THE   FOCUS

December 07, 2008
Volume 4, Issue 49
Published by the Center For Atheism (CFA)
Editor: David Birnkrant
 
The Focus provides links to articles collected from major newspapers and magazines, and is emailed weekly.

This Week in Atheism is a cable show that discusses the articles featured below, every Wednesday at 6:30 PM (EST), Manhattan Cable station 57. 
Live streaming is available at: 
http://www.mnn.org.

Comments, suggestions and subscription:
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FEATURED ARTICLES

NPR Sends Wiccan Priestess to Public Prayer Booth

Fox News - USA

A pagan priestess runs into the president of the atheists in a phone booth in New York

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,457205,00.html

 

Preserving the City: Church and State

By ROBIN POGREBIN

Many argue that the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission has not done enough to protect churches from the overheated real estate market

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/01/arts/design/01landmarks.html?th&emc=th

 

Ky. law requires Homeland Security to credit God - Yahoo! News

A lawmaker says the state's Homeland Security office should be crediting God with keeping the state safe...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081128/ap_on_re_us/homeland_security_god

 

Capitol holiday decor: tree, manger, atheist sign

Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA

The holiday tree in the state Capitol this year will be joined by a Christian nativity scene and an atheistic billboard. The Capitol has had a holiday tree, ...

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_wa_capitol_holiday_displays.html

 

Atheist sign joins nativity scene, tree at Capitol

Seattle Post Intelligencer - USA

An atheist placard has joined a "holiday tree" and Christian Nativity scene on display in the state Capitol. The atheist sign was unveiled Monday by ...

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/6420ap_wa_atheist_display.html

 

Rancho Cucamonga sued over atheist billboard

San Jose Mercury News - CA, USA

AP LOS ANGELES—An atheist group is suing Rancho Cucamonga for the city's alleged role in removal of the organization's "Imagine No Religion" billboard. ...

http://www.mercurynews.com/breakingnews/ci_11112337

 

Gregoire's office deluged with calls on atheist sign

Seattle Times - United States

Fox News' Bill O'Reilly had an eight-minute segment on his show Tuesday night decrying the inclusion of the atheistic billboard along with a holiday tree ...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2008466355_webbillboard03.html

 

Kentucky law puts God in charge of security? Atheists appalled

Chicago Tribune - United States

So riled up are the atheists over this apparent squeezing together of church and state that the lawsuit resorts to name calling, claiming the plaintiffs ...

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-081204-atheists,0,6784488.story

 
 
News Articles
  (Some publications may require that you sign up for membership to view their article.)

ATHEISM

MP bows out on ungodly note

NEWS.com.au - Australia

OUTGOING Democrat Sandra Kanck has used her last sitting day to question why messages promoting atheism have been banned from appearing on public transport. ...

http://www.news.com.au/adelaidenow/story/0,27574,24741478-2682,00.html

 

Atheists Sue To Get God Out Of Homeland Security

WYMT - Hazard,KY,USA

It's people like the "American Atheists Inc" that this country and the entire world for that matter, is so messed up. I was actually considering filing suit ...

http://www.wkyt.com/wymtnews/headlines/35374219.html

 

Atheist students want God out of speech

United Press International - USA

EDMONTON, Alberta, Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A move is afoot by Canadian student atheists and agnostics to have references to God removed from the University of ...

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/2008/12/02/Atheist_students_want_God_out_of_speech/UPI-69761228250453/

 

Freethought and faithfulness: An improbable friendship

Rocktown Weekly - Harrisonburg,VA,USA

Sophomore biology major and club secretary Shannon McKernin, (an intense sort of Catholic during high school before becoming an atheist early in college) ...

http://www.rocktownweekly.com/rocktown/focus.php?AID=2801

 

Atheists' sign at Capitol spurs protest, counter-signs

Seattle Times - United States

A protest, several counter-signs and a news conference are the latest in a flurry of activity spurred by a sign put up Monday by an atheist group in the ...

