* Brian Fields’ President’s Report, in which he reminds us about the Reason Rally, and three exciting PAN events: our booth at the Olde York Street Fair on May 8, our annual Riverboat trip on May 22, and our marching in the Annville Memorial Day Parade on May 28. Also, we now have the date for the 2017 PA Atheist Humanist Convention: October 15 -17. Brian also updates PAN members about the new organization that will, among other things, organize our conventions in the future.
* The PA General Assembly has so much free time that it can bring back a golden oldie.
* The Catholic Church runs into an obstacle to selling and/or tearing down unneeded churches in Philadelphia.
* The Unitarian Universalist Church takes an unexpected position.
* A new study looking into LGBQT people and religion needs participants.
* It’s not just that the Vatican official built himself a new lavish apartment. There’s more, and it’s worse.
* Atheists can’t give money away.
* Unlikely combatants found in the War on Christmas.
* More bogus “religious freedom” issues are discovered.
* Atheists in the military have a successful group – in Texas.
* Another secular blogger murdered in Bangladesh.
* Victim of Idaho’s parental freedom law wants to sue her parents.
* Kansas tries to fight intelligent design again, with predictable results.
* Why would anybody think the US needs a Day of Reason?
* Here’s an unexpected atheist paradise.
* A court decides this god isn’t real.
* Religious belief numbers in the US are going the right way.
* In Member Submissions, Mark Gecker tells us about a conversation he had with a Muslim woman.
* Remember to check out our meetings and volunteer/activism opportunities. Watch the Freethought Forum live or online, go through our website to purchase from Amazon, buy Giant gift cards through us. We’ll be happy to take regular contributions, too.
* Brian Fields’ President’s Report, which goes over the results of our Board elections, reminds us about our TV show, The Freethought Forum and the upcoming Reason Rally, and notes some recent media attention for PAN.
* The FFRF issues a special invitation to the Reason Rally
* One of our local religious crazies gets national attention
* Students object to a faith-based organization teaching sex ed
* What do you think concerns a Catholic bishop more – the Girls Scouts, or priests having sex with children?
* It’s not just that she’s a serious candidate for the Texas school board.
* There are lots of atheist organizations out there, even where you’d least expect them.
* Prayer scam takes normal church procedure to the next level.
* CBS allows church separation ads.
* Religion is on the decline, and researchers can prove it.
* Appalling priorities in the Idaho legislature.
* Footnote to an old Altoona abuse case.
* Religious extremism on the rise in India.
* David Barton, “historian,” continues to make stuff up.
* Member submission from Jeannie Hess; volunteer opportunity with PAN’s Adopt-a-Highway project on April 9; meeting information, Freethought Forum details; ways to contribute to PAN
* Brian Fields’ President’s Letter, which encourages us to make our plans for the Reason Rally now. Remember, too, PAN’s Annual Meeting is this Saturday, March 5, in York. And of course if you haven’t re-upped for membership for 2016, you still can.
* Details about the Reason Rally, with the lineup of speakers
* Update on the lawsuit over the signs Justin Vacula’s NEPA wanted to put on Scranton/Wilkes-Barre buses
* The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster continues to get recognition
* Another lawsuit about the procedures Catholic hospitals won’t perform
* Fallout from the Mormon church’s crackdown on gay members
* Christian revisionist history won’t go away
* Atheist activity in Arizona
* More information from Pew Research about religion and voting – surprise, there’s some good news for atheists
* The Vatican commission to prevent child abuse has issues. Gee, who expected that?
* Here’s what really happened to Justice Scalia
* Member submissions: Jim Eshleman reviews The Evolution of God, by Robert Wright; Marc Gecker continues to discuss presidential politics; Wayne Trotta offers an analysis of Justice Scalia’s attitude toward religion
* Volunteer/Activism: Remember that PAN is marching in St. Patrick’s Day parades in York and Harrisburg! Come with us. There’s a request for help from someone in Morocco, which is interesting but which PAN does not endorse; and, of course, PAN’s meetings
* Don’t forget the Freethought Forum, second and fourth Tuesday each month; contributing to PAN through Amazon, and just plain cash
See you at the Annual Meeting, Saturday, March 5, 10:00 am, UUCY Carriage House, 925 S. George St. (Rear), York!
* Brian Fields’ President’s Letter, discussing PAN’s Annual Meeting, and the start of the next season of activism
* Looking for a fun summer hobby? Franklin Graham has the answer.
* Crazy religion stories from the end of 2015
* A mayor attracts attention because he understands the basis of US law
* Inclusiveness intrudes on the school year
* PAN members know that not all religious terrorists are Muslim – they can be Christian, too
* New group formed to fight the evil Girl Scouts
* Clergy women aren’t so equal
* Michael Newdow makes another run at the Supreme Court
* Mormon-run cities taken to court, at last
* Pakistan, child marriage and Islam
* New especially repugnant psychic scam
* Member Marc Gecker writes about religion, and the upcoming election
* More details about upcoming events (St. Patrick’s Day!), PAN meetings, the Freethought Forum, and ways to contribute to PAN
* Brian Fields’ President Report, where he gives us the details of our Solstice Party (thanks to Carl and Cheryl Huber for hosting). Brian also provides a summary of the Secular Coalition’s effort to eliminate nonmedical vaccine exemptions. Finally, if you are proud of what PAN does, remember to become a member!
* The Pennsylvania Legislature can’t pass a budget, but it sure can pray!
* More religious political nonsense, but at least it’s from outside Pennsylvania.
* Ireland’s so-called public schools discriminate against nonbelievers.
