Your Complaints Protect the Separation of Church and State

Wash your hands for Jesus

We've all seen signs encouraging people to wash their hands in restaurant restrooms. Many of us appreciate these prompts. We don't like to think about the people who are preparing our food disregarding this advice.

The idea of such a reminder hanging on the wall of a public school restroom doesn't seem like a bad idea. These are high-traffic areas, and illness spreads quickly. One sick kid leads to many sick kids, and they bring whatever they catch home with them. It seems like another good place to encourage hand washing.

What don't picture is a sign like the one here. It says, "Wash your HANDS and say your PRAYERS because Jesus and GERMS ARE EVERYWHERE." This would be fine in a church restroom, but we don't expect it in a public school. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) intervened after a student attending a California public school found it there.

The good news is that the Victor Valley Union High School District promptly removed the sign. The bad news is that this required a letter from an FFRF attorney after a student complained. The sign would still be there if nobody in the school had the courage to come forward. This seems to be the case with most church-state violations, and that's disappointing. We all know how much pressure there is to keep quiet about them.


Countering Christian Nationalism in Our Local Communities

Sun Prairie Wisconsin street

There's a group of people in your local community working hard to bring about a state of affairs you find undesirable. They aim to limit your access to ideas they do not favor. They want to take away some of the rights you've taken for granted. They might even aspire to criminalize some aspects of who you are. In short, they seek dominion over you.

This group is well organized. They meet at least 1-3 times each week. They know each other well, share many goals, and support one another in the process. Few have close friends outside their group, and prefer it that way. Their group provides plenty of support, community, and access to like-minded people. What more could one need?


Louisiana Baptists Spread Nonsense to Welsh Students

Carew castle

What do evangelical Christians in the United States do when they have a hard time finding support for their more extreme beliefs at home? They export them to some unlikely places. According to the National Secular Society, one of those places is Wales.

An American church partnered with over 20 schools in Wales and exposed students to homophobic beliefs and creationism, a new documentary by The News Movement has revealed.

Members of the evangelical, Louisiana based First West Baptist Church visited the schools as part of a "cultural exchange" between 2009 and 2018. First West Baptist claim the partnership was established when they offered to provide help after a spike in suicides among young people in Bridgend in south Wales.


Canada: How Do They Keep It So Clean?

Banff Canada national park

I was born in the United States and have lived here all my life. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest in a family that enjoyed road trips and camping. Thus, it is no surprise that I've been to Canada several times. Many trips with my family centered on British Columbia. Some of the longer journeys involved traveling East through Alberta. As an adult, I added a couple of trips to Ontario to the list.

I've always enjoyed spending time in Canada. But I have to admit there's one thing about it I've never been able to figure out. How do they keep it so clean? Traveling in the U.S. means seeing lots of litter on the side of almost every road. This was a rare sight in Canada. How do they do it?