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008470773_webatheist05m.html

 

Gregoire, McKenna release statement on holiday displays after ...

PolitickerWA - WA,USA

The statement comes on the heels of the governor's office being flooded with hundreds of calls after the atheist display received considerable newspaper ink ...

http://www.politickerwa.com/bryanbissell/2688/gregoire-mckenna-release-statement-holiday-displays-after-increased-heat

 

No God—And No Abortions

Newsweek - USA

Christopher Hitchens, the bombastic and verbally double-jointed atheist intellectual, says the articulation of such points of view represents progress, ...

http://www.newsweek.com/id/171240

 

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Atheist Ad Ban

Razors Edge - Sydney,NSW,Australia

An Australian atheist organisation with sixteen thousand dollars to spend on advertising, has been knocked back three times by ad companies who rejected ...

http://2ser.podomatic.com/entry/eg/2008-11-29T21_25_15-08_00

 

The 10 Best Books of 2008

New York Times - United States

This absorbing memoir traces Barnes's progress from atheism (at age 20) to agnosticism (at 60) and examines the problem of religion not by rehashing the ...

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/14/books/review/10Best-t.html?ref=books

 

Ricky Gervais on atheism and more

Telegraph.co.uk - United Kingdom

The plan was to chat to Ricky Gervais for 10 minutes or so ahead of a piece I've written for this Saturday's paper about atheism and comedy. ...

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/dominccavendish/blog/2008/12/04/ricky_gervais_on_atheism_and_more

 

Debate over "I Believe"

WCBD - Charleston,SC,USA

By Tim Gehret Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit in June, suing the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles to prevent ...

http://www.counton2.com/cbd/news/local/article/debate_over_i_believe/17715/

 

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Romania removes theory of evolution from school curriculum

MINA - Montreal,Quebec,Canada

Romania's withdrawal of the theory of evolution from the school curriculum could be evidence of a growing conservative tendency in teaching. ...

http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/4652/46/

 

SCIENCE

Selenium May Slow March Of AIDS

ScienceDaily (Nov. 29, 2008) — Increasing the production of naturally occurring proteins that contain selenium in human blood cells slows down multiplication of the AIDS virus, according to biochemists...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081128082835.htm

 

Panamanian Termite Goes Ballistic: Fastest Mandible Strike In The World

ScienceDaily (Nov. 29, 2008) — A single hit on the head by the termite Termes panamensis (Snyder), which possesses the fastest mandible strike ever recorded, is sufficient to kill a would-be nest invader, report Marc Seid and Jeremy Niven, post-doctoral fellows at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Rudolf Scheffrahn from the University of Florida...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124165259.htm

 

'The Photon Force Is With Us': Harnessing Light To Drive Nanomachines

ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2008) — Science fiction writers have long envisioned sailing a spacecraft by the optical force of the sun's light. But, the forces of sunlight are too weak to fill even the oversized sails that have been tried...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081126133305.htm

 

Delving Into Mysterious Irregularity Of Earth's Magnetic Field: Observatory Being Built In Middle Of Atlantic Ocean

ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2008) — A new Danish observatory on a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean will provide researchers with new knowledge about the mysterious irregularity of the Earth's magnetic field known as the South Atlantic Anomaly...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125090348.htm

 

Insight Into 'Dancing' Atoms: To Make Better MRI Images, Let The Atoms Spin Out Of Control

ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2008) — Scientists have made a new theoretical advance in atomic behavior that could lead to sharper magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pictures. The discovery could one day help enable the development of portable MRI machines...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081125121234.htm

 

Surgeons Perform World's First Pediatric Robotic Bladder Reconstruction

ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2008) — A 10-year-old Chicago girl born with an abnormally small bladder that made her incontinent has become the first patient to benefit from a new robotic-assisted bladder-reconstruction method developed by surgeons at the University of Chicago Medical Center...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081120090604.htm

 

How DNA Is Unwound So That Its Code Can Be Read

ScienceDaily (Nov. 28, 2008) — Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have figured out how a macromolecular machine is able to unwind the long and twisted tangles of DNA within a cell's nucleus so that genetic information can be "read" and used to direct the synthesis of proteins, which have many specific functions in the body...