* Mormon leaders are surprised when their vindictiveness against the children of gay couples proves unpopular.
* Ben Carson spreads a debunked story about liberal bias in college.
* Nonreligious help for nonbelievers.
* Arbitration can be difficult enough. Now there’s religious arbitration.
* Just what we need – a new federal agency to help promote religion!
* Another clergy abuse story with a Pennsylvania twist.
* “Christian” negotiation.
* The sad fate of Bangladesh’s atheist bloggers.
* Hobby Lobby might want to stop trying to enforce its morals on everybody else.
* PAN News, including meeting dates and times. There will be no Lancaster meeting in December.
* Remember to watch the Freethought Forum, on TV, over the internet or on PAN’s YouTube channel.
* Looking for Solstice gifts? Why not buy a couple of Giant cards from PAN, as stocking stuffers? And make sure you go through PAN’s website to get to Amazon!
PANViews takes the end of the year off. See you with the February issue!
* Brian Fields’ President’s Report, in which he talks about his plans for an umbrella organization for Pennsylvania atheist groups
* Reminder to renew your membership, either online or on paper!
* A York church made a really unfortunate hiring decision
* The Shippensburg Area School District can’t make anybody happy when it teaches about Asian religions as a part of Asian culture
* The Interfaith Alliance of Pennsylvania celebrates its tenth anniversary. The celebration will be held on November 1 at 3:00 pm at Penbrook United Church of Christ, 56 Banks Street, Penbrook, PA
* American Atheist takes on religious restrictions in hospital care
* Dear Abby is on our side!
* You know how you, and everybody you know, is tired and out of sorts? There’s a simple explanation
* And that very same explanation is why an Air Force dental technician got fired
* The PA Legislature can’t pass a budget but they can waste time on stupid bills about religion
* Our politicians could be better. But they could also be worse
* Congress members use taxpayer funds to lobby for God
* A novel and icky wedding gift for Dad
* Future financial problems for the Catholic church, and a peek at where some of its money goes
* How college football ties itself to religion
* For those keeping score at home, a checklist of end-of-the-world predictions
* Member submissions: Priscilla Oppenheimer explains Rick Santorum, Wayne Trotta reviews Inventing a Christian Nation: The Myth of the Religious Founding by Steven K. Green, and Doug Diggens rants about God and punishment
* Volunteer and Activism Opportunities provides information about A Concert for Science and Reason, commemorating the tenth anniversary of Kitzmiller v Dover on November 7
* List of our meetings, and information about the Freethought Forum, and on how to donate to PAN
* President’s letter from Brian Fields, with a summary of the results for Atheists Fight Hunger, with pictures!
* Reason Rally scheduled for June 4
* The FFRF scores two monumental wins
* Harvard students are getting smarter
* Mormons have a relationship problem
* Christian Science church with a sense of humor
* Atheist families and morality
* The Little League and God
* Football and religion
* Government-mandated Christian counseling
* Some schools still don’t get the Pledge thing
* Good news, bad news
* Catholic hospitals play by their own rules
* PAN News: Another wonderful riverboat ride; upcoming events, Oct. 3, Newport Canal Days, Oct. 10-11, Pennsboro Pumpkin Festival; list of upcoming meetings. Note: No coffee or tea will be provided at the Oct. 3 York meeting. Feel free to bring your own!
* Remember to watch the Freethought Forum, on the second and fourth Tuesday at 6:00 pm, in York on WRCT, cable channel 16, or at http://www.wrct.tv. Volunteers always welcome!
* Impressed by all the good things PAN is doing? Feel free to contribute. Remember to go through PAN’s website when you shop on Amazon, and buy Giant cards through PAN.
* President’s Report from Brian Fields, where he reminds members about our upcoming and conference and the Atheists Fighting Hunger project, and our upcoming Riverboat excursion. You can admire the sign PennDOT put up, acknowledging PAN’s highway adoption project. The next clean-up is September 6; contact Cathryn Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
* Pennsylvania legislators challenge Oklahoma in ignorance about the separation of powers
* God loves America best! And he likes to mess with Republican politicians
* Congratulations to Angie’s List
* Jehovah’s Witnesses are not just annoying
* Newly discovered sacred items
* Snakes continue to defeat the religious
* Atheist Ireland makes progress
* Wait! Maybe President Obama isn’t the anti-Christ!
* Particularly strange and scary reactions to the gay marriage ruling
* Are religious people healthier than we are?
* Religion and racial diversity
* Christian teacher takes on atheist second grader
* Religion infects a sheriff’s department
* John Oliver’s brilliant parody of televangelist greed, and the parsonage exemption
* Member submissions from long-time members Shannon and Linda Turk, and a book review by Jacob Zentichko
We will be holding the York meeting on Saturday, September 5, even though it’s Labor Day weekend, at 10:00 am at the UUCY Carriage House, 925 S. George St., rear
Enjoy, and see you at the conference!
* President’s Report from Brian Fields updates us on the food donation project at the PA Atheist/Humanist Conference, reminds us to renew our membership if we haven’t done so for 2015, and thanks PAN members for their volunteer work
* PA Turnpike workers apparently don’t have enough to do
* Gay marriage, Catholic teachers and tax credits
* Pot smokers stand up for religious freedom
* How much has the Catholic church in the US paid out for sex abuse cases? Prepare to be appalled
* Kansas solves a non-existent problem
* Graphic summary of the state of US atheism, from the American Humanist Association
* Different sort of Pirates in Iceland
* Episcopalians try to find a compromise on gay marriage
* Missed God’s Not Dead? Don’t despair!
