AU Special Event

At our last meeting in January, it was announced that we were planning to sponsor, in conjunction with our sister chapter – the North Shore AU, a speaker recommended by our national AU office. Katherine Stewart, the author of “The Good News Club” subtitled “The Christian Right’s Stealth Assault on America’s Children.” will be visiting the Chicago area and will be speaking on the evening of Friday, March 23rd at Revolution Books in Chicago.

For additional information, check out her interview at…

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/01/24/an-interview-with-katherine-stewart-author-of-the-good-news-club/

Katherine Stewart Interview

Right now we are exploring if there’s any interest in also having Ms. Stewart be a guest speaker at a “special” joint meeting of both the West Suburban Chicago and North Shore Chapters on Thursday, March 22nd.

We’re also investigating a suitable venue for this meeting somewhere at a “halfway point” between the Naperville and North Shore areas.

More information will become available as the project develops

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Americans United Hails Supreme Court Refusal To Intervene In North Carolina Prayer Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today (Jan 17, 2012) announced that it will not intervene in a controversy over sectarian prayer before meetings of the Forsyth County, N.C., Board of Commissioners.

The justices’ action leaves in place an appellate court decision barring the county from regularly opening its meetings with Christian invocations.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, one of the groups sponsoring the lawsuit, said the high court was right not to intervene.

Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “When government meetings are opened regularly with Christian prayer, it sends the unmistakable message that non-Christians are second-class citizens in their own community. That’s unconstitutional, and it’s just plain wrong.

Read the rest of this press release at au.org »

“IN GOD WE TRUST” – Highly Recommended on YouTube

This new film by Scott Burdick highlights the Executive Director of Americans United, Rev. Barry Lynn, several times in the  movie, as well as other prominent individuals.   It’s about the Religious Right and their efforts in King, North Carolina to violate the 1st Amendment.   It’s very well done and worth a two-hour sitting at your computer.

IN GOD WE TRUST Movie

 

Lobbying for the Faithful: Religious Advocacy Groups in Washington, D.C.

The number of organizations engaged in religious lobbying or religion-related advocacy in Washington, D.C., has increased roughly fivefold in the past four decades, from fewer than 40 in 1970 to more than 200 today.

Read more…

MRFF Nominated for 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

November 11, 2011

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the only nonprofit organization that is solely dedicated to working tirelessly to stop unconstitutional religious discrimination and oppression in the United States armed forces, has been nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize, the third consecutive year that MRFF has received a nomination.

Click to Read 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Nomination Letter

Americans United Announces Settlement In Lawsuit Challenging Tennessee County’s Preference For Christianity

November 10, 2011

A Tennessee county has agreed to erect a local man’s display promoting church-state separation as part of a legal settlement, Americans United for Separation of Church and State announced today.

Earlier this year, Americans United challenged the Johnson County Commission’s decision to display the Ten Commandments and Christian literature in the county courthouse lobby while refusing to display Ralph Stewart’s posters about the historic role of church-state separation in American law.

As part of a legal settlement to end the case, the Johnson County Commission has agreed to hang Stewart’s posters in a prominent place and make changes to its policy concerning other displays.

“I’d prefer for government to stay out of the business of promoting religious documents altogether,” said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “But if government officials choose to go down this path, they must at least play fair and treat all citizens equally.”

Read the rest of this press release at au.org »

The next general meeting of WSCCAU will be on Thursday, October 27th at 7:30 PM.

We’ll be having a Round Table Discussion on the motion “Does Freedom of Religion require Freedom from Religion?”

See our Upcoming Events Section for more information.

MRFF vs USAF regarding “Jesus Loves Nukes”

From the pages of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) August 2011 Newsletter

Message from the MRFF President; Mikey Weinstein.

“Servicemen and servicewomen of all ranks have for decades been exposed to a hideously distorted brand of militarist religiosity known as “Christian Just War Theory,” and while this fact has come as a shock for many, we at MRFF have long been aware of the presence of this Crusader ideology within the US military. Such being the case, we have sworn our lives toward protecting our service members from religious indoctrination — especially with regard to the supposed “divine ethics” of nuclear warfare. The people of the United States owe a debt of gratitude to the 31 brave missile launch officers from Vandenberg Air Force Base who stepped forward to alert us to the existence of a presentation which some of them had for years referred to as the “Jesus Loves Nukes” speech (a phrase which has since gone viral).

