THE   FOCUS

September 4, 2009
Volume 5, Issue 36
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:
info@centerforatheism.org.

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FEATURED ARTICLES

Diocese appears to break pledge
Boston Globe
By Jonathan Saltzman and Michael Rezendes A Roman Catholic diocese in Connecticut has invoked the First Amendment's separation of church and state in a ...
http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/08/29/conn_diocese_appears_to_break_church_pledge_of_openness/

Group wants Jindal to reimburse state
2TheAdvocate
Welton Gaddy, who is the president of the national Interfaith Alliance, said Jindal is overstepping the line of separation between church and state. ...
http://www.2theadvocate.com/news/56809857.html?index=1&c=y

ATHEISM

Group complains about schools' 'belief in God'
Chicago Tribune
AP UNIONTOWN, Ohio - An atheist group is complaining about an Ohio school district's mission statement listing "belief in God" among its values. ...
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-oh-schools-missionst,0,1235125.story

Atheists offer to care for Christians' pets after the Rapture
Telegraph.co.uk
By Matthew Moore Now a group of atheists in the US have come up with a tongue-in-cheek solution, offering to take in the cats and dogs of "saved" believers ...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/6106462/Atheists-offer-to-care-for-Christians-pets-after-the-Rapture.html

Florida atheists are using a billboard to spread the word
Kentucky.com
By Jaweed Kaleem - McClatchy Newspapers MIAMI — There's nothing unusual about churches advertising Sunday services, but some atheists are turning that idea ...
http://www.kentucky.com/faith/story/913608.html

Secular camp in Collin County focuses on questions, not answers
Dallas Morning News
The Dallas-Fort Worth area already boasts a handful of atheist and agnostic organizations – sprinkled among its thousands of churches. ...
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/religion/stories/083109dnmetatheistcamp.3cc7357.html

No Denying Local Atheist Camp Successful
CBS 11
Forrest said he doesn't know a lot of other children who are atheist or agnostic. On Sunday, he met 40 others with similar points of view. ...
http://cbs11tv.com/religion/atheist.camp.camp.2.1153410.html

An atheist goes to Greenbelt
guardian.co.uk
What happened when we sent a staunch atheist to a Christian arts festival to talk with evangelicals? Can Jessica stay out of the arms of Jesus? ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2009/aug/31/religion-greenbelt-evangelical-atheism

Lodi atheists challenge City Council prayers
Sacramento Bee
By Jennifer Garza David Diskin is an atheist who lives next door to a church. He is used to being a nonbeliever in Lodi, where the City Council begins each ...
http://www.sacbee.com/topstories/story/2149350.html

DART Commission Approves "More Open" Advertising Standards
WHO-TV
"Looking back on it the atheist ads (they) did a great job," says DART general manager Bard Miller, "They certainly got a lot of publicity and we would hope ...
http://www.whotv.com/news/who-story-dart-advertising-090309,0,1100377.story

BOOKS, FILM, THEATRE, TV, YOU TUBE

Science Chronicle
New York Times
In evolution, species are mutable. But the 18th-century founder of taxonomy, Linnaeus, assuredly did not think so, and 20th-century taxonomists, ...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/30/books/review/Dizikes-t.html?_r=1&em

Catholic League president: Atheists 'out there to get us'
Raw Story
This kind of new atheism. This militant dogmatic fundamentalist atheism out there to get us.” Donohue appeared on Fox & Friends to talk about his new book, ...
http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/08/31/catholic-league-atheists-penn-teller/

School Band's Evolution T-Shirt Idea Hits A Sour Note
fox4kc.com
A t-shirt meant to unify the high school band has fueled a hot button topic on creation vs. evolution. It's a debate school districts have dealt with all ...
http://www.fox4kc.com/wdaf-school-band-evolution-shirt-design-083109,0,4592269.story

Book Review: Intelligent Design
Monsters and Critics.com
By Sandy Amazeen Sep 2, 2009, 2:18 GMT Denise Little has taken on the controversial evolution versus creationism argument with this latest anthology of ...
http://www.monstersandcritics.com/books/science_fiction_fantasy/reviews/article_1498694.php/Book-Review-Intelligent-Design

The evidence for evolution
Economist
The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution. By Richard Dawkins. Simon and Schuster; 480 pages; $30. Bantam Press; £20. Buy from Amazon.com, ...
http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14361755

EVOLUTION, CREATIONISM, I.D.