* Atheism in Puerto Rico
* Oklahoma, again. Reports from there are becoming a regular feature
* Discriminating through food in India
* Burqa bans in Europe
* Wisdom from Duck Dynasty
* Taxes to support religion in supposedly nonreligious countries
* Member submissions: Letter to the Editor from Charles Crumling, Kate Haas, Lisa Mercer, and Karen Kay Sloane from Lancasteronline.com, supporting atheists in Lancaster; review of half-finished book, More Than A Carpenter, from Brian Fields
* Updates on our events, volunteer efforts, and ways to donate to PAN
Remember to attend the York meeting on August 1, and join us at York’s Equality Day on August !
* Brian Fields’ president report, where he gives us good news about our food bank event, and shows off our new banner and tent Please note, if you want to volunteer for the conference, go to http://atheistpa.org/volunteers.
* PA will be safe from Sharia law!
* Bi-partisan support against blasphemy laws
* Depressing news about “religious exemption” laws
* Religious people aren’t the only ones who see their symbols in food
* Here’s why the Texas drought ended
* Step backwards for some Jewish women in England
* Possible small step forward for the Catholic church
* Pat Robertson strikes again
* God didn’t end the death penalty in Nebraska, but you’ll be surprised to find out who did
* Franklin Graham (and his sister) strike again, too
* Christians under siege in Arkansas
* The Boy Scouts are still bigots
* Guess what! There is an atheist candidate for president
* Death with dignity takes a step forward
* You’ll never think about eggs benedict, or Pope Benedict, the same way
* In Louisiana, it is possible to teach creationism
* Member submissions include Jim Waldie’s tips for the next adopt-a-highway event, and someone who wishes to remain anonymous questions whether God is all-good, or all-powerful
Check out the volunteer activities, and to distribute the flyer at the end of PANViews. Remember, there will be no York meeting in July.
* Brian Fields’ President’s Letter, where he talks about an award PAN has won from the Foundation Beyond Belief, plus a reminder about our project to feed the hungry at the PA Atheist/Humanist Conference.We also have great events this month: Old Annville Days, Jubilee Day, Lancaster Pride, and our Summer Solstice party.
* The Pennsylvania Legislature plans to honor a racist homophobe because he opposed abortion, and another legislator wanted to have a week honoring religious history in America by allowing religious monuments on public property.
* The ACLU has filed suit against a bus company that panicked at the word “atheist.”
* Atheists in the military – more atheists, fewer Baptists, but guess which group has chaplains?
* More politicians support reason, at least for a day.
* Christian terrorist who nobody has heard about.
* The end of the world is coming! This time they mean it!
* Kansas City bishop tosses in the towel, finally.
* Scholarship contest for atheist students.
* Our situation could be worse.
* Satanists to the rescue!
* When will Franklin Graham just shut up?
* God loves some of his children more than others.
* The Irish do the right thing, despite attempted American influence.
* Nones on the rise.
* Horrific story of abuse at a Baltimore Catholic high school.
* Member Jacob Zentichko shares a letter he wrote to his local newspaper about gay marriage.
* Volunteer activities: Congratulations to Lancaster PAN for its work at the Compass Mark Riddle Quest! We are still volunteering at York Revolution games; check the dates to see if you can help. In addition, we’ll have booths at Old Annville Day on June 13, Jublilee Day on June 18, and Lancaster Pride on June 20.
* Remember to watch Freethought Forum live, online, or on YouTube, and use one of the many easy ways to contribute to PAN!
* Distribute the PA Atheist/Humanist flyer far and wide!
* Upcoming events, including PAN’s annual meeting, this Saturday, March 7. You’ll find details about the meeting, and about PAN members who have announced that they are running for the Board.
* PAN’s cash flow
* PA’s legislature considers an act that under the subterfuge of offering conscience protections, would make birth control harder to get
* FFRF objects to a PA county seal
* Fighting blasphemy, throughout the world
* Some religions are still in the Dark Ages
* We have something in common with the Prime Minister of Greece
* Fighting the “gay agenda” in Lancaster
* The Catholic Church in New Orleans throws its weight around
* Oklahoma rewrites history
* A list of groups we’re proud to be part of
* Charity from Atheists
* Businesses with a Christian tilt
* Member submissions – Cheryl Huber tells us what it’s like to be a church organist
* Volunteer/activism opportunities – St. Patrick’s Day in Harrisburg; Lancaster PAN members volunteer at Milagro House
* Remember the Freethought Forum, and the ways you can contribute to PAN: going to the Amazon website through PAN’s web page, purchasing Giant cards; Pennies for PAN
* Take a look at the flyer for the Pennsylvania Atheist/Humanist Conference.
* PAN president Brian Fields reminds us that PAN’s annual meeting and board election are coming up in March. Maybe you should run for the board? Brian also updates us on the 2014 PA Atheist/Humanist convention, and our project to feed the hungry.
* Bad news/good news, maybe, from the PA State Assembly
* How much does religion cost in dollars?
* “Mark of the beast” and the EEOC
* PAN member shares a story about how saints are made
* A boy who went to heaven, only (spoiler alert) he didn’t
* Crazed religionists make plane travel even worse
* Justice may be coming for a world-class hate-monger
* Kindly Pope Francis and women
* Liberty U. tells us about religious discrimination in 2014
* A Good News Club that really spreads good news
* Member submissions: Turk sends us a book report; two non-members tell us about the National Day of Solidarity for Black Non-believers, and we hear what it’s like to be a black female atheist
* Brian Fields’ President’s Report, announcing the Winter Solstice party on Dec. 20, along with providing information about the upcoming conference. Remember to send in your 2015 PAN membership form!
