SCA’s Morning Read for April 19, 2013

SCA in the News
Obama praises Boston for overcoming the ‘face of evil’ (Washington Post)
The service attracted complaints, however, from a local coalition of nonbelievers who said they were not included despite multiple outreach efforts to organizers at the Archdiocese of Boston, the mayor’s office and the governor’s office. “I wanted to give them the opportunity to be as fully inclusive as possible,” said Zachary Bos, co-chair of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts, an umbrella group of 14 atheist and humanist groups. “They fumbled it and that leaves me a little baffled.” Morning Read

Atheists at prayer? Thoughts on Boston’s healing (Religion News Service)
The Secular Coalition for America posted a statement on its website that it was disappointed that non-theists weren’t represented, noting that at least two of the victim’s on Monday’s bombing were non-believers.

Atheists Say Boston Prayer Organizers Snubbed Them (Talk Radio News)
Several atheist groups say that they should have been invited to participate in the interfaith service held today in Boston to mourn those who died in Monday’s terrorist bombings.

Humanists excluded from Boston Marathon Interfaith Service (Examiner)
The Secular Coalition for America reports at least two of the victims in the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday had ties to the humanist community in the greater Boston area: Celeste Corcoran of Lowell, Massachusetts, who lost both her legs at the knees in one of the bomb blasts and her 18 year-old daughter, Sydney, who suffered severe injuries as a result of being hit by shrapnel.

After Boston Bombs, Atheists Denied Healing (Patheos, Blog)
Zachary Bos of the Secular Coalition for Massachusetts went in person to meet with representatives of the Governor’s Office to request participation in a public “interfaith” response to terrorism yesterday, and was promised a response by the end of the day, which he did not receive. It is heartbreaking because people involved with my own Humanist community have been gravely affected by the bombings.

Harvard atheists shocked at exclusion from Boston bombing memorial service (The Raw Story)
The Harvard Humanist Community was shocked Thursday when their members were, in the carefully-chosen words of New York Times best-selling author Greg M. Epstein, “blown off” and excluded from an inter-faith memorial ceremony for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.“We gave the White House an opportunity to exert a little more influence to help include us, and I’m disappointed that didn’t happen,” Epstein added. “We spoke to high ranking members of the governor’s staff multiple times — people we know for a fact were involved in organizing the vigil — in fact we called them every hour on the hour. And when I say we, I don’t mean me: I mean our lobbying office, the Secular Coalition for America.”

More on Boston Interfaith Service…
My Take: Godless in Boston mourn, too (CNN)
What is so disappointing to see people do, then, is blame the horrific and traumatizing events of this Monday on the godless, or on godlessness, as way too many on Twitter and elsewhere have been doing. As one young woman in our community said to me, “It’s hard enough to deal with senseless grief, but when people write things like ‘Why do people have to be so godless to want to kill innocent people?’ it makes me feel like I’m not safe either, like we’re being singled out for prejudice.”

Movement
Worldwide Protests for Free Expression in Bangladesh (Center for Inquiry)
An international coalition of atheist and humanist organizations, led by the Center for Inquiry, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, American Atheists, and CFI-Canada will protest the arrest and persecution of atheist bloggers and other dissenters in Bangladesh with demonstrations in New York, Washington, London, Ottawa, and other cities around the world on Thursday, April 25.

Science
Texas A&M Researcher Helps Discover an “Almost Psychic” Photonless Communication
(Texas A&M University)
Quantum physicist M. Suhail Zubairy, along with a post-doctoral fellow and Saudi researchers, have discovered a form of “almost psychic communication” in which information can be exchanged between two parties without any physical particles traveling between them.”

Courts
Today, the Supreme Court will consider whether to hear an important case on the constitutionality of holding a high school graduation in a church auditorium. Here’s one opinion: How hostile to religion must the state be? (Washington Times)

Court: Adventist Can Have Friday Off
A Seventh-day Adventist school bus driver in the U.S. state of Louisiana has won the right from a federal appeals court to proceed with a workplace discrimination case over his observance of Sabbath.Robert Antoine last week was granted a unanimous decision from a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans against his former employer First Student Inc., the largest school bus company in North America.

States
(West Virginia) High school student allegedly threatened by principal for protesting abstinence assembly (God Discussion)
Katelyn Campbell claims she was threatened by the Principal of her high school for speaking out against an assembly that focused on abstinence-only sex education. Campbell, the student body Vice President, is filing an injunction against the George Aulenbacher, whom she says is seeking to punish her by forcing her to accept a report stating she has ‘bad character,’ for protesting about factually incorrect information disseminated at the assembly.

(Oklahoma) Dennis Johnson, Oklahoma GOP Lawmaker, Apologizes To ‘The Jews’ For ‘Jew Me Down’ Comment (Huffington Post)
An Oklahoma lawmaker apologized (or tried to laugh it off) after he used the phrase “Jew me down” during a legislative debate. His attempted recovery? “I apologize to the Jews. They’re good small businessmen as well.”

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