Tag Archives: dan barker

Appeals Court: No Requirement for Atheist Invocation

The US Court of Appeals for the DC circuit ruled last week that the US House of Representatives was not required to permit an atheist to “pray”. Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation had sued Patrick Conroy, the former House Chaplain, for denying him the opportunity to “pray” at the opening of the legislative day.

Importantly, the court made a point of saying the House’s exercise was a religious exercise — and since Barker wasn’t offering a religious exercise, he had no claim: Read more

Update: God’s Country, Texas, Tells Atheists to Pound Sand

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, whose apparent mission is to scour the public landscape for things over which to be offended, recently told the town of Hondo, Texas, that their welcome sign was unconstitutional.

hondo2The City Attorney, Frank Garza, told the “humorless” FFRF what he thought of that, noting first that the sign “clearly” survives the Lemon Test, and, more importantly, no one has been harmed:  Read more

Atheist Sues Congressional Chaplains over Prayer

Dan Barker, co-president with his wife of their self-founded Freedom From Religion Foundation, has filed a lawsuit against the Chaplain of the US House of Representatives, Patrick J. Conroy, because Barker was denied the opportunity to provide an atheistic “invocation.”

So, to be clear, a person who doesn’t play soccer is suing the soccer coach because he wants to be in the soccer game — but not play soccer.

Makes sense.  Read more

FFRF Objects to Ohio Holocaust Memorial Design

Update:  The memorial was approved, though some expect a lawsuit.  It seems some in the atheist community are hesitant to criticize the memorial out of fear of being accused of insensitivity or anti-Semitism (a hesitation not seen when the issue is a cross, rather than a Star of David).  A commenter on another site had a fairly objective observation:

When symbols are used to represent historical/cultural events, the fact they are religious should not be a sole justification for not using them — only when the intent of the symbol is to promote a religious viewpoint do they become a problem.

In fact, to tell Jewish Holocaust survivors that they cannot be represented by on the most import icons of their internment and murder would be a terrible insult…Jews were forced to wear a Star of David on their exterior clothing to mark them for abuse by the Nazis…

The next logical question, then, is whether a cross can adorn a memorial if its purpose is “not to promote a religious viewpoint.”

Also at Foxnews.

Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, the husband and wife team that make up The Freedom From Religion Foundation, have called on their supporters to fill the gallery in the Ohio State Capitol today as a meeting is held on a proposed holocaust memorial.

The FFRF’s objection?  The Holocaust memorial contains a large Star of David, which raises “constitutional concerns.”

Despite the FFRF’s apparent revisionist thinking, Read more

Rock Beyond Belief Drops “Atheist Anthem” from Website

In what appears to be a site-wide revamping, Rock Beyond Belief — the atheist counter-event to the Christian Rock the Fort — has dropped the controversial Aiden song that recently caused a media firestorm from its website.  The YouTube video was originally called an “atheist anthem” and was the only introduction to the band on the site, though after FoxNews highlighted it organizer Justin Griffith said they would not be performing that particular song.

Also absent is the plea for civilians (“as many people as possible”) to come to the event.  A recent article quoted Justin Griffith saying he “counts about 100” atheists at Fort Bragg, meaning he is likely relying on the event to draw far more civilians than members of the military.  For a rough comparison, the Fort Bragg chapels host about 2,000 congregants in 17 services every week (both Christian and not); the Christian Rock the Fort had an estimated attendance of 3-4,000.

In another interesting twist, a revealing but obscure comment was made by a pseudonymed military officer presenting himself as part of Rock Beyond Belief Read more

Weinstein Opposes Islamophobes, Supports Religiophobes

Michael Weinstein recently wrote a scathing letter demanding retired LtGen William “Jerry” Boykin be prohibited from speaking to the US Military Academy (West Point) National Prayer Breakfast on February 8th.  The reason:  Boykin is, in Weinstein’s words, “rabidly Islamophobic.”  (That’s the same word he used to describe Franklin Graham in 2010, when he was invited to a similar event.)

Simultaneously, Michael Weinstein has defended and is helping advertise Rock Beyond Belief — which last week received a significant amount of negative attention for inviting what he would seemingly describe as a “rabidly religiophobic” music group to perform.  In fact, the “rabidly Christophobic” Michael Weinstein is scheduled to be one of the event’s speakers.  Weinstein should probably look up the meaning of “phobia.”

Of course, it makes no sense for a person to use the “defense of religious Read more

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