* Request for help from a parent whose child doesn’t want to sing Christmas music
* Another ridiculous religious thing the PA Legislature wasted its time with
* The IRS and ministers’ housing
* Good news about the abstinence only speaker in Lancaster schools
* Update on the Texas textbook fight
* Shopping guide for nonbelievers
* Who does God root for, after all?
* Bill Maher, Muslims, and UC-Berkeley
* Possible explanation for our image of Jesus
* Maybe the Ark won’t stay afloat
* How do religious counties stack up?
* The Catholic Church makes a legal argument with a very old history
* Religious holidays and school calendars
* Mormon come clean about Joseph Smith’s wives – and a polygamy problem non-Mormons aren’t aware of
* The Navy allows an atheist lay leader
* Atheists in prison make progress
* A Bible we might actually want to read
* Member submissions: Brian Gibson asks if we can be good without God; Priscilla Oppenheimer illustrates how silly we sometimes look to the English; Brad Shelton presents an explanation of hell
* In the Volunteer/Activism section, we include pictures from the Freethought Forum, PAN’s semi-monthly call-in show. You’ll be impressed by what it shows about the professionalism of our production.
* Brian Fields’ President’s Report, highlighting our summer festival season
* An update on the Bedford prosecution of the teen who “desecrated” a Jesus statue
* A Lancaster County school district is spending $3,500 for what?
* Texas is still rewriting history
* Yes, there is a topic that a TV commercial can’t discuss
* Atheists in Congress?
* Pastafarian discrimination
* Mormon underwear revealed
* A blow against faith-based rehab
* Statistics show that trends are going our way
* Ten Commandments struck down, sort of
* Pulpit freedom to break the law
* Local youth pastor in the news
* Is it God or Satan?
* Atheist response, versus religious response
* Member submission, by me, Pam Zerba, about a recent experience I had at the YMCA
* Plus our meeting information, volunteer information, and contribution information
* Brian’s President’s Report, where he discusses this year’s PA Atheist/Humanist convention, and exciting plans for a volunteer project at next year’s event, to be held here in Central PA. He also talks about our recent protest in Bedford County, and our semi-monthly TV show, the Freethought Forum.
* A report on yet another so-called non-controversial resolution, about what you are supposed to say when you fold the American flag. Seriously.
Bedford County, where vulgarity – when it hurts Christian’s feelings, of course – must be prosecuted. You’ve probably heard something about this, but wait until you read what the Bedford County DA had to say.
* Adrian Peterson, the football player who beat his kids, justifies himself. Guess how?
* An FFRF victory involving Penn State.
* Allegheny County shows that it actually understands the relationship between religion and government.
* The number of Catholic hospitals in the US continues to expand.
* Want to re-enlist in the Air Force? Not so fast.
* Religious exemptions for children’s health care.
* An unseemly fight in the Catholic church over a dead bishop’s body.
* A disturbing theory about how criminals are rehabilitated.
* Information about the 2015 American Atheist convention.
* What religion does to children’s brains.
* From members, Justin Vacula asks for contributions for his bus sign campaign; Craig Thompson has an idea for a new project.
* Meetings, volunteer opportunities, Freethought Forum, how to contribute to PAN!
* Brian Fields’ President’s Report. Brian outlines the plan for helping other nonbeliever groups form in Pennsylvania, and says good-bye to long-time members * * Shannon and Linda Turk
* The disappointing result of the Ground Zero cross case
* More disappointment: an update on the Greece, NY public meeting invocation case
* The “truth” about the EPA
* The business of gay marriage in Pennsylvania
* Bibles in Navy hotels
* Perhaps Prudhomme’s has seen the light?
* Another group finds the ice bucket challenge annoying
* Why is Ebola spreading?
* A good education is a terrible thing to waste
* The devil didn’t make this guy do it
* Don’t bother with education at all
* The kindness of Christians, parts 1 and 2
* Former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell’s family values
* More effective arguing
* An atheist in Congress?
* Member submissions: Richard Church discusses the concept of the soul; Linda Turk contributes some humor, and Cheryl Huber gives us something to think about; Wayne Trotta describes his campaign against placing polling stations in churches. The second attachment above is a newspaper article talking about Wayne’s efforts.
Remember to check out the PAN news at the end of the newsletter for information about upcoming meetings and volunteer/activism opportunities, including our cable access show, the Freethought Forum. And don’t forget the ways you can contribute to PAN: by accessing Amazon through our website, by purchasing Giant gift cards at one of our meetings, or cash contributions through Pennies for Pan.
* Brian Fields’ President’s Report, talking about our summer activities, and the upcoming Pennsylvania State Atheist/Humanist Conference, also known as PASTAH Con
* A letter from the organizers of PASTAH Con, providing details of this exciting event, which will be held Labor Day weekend, August 29-31
* Some better news from the Supreme Court, for a change
* Description of an amazingly hypocritical Catholic bishop, and a tone-deaf one
* Mildly encouraging news about how people view atheists
* Information about humanist celebrants
* A Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) victory against political activity in churches
* A humanist invocation from guess where – Greece, NY
* Distressing news about publicly funded schools that teach creationism
* What it’s like to be a Buddhist child in Louisiana
* Hope in Carroll County, MD!
* An “explanation” as to how we should view the US border crisis
* Good news that sounds like bad news in another FFRF suit
* Shock and awe in York County
* Bet you didn’t know the devil makes us do this
* George Carlin’s last laugh
* Member Doug Kohr explains why losing faith is good
In this edition of PANViews, you’ll find the following:
* Brian Fields’ President’s Letter describes his participation in the Secular Coaltion’s Lobby Day, in Washington
* Remember the Atheist/Humanist conference, held Labor Day weekend in Pittsburgh!
