prussia Pennsylvania. Keynote Speakers are Suzanne Giesemann, Bruce Greyson, Rev. Bill McDonald, and Nancy Rynes. [see details]
J May 2, 2019 — Today, Congress moved to protect access to safe, legal abortion across the country, with the introduction of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) [see details]
J May 2, 2019 — N.C. governor vetos "needless legislation [that] would criminalize doctors and other healthcare providers for a practice that simply does not exist." [read details]
K April 25, 2019 — The number of Americans who are bisexual has tripled in the past decade - and women are driving the increase, General Social Survey data shows [read details]
J April 23, 2019 — Religion is not a license to discriminate, says the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a ruling that allows the city of Philadelphia to terminate a contract with Catholic Social Services. The appeals court also rejected assertions that the equal enforcement of civil rights laws is somehow a form of anti-religious hostility. [read details]
L April 22, 2019 — Secular invocations barred for U.S. House of Representatives, by ruling of U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. "Atheist not qualified" claims House chaplain, Patrick J. Conroy, whose salary is paid by American citizens. [read details]
L April 20, 2019 — New Ohio law blocks access to health care and education provided by Planned Parenthood. This law strips funding that helps Planned Parenthood provide Ohioans with 70,000 free STD and HIV tests, cancer screenings, domestic violence education, and Planned Parenthood’s Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program to reduce infant mortality. [read details]
J March 31, 2019 — A free online course on  “Survival of Death and Parapsychology” sponsored by Parapsychology Research and Education, Inc., is open for enrollment until May 31st. The faculty is both extensive and impressive. [read details]
J March 26, 2019 — 80% of hospice residents have reported visions of the deceased, according to a new report based on the work of Dr. Christopher Kerr and his team at Hospice Buffalo in New York. They have been recording death-bed visions for 10 years and compiled 1,400 cases. [see details]
L March 17, 2019 — Proposed bills seek to deny science, teach the Bible, and ban Shakespeare in public schools in Florida. [read details]