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/11/081124141057.htm

 

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Rev. George Docherty; Urged 'Under God' in Pledge

Washington Post - United States

Then as now, legal scholars questioned whether a reference to a deity in a patriotic pledge violated the First Amendment separation of church and state. ...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/29/AR2008112900912.html?hpid=sec-religion

 

Christmas Wins Another Round

Inside Higher Ed - Washington,DC,USA

When issues of holiday displays are raised, they frequently happen at public institutions, since they must respect the separation of church and state. ...

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2008/12/01/displays

 

'Green Church' Co-op Plans Fall Through

Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Brooklyn,NY,USA

... Preservation Commission and Commissioner John Tierney work in connection with the delicate issue of church and state separation and preservation issues. ...

http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=31&id=24930

 

Debate over "I Believe" license plates

WCBD - Charleston,SC,USA

The local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State debate the controversial issue Thursday night at the First Christian Church in West ...

http://www.counton2.com/cbd/news/local/article/debate_over_i_believe_license_plates/17711/

 

"The Church in America is...in near perfect allegiance to the ...

The People's Voice - Nashville,TN,USA

You would think that the good padre would have showed some respect for our First Amendment to the US Constitution, and its "Separation of Church and State" ...

http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2008/12/04/priest-demands-a-8220-confessiona-8221-f

 

Gay marriage advocates bristle at the role of religion in election

OCRegister - Santa Ana,CA,USA

He also pointed out that the phrase "separation of church and state" does not appear in the US Constitution itself. Jeff Flint, a principal political ...

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/religious-church-campaign-2247442-state-gay

 

MISCELLANEOUS

Attack on BHA is an attack on us all

National Secular Society - London,UK

The Telegraph headline suggests that the £35000 was being spent on the atheist bus campaign, which the BHA is administering. It was a deception happily ...

http://www.secularism.org.uk/104015.html

 

Greeting Card Company Order of St. Nick Finds Niche With "Atheist ...

MarketWatch - USA

Famous atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris do, and humorous greeting card publisher Order of St. Nick is betting that millions more do as well. ...

http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Greeting-Card-Company-Order-St/story.aspx?guid={33B6F750-BE5C-4CD0-9664-0291CC8C2774}

 

Atheist Sees Image of Big Bang in Piece of Toast

Specious Report (satire) - USA

London, UK | Excitement is growing in the Northern England town of Huddlesfield following news that local atheist Donald Chapman saw an image of the Big ...

http://www.thespeciousreport.com/2008/v802atheisttoast.html

 

New Line of Christmas Cards Target Atheists

Evening Bulletin - Philadelphia,PA,USA

"That's nearly 30 million atheists, agnostics, secularists, skeptics and humanists who are being overlooked by mainstream card companies at this time of the ...

http://www.thebulletin.us/site/index.cfm?newsid=20212108&BRD=2737&PAG=461&dept_id=576361&rfi=8


 
 
  CONVENTIONS / MEETINGS / EVENTS 
 
 No upcoming events for 2008.
 
             
 
        CFA Program
 
The Center for Atheism (CFA) was established by the New York City Atheists as a separate and independent national organization to propose, develop, and be a catalyst for new national activities supporting the objectives of atheists, agnostics, humanists, freethinkers, skeptics, secularists and separation-of-church-and-state advocates. 

CFA will accept and review suggestions from individuals and other secular organizations that will foster our goals.
 
 
          Special Notices

          Check out the article entitled "NPR Sends Wiccan Priestess to Public Prayer Booth" and read how our very own NYCA President Ken Bronstein is featured in the fight for reason during a season usually dominated by superstition.
 

 
 
 
Comments, suggestions, and subscriptions: 
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@centerforatheism.org