* Update on the “In God We Trust” bill. You’ll be disappointed by some of the people who voted for it, and the responses a few of our members received from their senators about it
* Information about an organization, Grief Beyond Belief, that helps non-religious people through the grieving process
* Disturbing story about so-called “courthouse” marriages in Franklin Co., Virginia
* Guess what? Conservatives don’t want their relatives to marry atheists
* Most Americans think religious liberty is threatened in this country
* Hobby Lobby cares about more than limiting contraception
* Center for Inquiry has a new website to fight religious interference in health care
* Truly scary and crazy person running for office in Oklahoma
* The Huffington Post lists the most spiritual places in the United States
* Bogus miracle exposed
* The House of Representatives wants to memorialize FDR’s D-Day prayer
* Physician shot in Pakistan, for being a Muslim minority
* Member submissions: good old atheist humor from Linda Turk, Elsa Mauch, and Shannon Turk
* The President’s report describes several exciting projects for PAN, and a fun one, the Solstice Party, Sunday, June 22, at Scott and Carole Bitzer’s home
* Updates about the PA Atheist/Humanist Conference
* The ridiculous Supreme Court decision about prayer at public meetings, complete with an “inclusive” prayer offered at a public meeting after the decision
* Update on the American Atheist lawsuit about the favorable treatment churches receive in IRS filing requirements, with the odd reason why AA’s suit was dismissed
* Another pledge of allegiance loss, in Massachusetts, of all places
* Bizarro bullying claim in Mississippi
* Good news from West Virginia, of all places
* Update on Jason Vacula’s fight to have a “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” banner hung
* Discouraging news about the acceptability of atheists in public life
* A list of forty harmful effects of Christianity. Only forty?
* Improving trends in religiosity among Hispanic millenials
* Catholic schools in Cincinnati clarify how intolerant they are
* Member submissions from Wayne Trotta, about how humans created God, a note from Kate Hufnagel about Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Doug Kohr writes about atheists and humility, and Turk tells us about Hitler’s religion, summarizes and comments on an article about how atheists can stand up for rationality, and discusses issues in our healthcare system
* Remember to take a look at the volunteer opportunities, and Freethought Forum
* Brian Fields’ President report talks about the American Atheist convention, and upcoming PAN events, with a reminder about the upcoming Pennsylvania
* Atheist/Humanist Convention
* New dumb Pennsylvania House Resolution, and a smart Rhode Island one
* A chart that clearly shows the contradictions in the four gospels’ Easter stories
* Did you know contraception causes cancer? No? Well, the Harrisburg Catholic bishop has news for you
* Truly vile theory about the result of abortion, from a candidate who is thankfully not from PA
* Republicans take on divorce
* Interview with the bishop of Denver, who explains that this is a Christian nation
* Good news, for a change, about the Boy Scouts
* Deja vu all over again: New Jersey license plate fight
* Fundy minister fails again
* Chart that shows the happy news that younger people are less religious
* Carroll Co., Maryland, Commissioners just won’t give up
* Brandeis University shows the limits of free expression, even in a university
* Wilkes-Barre fights the National Day of Prayer
* Member submissions: Doug Kohr tells us why he’s not a wretch; Marc Gecker shares a disturbing sentence from the New York Times; I talk about Mormons; Cheryl * Huber comments on “the meaning of Easter;” Shannon Turk reviews Richard Dawkins’ The Magic of Reality
* Wayne Trotta’s thoughtful essay about the implications of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
* Meeting dates, and volunteer opportunities, including the Olde York Street Fair on May 11, and the Annville Memorial Day Parade on May 24, and PAN’s ongoing volunteer activity at York Revolution games, on behalf of the Margaret Moul home. There’s also a description of some interaction PAN members had at the Lebanon Valley College Craft Fair.
* Brian Fields’ President’s Report, with updates about our election, the Freethought Forum TV show, and the PA Atheist/Humanist Conference
* PA Legislation about religious persecution. Gosh, guess what religion they appear to be concerned about?
* Dave Muscato, PR director for American Atheists, explains why American Atheists have a lawsuit about the World Trade Center cross
* The Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers object to Christian war memorials.
* Nonbelievers get a victory against the Salvation Army!
* Another achievement for LGBT rights, won by a friend of PAN, once removed.
* Atheists and conservatives: not a contradiction
* Bishop in New Jersey who doesn’t quite live up to Pope Francis’ life style
* Ken Ham just won’t go away
* Is the Hobby Lobby suit just about religious freedom – or is something else going on?
* The York Daily Record asks an unanswerable question
* How to tell if religious rights are at risk
* Sorry, another Pope Francis reference: What a guy!
* Member submissions: Doug Kohr reviews a book that will help us dialogue with believers; Shannon Turk responds to John Wolf’s submission from last month; Turk quotes the late, great Edwin Kagin, founder of Camp Quest, and American Atheist attorney; David Jordan has a poem about life
* PAN News: meeting dates, volunteer opportunities (Lebanon, April 26); St. Patrick Day’s picture, with a letter from York; Doug Diggens tells us about PAN’s section on WRCT’s webpage
* Brian Fields’ letter reminding us about PAN’s annual meeting this Saturday
* Correspondence between a PAN member and a legislator about the legislator’s ignorance of PA history
* Remember the kid named Messiah? The end of the story
* Is there an atheist in the PA legislature?
* Evil Girl Scouts strike again!
