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Freedom From Religion Foundation Fails To Intimidate in Oklahoma

Todd Starnes of Fox News has reported on a water tower in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma that has roused the ire of atheists in another state. The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based atheist organization, routinely inserts itself into matters in other parts of the country in an effort to get anything it deems to be tied to religion removed from public property. The new water tower in Broken Arrow is the latest target of their indignation.

Fox News – The city council in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was in a bit of a pickle.

The city was in the middle of a growth spurt and needed high ground to build a one-million gallon water tower.

But the property they needed was owned by the First Baptist Church. So they made a deal with Pastor Nick Garland and the congregation.

“We donated the land and the easements for the tower,” Pastor Garland told me. “In kind, they said they would paint our […] → Keep reading

Atheist Groups Threaten School Districts

A school in Midlothian, Texas, has angered local residents by submitting to the demands of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and covering up a pair of dedication plaques at two elementary schools. The superintendent of the school district, Jerome Stewart, said the plaques were covered due to their “questionable constitutional nature.” The content that generated a threatening letter from the FFRF was a pair of crosses and the words “God” and “Holy Christian Church.” Oh, the horror!

The plaques were posted at the Mt. Peak Elementary School and Longbranch Elementary School in 1997. The text of the plaques reads: “Dedicated in The Year Of Our Lord 1997 To The Education of God’s Children And To Their Faithful Teachers In The Name Of The Holy Christian Church – Soli Deo Gloria.”

Stewart says both plaques are currently covered and will eventually be replaced. Might I suggest that the new plaques be dedicated in the memory of the First Amendment right […] → Keep reading

Freedom From Religion Foundation Takes On High School Football

The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has inserted itself into Friday night high school football. News 13 in Orlando, FL, has the story.

News 13 – At one point during Friday night’s Seminole High School football game in Sanford, the starting quarterback got injured.

Questions have now surfaced about what happened afterwards, when football players could be seen praying on the sidelines.

“They take a knee, whether it’s their player or an opposing player. We do that to show respect,” said Mike Blasewitz, Seminole County Public School’s Executive Director of Secondary Education.

And prayers among students are allowed. But the Freedom From Religion Foundation contacted the Seminole County School’s superintendent this week, accusing Seminole High School of having a volunteer chaplain lead the team in prayer. The foundation said it got complaints from parents.

“What we do have a problem with is if the school is allowing a chaplain to come in and say ‘okay, kids, now it’s time for […] → Keep reading

Freedom From Religion Foundation Continues Assault on Religion

It seems the folks at the Freedom From Religion Foundation are at it again. This time they’re attacking Bailey’s Pizza in Searcy, Arkansas, and claiming that a discount given to customers who bring in a church bulletin on Sunday is illegal. Patrons of Bailey’s Pizza can receive a ten percent discount on Sundays if they present a church bulletin when ordering.

The owner of Bailey’s Pizza, Steven Rose, opened the restaurant in July and says he just loves Jesus and pepperoni pizza.

The Blaze – Steven Rose, owner of Bailey’s Pizza in Searcy, Arkansas, told TheBlaze Wednesday that he posted a 10 percent discount on his restaurant’s Facebook page on July 19 for anyone who brought in a church bulletin. Not long after, he received a comment from a user named “Bong Hits for Jesus” that read, “Good luck on your discrimination lawsuit.”

“I didn’t give much credence to it,” he said of the comment, but the story doesn’t […] → Keep reading

The Atheist Assault On Public Prayer

In my previous post I detailed the assault on churches that the Freedom From Religion Foundation has undertaken with its lawsuit against the IRS. The FFRF was upset that the IRS wasn’t investigating churches for allegedly violating the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits non-profits from endorsing political candidates or issues. The FFRF settled the lawsuit and is apparently satisfied with the new procedures put in place by the IRS for dealing with churches, details of which both sides are declining to disclose. And now the FFRF has decided to go after public prayer at restaurants. No, they can’t stop people from praying over their food at a restaurant (not yet, anyway) but they apparently do have enough scare-power to put a stop to a restaurant in North Carolina giving random discounts to people for praying before dining.

For several years now, Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, NC has been allowing servers to give 15% discounts at their discretion to customers […] → Keep reading

Using the Tax Code to Silence Churches

Late last month the Internal Revenue Service settled a lawsuit filed in 2012 by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. The lawsuit was brought because the FFRF said the IRS ignores complaints about churches violating their tax-exempt status. The FFRF says that many churches promote candidates, political issues and legislation and they claim these activities are violations of the 1954 Johnson Amendment, which requires that non-profits not endorse candidates.

The IRS website describes the Johnson Amendment thusly:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial […] → Keep reading