Foundation Beyond Belief
has done so much over the past year. We began as a vehicle for Humanists to support great charities, but we've expanded so much over the past year. We've sent volunteers overseas to do "secular missionary work" (minus the proselytizing) as part of the Pathfinders Project
. We've also created a large network of volunteers
-- including on-the-ground disaster relief response when needed (Ed Brayton
has more on that here
).There's a small staff to oversee this work and keep everything running smoothly, and we could use your support to keep these projects going.
Two decades ago, the Church of England allowed women into the priesthood. In November, the Church officially said that women could hold leadership positions. And now, in the year 2014, almost five hundred years after gaining independence from the Vatican, it has named its first female bishop.Reverend Libby Lane
(below), a former deacon, priest, and Dean of Women in Ministry in Chester, will become the new Bishop of Stockport
Back in July, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed an open records request with Wisconsin state officials asking how they planned to implement the law following the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby
[Plaintiff and FFRF attorney Patrick] Elliott made a series of open records requests of the Office of the Commissioner after a reported agency decision that Wisconsin's contraceptive mandate, known as the Contraceptive Equity Law, would no longer be enforced because it was preempted by the June 30 Hobby Lobby ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.FFRF and many other observers disagreed, since the Religious Freedom Restoration Act under which the ruling was decided applies only to the federal government, not states.
Elliott asked for specific documents regarding how state officials communicated with each other regarding contraceptive coverage.What he eventually got back were just a handful of documents that didn't even come close to fulfilling the whole request. That's illegal, says FFRF, and they're suing
over this lack of transparency
People are expected to be on their best behavior in church. Father Michele Madonna
wishes his flock would understand that that means cell phones and tablets ought to be turned off for the duration of the service.But asking nicely didn't work, and neither did prayer (God wasn't taking messages). So to enforce his in-church ban on mobile devices, the priest bought a jammer
A Catholic priest says the only calls to be heard during Mass should be from God -- so he has installed a jamming device in his Italian church to stop the congregation talking on their cells. Father Michele Madonna forked out the cash to install the gadget inside the Santa Maria a Montesanto chapel in downtown Naples, reports Ansa. He said he was fed up with the constant ringing and beeping of phones during his sermons.
Back in October
, a group of science advocates including Jerry Coyne
and Richard Dawkins
, with the help of the Freedom From Religion Foundation
, wrote a letter to Georgia Southern University.It turned out that History professor Dr. Emerson T. McMullen
(below) was teaching courses
in which he advocated Creationism.