* There’s hope for Kansas
* Snakes 1, Fundies 0
* Tolerance, Catholic style
* Atheist joy
* From our members: Doug Kohr discusses letting go of religion; Mark Gecker thinks about certainty; John Wolff reviews some past PAN issues; Turk reviews books, and brings us a quiz.
* PAN President Brian Fields’ letter, highlighting Sharon Hill, guest speaker at Saturday, Feb. 1′s York meeting, along with news about our favorite legislator, * Rick Saccone, and information about PAN’s Annual Meeting on March 1
* Report from PAN Treasurer Scott Bitzer
* Tips on what cities to visit – and what cities to avoid
* Legislative update, describing Pennsylvania’s ridiculous attempt to commemorate the date when “under God” was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance, and a new, strange attempt to allow “sincerely held beliefs” to overrule Pennsylvania laws
* An update on the Atheist billboard fight in Salt Lake City, along with a Salt Lake City Tribute writer’s wildly inaccurate picture of atheists
* Interesting facts from the latest Pew Religious Survey
* “Faith healing” that has lead to children’s deaths, in Idaho, and in Pennsylvania
* Why atheism is unlivable, in case you wondered
* Another example of a nonbeliever literally not being able to give his money away
* Why does religion still matter – a article in Free Inquiry magazine explains
* Do atheists have a daddy issue?
* There was a miracle in Italy! At least that’s the story they are sticking to.
* Why some of your relatives seemed to be reading from a script over the holidays
* News from the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers
* The James Randi Foundation’s awards for dubious achievements
* Member submissions, including a discussion of prayer in public schools by Doug Kohr, John Wolff’s take on politics and PAN, and Turk’s wit and wisdom
* Information about the upcoming Solstice party, and about renewing your PAN membership
* An eyewitness account of the Supreme Court hearing for Town of Greece v. Galloway (the meeting prayer case) by Kristina Nicole
* A victory in the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s suit to end taxpayer subsidy of ministers’ residence
* Proof, yet again, the PA legislators are obsessed with “under God”
* Announcement of American Atheists’ latest IRS suit
* Disquieting information about Bill de Blasio, mayor-elect of New York City, and the separation of church and state
* Justice for a child whose parents followed a Bible-based parenting book
* Death of “psychic” Sylvia Browne
* Republican presidential fun religion facts
* Religious superstition forces a high school athlete to withdraw from a race
* Scary political news from Texas
* War on Christmas: Dispatches from the Front
* Picture of an interesting entrant in the New York City marathon
* Completely illogical exorcism (okay, that’s redundant)
* Atheist “church” movement
* Atheists can’t do good, even when we try
* Why preachers’ kids leave religion
* African Americans who aren’t religious
* Religious diploma mill in Pennsylvania
* Good news from Texas
* Remember Messiah?
* Member submissions: Turk reviews Parasite Rex, shares some interesting thoughts, and gives us another recipe; Doug Diggens reminds us about the Unites States’ real motto
* President’s Report, from Brian Fields, in which Brian tells about lobbying our legislature, and his meaningful conversation with Rep. Rick Saccone
* Legislative update, with information about several bizarre laws our busy representatives have thought up
* Teresa MacBain’s unfortunate dismissal from Harvard, with her apology
* Think civil divorce can be contentious? Read about how some orthodox Jews get a divorce
* Survey that shows, yet again, there are more of us than most people realize
* Conversation between Diana Nyad, swimmer and atheist, and Oprah
* What some school districts are willing to spend to keep Jesus around
* Police departments fighting crime with pastors
* Atheist for president!
* Some progress from the Air Force Academy
* Billboard Wars, parts 1 and 2, from New York and Utah
* How atheists rank
* Not that it’s news, but Pat Robertson is nuts
* RIP for a little-known atheist champion
* Good news about Texas schoolbooks
* Jesus spotted on fence in York County. ‘Nuff said.
* The Catholic Church actually has some standards for bishops
* Pastafarians finally get the respect they deserve
* Encouraging news about the religious affiliation of Hispanic Catholics
* Member submissions: Jacob Zentichko explains why he is part of PAN; Marc Gecker shares a letter to his son about how we get to a better future
* Great picture of PAN members who marched for Light the Night
* President’s report from Brian Fields, talking about the Atheist/Humanist Conference, and sharing some good financial news
* Conference memories from Jacob Zentichko, and pictures of PAN members at the Conference
* News from Pennsylvania, including the Central PA co-sponsors of the bill that will make it easier to teach intelligent design; an appropriation bill that would give a huge amount of money to a Bible college, and the depressing explanation; a proposed bill to protect “houses of worship” from a non-existent threat; and a bill to “protect” teachers who want to discuss religion in public school classrooms
* News from the world, including Dave Silverman’s fight to have an atheist license plate; the Texas textbook fight; a study about the rate of depression among the clergy; gratifying news about the school that gave the bogus science quiz PANViews reported a few months ago; scary report of a survey about President Obama; a quote from a tolerant athlete; Justice Scalia on free speech and religion; information about the “Proof of Heaven” author speaking in Carlisle; a victory against God-drenched 12-step programs; the “mellowing” Catholic church; why girls shouldn’t go to college; a list of various religions’ attitudes toward women; another priest abuser, in Scranton
* Member Submissions, with Turk’s Corner; book review from Andy Tempel; Doug Diggens’ take on one of the comedians at the Conference
* PAN News, with meeting information, volunteer opportunities, and ways you can contribute to PAN.
* President’s report from Brian Fields, updating us on Pennies for PAN, and the Atheist/Humanist Conference.