Intelligent Design 'Evidence' Unproven by Real Science Scientists ...
Softpedia
For example, Intelligent Design (ID) proponents have said for a long time that one of their main arguments against evolution is the fact that the basic ...
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Intelligent-Design-039-Evidence-039-Unproven-by-Real-Science-120351.shtml

High school marching band can't wear evolutionary T-shirts
Kansas City Star
Summers said they chose the evolution of man because it was “recognizable.” The band debuted the T-shirts when it marched in the Missouri State Fair parade. ...
http://www.kansascity.com/115/story/1412978.html

Brass Evolution T-Shirts Banned
KCTV5 News
This year's theme is Brass Evolutions and it shows the evolution of man from monkey to homo sapien. Along with it is the evolution of brass instruments. ...
http://www.kctv5.com/news/20655497/detail.html

SCIENCE

Skipping Spouse to Spouse Isn’t Just a Man’s Game
In the United States and much of the Western world, when a couple divorces, the average income of the woman and her dependent children often plunges by 20 percent or more, while that of her now unfettered ex, who had been the family’s primary breadwinner but who...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/science/01angi.html?_r=1&th&emc=th

First Trace of Color Found in Fossil Bird Feathers
Birds, more than any other group of animals, are a celebration of color. They have evolved to every extreme of the spectrum, from the hot pink of flamingos to the shimmering blue of a peacock’s neck. Yet, for decades, paleontologists who study extinct birds have had to use their imaginations to see the colors in the fossils...
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/01/science/01feath.html?th&emc=th

Scientists First To Image 'Anatomy' Of A Molecule
ScienceDaily (Aug. 29, 2009) — IBM scientists have been able to image the “anatomy” -- or chemical structure -- inside a molecule with unprecedented resolution, using a complex technique known as noncontact atomic force microscopy...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090828203759.htm

Warped Debris Disks Around Stars Are 'Blowin' In The Wind'
ScienceDaily (Aug. 28, 2009) — The dust-filled disks where new planets may be forming around other stars occasionally take on some difficult-to-understand shapes. Now, a team led by John Debes at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., finds that a star's motion through interstellar gas can account for many of them...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090828104137.htm

Slow-motion Earthquake Testing Probes How Buildings Collapse In Quakes
ScienceDaily (Aug. 28, 2009) — It takes just seconds for tall buildings to collapse during powerful earthquakes. Knowing precisely what's happening in those seconds can help engineers design buildings that are less prone to sustaining that kind of damage...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090825151002.htm

Fruit Is Even Better For You Than Previously Thought
ScienceDaily (Aug. 28, 2009) — An international team of scientists has found that the polyphenol content of fruits has been underestimated...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827073252.htm

Huge New Planet Orbits 'Wrong' Way Around Star; Tells Of Game Of Planetary Billiards
ScienceDaily (Aug. 28, 2009) — A team of scientists has found a new planet which orbits the wrong way around its host star. The planet, named WASP-17, and orbiting a star 1000 light years away, was found by the UK's WASP project in collaboration with Geneva Observatory. The discovery, which casts new light on how planetary systems form and evolve, is being announced August 12 in a paper submitted to Astrophysical Journal...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827134159.htm

Extrasolar Hot Jupiter: The Planet That 'Shouldn’t Exist'
ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2009) — A planet has been discovered with ten times the mass of Jupiter, but which orbits its star in less than one Earth-day
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090827132901.htm

Getting Wired: How The Brain Does It
ScienceDaily (Aug. 27, 2009) — In a new study, researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital (The Neuro), McGill University have found an important mechanism involved in setting up the vast communications network of connections in the brain...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826113821.htm

Trifid Nebula: A Massive Star Factory
ScienceDaily (Aug. 26, 2009) — A new image of the Trifid Nebula, shows just why it is a firm favorite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike. This massive star factory is so named for the dark dust bands that trisect its glowing heart, and is a rare combination of three nebula types, revealing the fury of freshly formed stars and presaging more star birth...
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090826073442.htm