Our role in bringing attention to this shocking and repugnant curriculum has been greeted with praise from such diverse sources as the award-winning religious magazine “U.S. Catholic” and the “Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty”, as well as front-page coverage from the respected Japanese daily newspaper “Asahi Shimbun”(a week prior to their marking the August 6th & 9th anniversaries of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively). However, the usual rogues’ gallery of neo-conservatives, pseudo-religious fascists, bible-thumping Dominionists, and dull-witted neo-Nazis have taken exception to this latest achievement in our exhaustive struggle to rid the armed services of the rank influence of superstitious extremism and have been concentrating their fire on us in a manner which speaks volumes about their basic qualities as human beings, let alone as professed “men and women of God.”

Sometimes, however, we have to call a spade a spade and sound the BS detector. Case in point: Michael Savage (actual name: Michael Weiner) of The Savage Nationshlock-jock radio show, who recently devoted four minutes to a rabidly ad-hominem, personal assault on me and my family, as well as a denigration of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. Much of the attention of Savage’s stupefying rant was paid to mocking my name — a name not too dissimilar to his own real name of Michael Weiner! — which should serve as a particularly revealing clue as to the psychological state of this specimen, a professional bottom-feeding hyena who earns his daily bread by foaming at the mouth and spreading extremist hysteria which he likely doesn’t even believe himself. Make sure to read MRFF Senior Research Director Chris Rodda’s excellent Huffington Post article rebutting Michael Savage’s idiotic and inaccurate rant. Attacks like these should serve as further confirmation that we are doing our job right.”

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Here’s another interesting note from the hate-group AFA. They slighted MRFF in their newsletter recently as well. An excerpt follows below. It is quite a stark exercise in comparison from that cited above. Read and decide for yourself.

Air Force guilty of religious bigotry – bans Scripture in class

“The Air Force has banned a class on the Christian-based ‘Just War Theory’ because the class used verses from the Bible.

‘Just War Theory’ has been a part of Western civilization since the days of St. Augustine in the 5th century A.D. It uses the abiding standards of the word of God to help members of the military determine when the use of lethal force against an enemy of this country is morally legitimate and helps them to know how to use that force in a morally just way.

The class has been taught for more than two decades at Vandenberg Air Force base, and has been an important source of perspective for those who have their fingers on the missile launchers that protect our liberties.

But because of noisy complaints from secular fundamentalists the class has now been shelved, and our military has been robbed of the moral guidance of the Scriptures.

Rather than fight for religious liberty, the Air Force meekly suspended the entire class the day the complaint was filed.

And so the banning of the Bible in the armed services continues. Donated Bibles were burned in Afghanistan because it might offend Muslims in Afghanistan. (Yes, our government apparently considers book burning to be okay as long as the book is the Bible.)

And weapons inscribed with Bible verses likewise have been banned in Afghanistan, again in order not to offend Muslims.

It’s time for this extinguishing of the lamp of God’s word to stop.”

North Shore AU Chapter Schedule Change

FYI – Our fellow AU chapter in Northbrook has rescheduled their June meeting due to an apparent conflict. Their June 23rd meeting has been changed to July 21st. They’ll be meeting at the Pollack Room of the Northbrook Public Library as usual. For more information, go to www.nscau.org.

‘Devil’ woman faces down a city and wins

Illinois public schools do not offer religious training. Children in art class do not color pictures of Jesus holding a lamb, nor do they start each day with a Bible reading.

That’s just the way it is, now. Adherents to the lesser creeds, i.e., religions other than Protestant Christianity or even — shudder — no religion at all, have a right to attend public school, to learn about spelling and geography and Henry Hudson, without having an alien faith shoved down their throats.

For this, we can thank — or, if you prefer, blame — a Champaign housewife with the incongruous Biblical name of Vashti McCollum, who did not like her son Jim being forced to sit out in the hall while his fifth-grade class at Dr. Howard Elementary School had its weekly Bible study and sued her local Board of Education to make them stop.

The lawsuit went all the way to the United States Supreme Court and began to unravel the grip that Christianity had on supposedly secular public education.

I had never heard of Vashti McCollum until I watched a powerful new documentary film The Lord Is Not On Trial Here Today,” which WTTW Channel 11 is airing, appropriately enough, on Mother’s Day this Sunday.

Read more…