* Dispiriting news about some PA legislators, who haven’t given up on intelligent design, and who think they can hold back progress on gay rights.
* Good and bad news about religion and the military.
* A study from the University of Tennessee that breaks atheists into six categories.
* A chart from the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason.
* A note about the assassination of a prominent Indian anti-superstition advocate.
* Yet another depressing survey about evolution.
* A report on a story from Esquire, debunking Heaven is for Real.
* A bizarre rapture story, just when we thought that madness was over.
* A study from the University of Rochester, confirming something most atheists already suspect.
* An update on the American Atheist monument in Florida, and the kid who defaced it.
* A boy named Messiah.
* Information about the FFRF’s lawsuit objecting to how taxpayers wind up paying rent for ministers, and some good news about another of their suits.
* A story about a Texas church that is spreading disease.
* Information about the 2014 American Atheist convention.
* Turk talks about the bible, and provides us with a recipe.
* Doug Diggens describes unwanted religious contact.
* Our monthly list of meetings, volunteer opportunities, and ways to contribute to PAN.
* President’s Report from Brian Fields
* More information about the upcoming Atheist/Humanist conference, September 13-15
* News from all over, including a possible Christian charter school in Harrisburg; a survey about the number of women atheists in various countries; discouraging news about how many people think America was founded as a Christian nation; an update about Ireland’s disgusting Magdalene Laundries; another monument issue; a new * Russian law about belief, non-belief and hurt feelings; news about gay marriage, including the various bills in the PA legislature; a Dear Abby response that recognizes some people are non-believers
* Member submissions, with suggestions on non-religious charitable contributions from John Wolff; a recipe for demonic syrup from Turk; Wayne Trotta discusses real god v. imaginary god; Steve Caldwell provides information on how to access free thinker content over the internet; I follow up on the pedophile priest I taught with in Milwaukee; Melisa Cochran reviews Jerry DeWitt’s memoir; Turk points out a biblical inconsistency
* PAN News, with meeting information; note that the location of the Lebanon meeting has changed; news about our activities, including two thank you notes from organizations we have helped; ways to contribute to PAN.
* President Brian Fields’ report, detailing the great things PAN did in June
* Information about the PA Atheist/Humanist conference, spotlighting some of the many excellent speakers, and details about the what your ticket includes, and the hotels
* A description of the 50th anniversary of the school prayer decision, spotlighting Ellery Schempp
* News from Pennsylvania, the Nation and the World, starting with a chart that illustrates the consequences of gay marriage; a summary of some of the weird bills before the PA legislature; the atheist monument in Florida; a Supreme Court challenge to sectarian prayer at a town board; a Recovering from Religion project that is looking for volunteers; an update on the indecent exposure incident at Carnegie Mellon; a depressing survey of science teachers in Pennsylvania; information about an effort to have nonreligious military chaplains; and a really depressing quote from Re. Daryl Metcalfe, dealing with gay marriage.
* Member Submissions, beginning with suggested summer reading from Shannon Turk; edifying quotes, and a book review, supplied by Turk; a cartoon supplied by Linda Turk; an essay on theistic science from Wayne Trotta; thoughts on religion and children from Doug Diggens, and a useful website and book suggestion from Peggy Brown, on parenting for nonbelievers
* Volunteer opportunities, and ways to contribute to PAN
* President’s Report, updating you on our activities commemorating June 2013 as Public School Religious Freedom month, including welcoming Dr. Ellery Schempp, one of the original plaintiffs in the school prayer cases, to central PA; our annual Summer Solstice party; and the Atheist/Humanist Convention this September.
* Legislative update, informing you about one excellent, and several bizarre, actions by the PA Legislature.
* Report on a brave Arizona state representative’s invocation.
* Exciting PANViews contest, occasioned by the recent fate of a couple of people who’ve addressed us.
* Memo from a PA representative, which details a new bill that would seek to enshrine religious rights for public school students.
* A truly scary science test from a Christian school.
* Shannon Turk discusses the issue of respecting someone’s religious beliefs and reviews The Bonobo and the Atheist.
* A sign on a church bulletin board from Carl Huber, and a few thoughts from Turk.
* Wayne Trotta compares proving the existence of love to proving the existence of God.
* Linda Turk submits some strange laws on the books in 1971.
* Josh Neiderhiser reviews Did Jesus Exist?
* Doug Diggens describes an encounter with a waitress after the tornados in Oklahoma.
* PAN news lists our meetings, and our volunteer opportunites at Historic Old Annville Day, Jubilee Day, at York Revolution games, and with our TV show, the Freethought Forum, plus recaps our participation in the Annville Memorial Day Parade, and the Olde York Street Fair.
* Reminder: three easy ways to contribute to PAN!