SEPARATION CHURCH / STATE

Kennedy Was Champion Of ChurchState Separation | Americans United
The Rev Barry W Lynn executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State today issued the following statement on the death of U.S. Sen ...
http://www.au.org/media/press-releases/archives/2009/08/kennedy-was-champion-of.html

In shift, Missouri keeps its child-care center rules
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
... Thursday that the rules had never been challenged in court as a violation of the separation of church and state or as an abuse of regulatory power. ...
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/missouristatenews/story/91E4B4F7640BC17E86257621001D87CF?OpenDocument

Scientology: crisis in France
guardian.co.uk
France, with its republican tradition of the separation of church and state, takes the behaviour of sects and cults seriously – perhaps because it has been ...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/29/scientology-france-legal

McDonnell Grad School Thesis Causes Stir in Va. Governor Race
WCAV
He also wrote that the GOP should act to "correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state," arguing that the First Amendment ...
http://www.charlottesvillenewsplex.tv/news/headlines/56256977.html

Atheists To Weigh Each Case
kypost.com
"If this case were to have been lost, church-state separation, in Kentucky at least, would have been in very bad trouble." AP....
http://www.kypost.com/news/local/story/Atheists-To-Weigh-Each-Case/XdWXjgRtskKtSw18K07fPQ.cspx

Hearings ordered on state funding of service agency
Louisville Courier-Journal
... religious activity that was funded with state money,” said Barry Lynn, executive director for Americans United for Separation of Church and State. ...
http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20090831/NEWS01/908310347/Hearings+ordered+on+state+funding+of+service+agency

Bless this meeting: Cities call on faithful for prayer before business
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Government entities address the separation of church and state differently. In Bartlett, the prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance is listed before the ...
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2009/aug/31/bless-this-meeting/

McDonnell: Views have changed since school
Staunton News Leader
"Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state," he wrote. "Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the ...
http://www.newsleader.com/article/20090831/NEWS01/908310320

Church, Post Office Are Package Deal In Manchester
Connecticut Law Tribune
The 77-year-old Jewish World War II veteran knew that separation of church and state is a central feature of American government, and it just didn't seem ...
http://www.ctlawtribune.com/getarticle.aspx?ID=34812

Graduation plans move ahead as lawsuit continues
Brookfield Elm Grove Now
On behalf of several unnamed plaintiffs, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a lawsuit April 22 in federal court in Milwaukee to stop ...
http://www.brookfieldnow.com/news/56450097.html

Tax dollars will support churches and parochial schools
NBC Chicago
Are these grants a violation of the separation between Church and State? Should tax dollars be used to support churches and parochial schools? ...
http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local-beat/New-Taxes-For-Gods-Sake-56584997.html

Court Revives Suit Over Faith-Based Youth Homes
Courthouse News Service
The lawsuit was combined with a separate action alleging that Kentucky Baptist violates the separation of church and state by teaching religion in ...
http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/02/Court_Revives_Suit_Over_Faith-Based_Youth_Homes.htm

Atheists say that NASA is violating separation of church and state
Los Angeles Chronicle
An Atheist-First Amendment public policy group charged last week that NASA is violating the separation of church and state by permitting a "space ...
http://www.losangeleschronicle.com/articles/view/116973

Still no nativity scenes, atheists signs at state Capitol
Seattle Times
Still not allowed inside the state Capitol in Olympia: Nativity scenes, atheist signs or Festivus poles. Still not allowed inside the state Capitol in ...
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2009796245_capitol03.html

Idaho charter school sues after state bars use of Bible as text
First Amendment Center
... Bible as part of literature or history courses if it does not violate a separation of church and state, according to the state Department of Education. ...
http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=22023

School board candidates address religion, school year
DesMoinesRegister.com
Buckton: Believes in a separation of church and state and that parents should be responsible for teaching their children about religion. ...
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090903/NEWS02/909030366/-1/NEWS04

Reports: Gov. Jindal took state helicopters to church
Raw Story
Nevertheless, Jindal still has “a separation of church and state problem here,” reenforced Maddow. “… The governor has been sold to us as a fiscal ...
http://rawstory.com/08/news/2009/09/04/jindal-took-chopper-to-church/

MISCELLANEOUS

None
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        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.
 
 
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