* President’s report, which talks about PAN’s upcoming event with the Pennsylvania Legislature commemorating the 50th anniversary of two major school prayer decisions, and some details about this year’s Atheist/Humanist convention
* Legislative update, from Carl Silverman. Take a minute to look at all the nonsense we have to fight
* From Greenville PA, news about a City Council that can’t believe that there’s anything wrong with prayer before meetings, and from Philadelphia, the horrifying story of parents whose child died, because they used prayer instead of medicine
* Member submissions, including Brian Field’s account of his journey from fundamentalism; Priscilla Oppenheimer’s favorite recent religious news story; Wayne Trotta’s take on the new atheists, and Wayne’s letter to PennLive about the proposed legislation to name the complainants in certain cases; Linda Turk’s submission of British children’s answers to a religious test; Shannon Turk’s attempt to educate his fellow atheists; Josh Neiderhiser asks where atheists should spend our money
* PAN news, including meeting information, new and exciting ways to donate to PAN, volunteer opportunities, and the Free Thought Forum
* President’s report, with info about our upcoming PA Atheist Humanist convention
* Results of our Board of Directors election
* Legislative news, along with the result of the case against the church that staged a mock kidnapping of children without their parents’ permission, and news about religion and crime
* A report from Jean Silverman about some PAN members visit to the Hadee Mosque in Harrisburg, and some York Co. religious irony, from Pam Zerba
* News about meetings, and volunteer opportunities
*President’s letter from Brian Fields, outlining exciting upcoming events
*Biographies of five of our board candidates
*News from Pennsylvania, the nation and the world: Lost Cajun Kitchen strikes again, as does the Pennsylvania legislature; for you gamblers, recent odds for the papal election
*From our members, a remembrance of longtime PAN member, Dr. John Nernoff, from Priscilla Oppenheimer; Doug Diggens describes an encounter with street preachers in York; Priscilla gives us something to think about; Pam Zerba talks about the Catholic church’s hypocrisy in opposing the contraceptive mandate requirements of the Affordable Care Act; and Linda Turk provides a few laughs
*PAN News, featuring PAN’s preliminary net worth, as of 12/31/12; a request for members to write pamphlets or handouts for our booths; education committee news from Shannon Turk, including a review of Nat Hentoff’s The First Freedom; information about donations, meetings, and a request for volunteers to work at the Central PA Food Bank, and to march in Harrisburg’s St. Patrick Day parade, and a plug for PAN’s TV show, the Freethought Forum.
*PAN President Brian Fields’ letter, discussing our upcoming annual meeting and elections
*Biography of board candidate Kristine Danowski
*Information about upcoming conventions: Second Annual PA Atheist/Humanist and American Atheists
*Secular Coalition’s Lobbying Training Course
*Volunteer opportunity at the Central PA Food Bank
*Atheists wanted for interfaith group
*Atheist news: Two Ten Commandments cases in PA, and how Catholic hospitals handle advance directives
*Member submissions: Cheryl Huber’s adventures as an atheist organist in Christian churches and Linda Turk explains the original of our valentine heart, and you will never look at it the same way again, and Linda’s pictures from PAN’s Winter Solstice party
*PAN news: Shannon Turk’s Education Committee notes, Freethought Funzie, and book review, and Fundraising Committee news from Linda Turk, meeting listing, donations to PAN and PAN’s Freethought Forum TV show
*Current PAN Board members
*President’s report from Brian Fields, reviewing the ACLU Year of the Bible roundtable
*John Wolff brings PAN up-to-date about the Lost Cajun Kitchen controversy
*Final election news, emphasizing the role of non-believers
*The Alliance Defense Fund’s effort to politicize pulpits, including some in central PA
*The ADF’s advice to municipal court clerks who don’t want to perform marriages between gay couples
*Report on the Boy Scouts and the York County United Way
*American Atheists’ lawsuit against Kentucky’s bizarre take on homeland security
*PAN’s Education Committee news, including Shannon Turk’s discussion on agnosticism
*Information about the Muslim guests for the Harrisburg PAN meeting
*Mark Gecker talks about our imaginary friend in Jesus
*Catholic abortion rules in Ireland lead to a woman’s death, and the University of Wisconsin approves the largest amount on record to a nonbeliever student group
*Shout out to founding father John Adams
* Reflections from the convention from Priscilla Oppenheimer and Karlen Keto
* Report on the Barker-D’Souza debate from Dietrich Dellinger
* Legal news, including our local triumph over the Greencastle-Antrim School District Board, the moral victory over the Year of the Bible, and a salute to lame duck Rep. Babette Josephs for her stand on the Pledge of Allegiance
* Funny from Linda Turk
* Meet Board member Carl Silverman
* Education Committee news from Shannon Turk, including October atheist birthdays, Mark Twain’s The War Prayer, and thoughts on the origins of homosexuality, and, of course, the Freethought Funzie
* News about our TV show, the Freethought Forum
* Report on PAN members’ participation in the Light the Night Walk from Jeannie Hess
* An update on Boy Scouts, atheists, the York County United Way, and the York Daily Record
* Note on the Pew Survey on Religion
* Sally Quinn, religious bigot
* Atheist billboards in honor of the political party conventions, and the aftermath. (Yes, PANViews now has pictures!)
* Remember the fake kidnapping of young teenagers by the church in Elizabethtown? Here’s an update.
* Missouri is a stupider state than you may have realized.
* Meet Board member Jason Fegely.
* See the angry religious hobo clown!
* Education news, and a biography of the freethinker accused of involvement in McKinley’s assassination, courtesy of Shannon Turk.
* Cheryl Huber tells us about volunteering at York Revolution games, for the Margaret Moul home, complete with pictures of the happy volunteers.
* Another unbelievable story about a priest and a young boy.
* Summary of the recent world survey that found atheists were 5% of the US population, with a list of the most atheist, and the most religious, countries in the world.
* News about religious freedom, or lack thereof, on military bases.
* Christian love in York County.
Have you bought your tickets for the Atheist Convention yet?
UPDATE: Unfortunately, Sam Harris could not make the appearance at the last minute, however, we will be working to re-schedule this event in the fall. We held off publishing this newsletter publicly because we were waiting for the contracts to be signed, but when that fell through, I was wrapped up in convention stuff and didn’t get it done. Here it is, now.
Foolish Beliefs, Bad Decisions, and Hurtful Acts. Doug Diggens talks about George Soudini. Carl Silverman reports on the Sunbury River Festival.