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Author Topic: Tennessee atheists win right to distribute literature after schools give Bibles  (Read 33728 times)
Dos Equis
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« Reply #575 on: October 30, 2015, 03:29:55 PM »

When this came up a couple weeks ago, I did a demographics check of congress... wasn't pretty if you are trying to convince someone republicans are about diversity. But yes, the current make up of the candidates is refreshing as far as that goes.

I don't what the Congressional demographic looks like, but I'll defer to you.  No denying the presidential field is very diverse.  Much more so than the Democrats, which is ironic. 
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« Reply #576 on: October 30, 2015, 03:32:04 PM »

I was referring more to the fact it would be more difficult for many folks to worship Jesus if they didn't picture him as a anglo tall good looking dude with a swimmers body.  Smiley I'll go out on a limb and say if Jesus was depicted as Flavor Flavs look alike.. church attendance would be cut in half overnight

Or if he looked Charles Manson, or any other unattractive dude, regardless of his ethnic background. 
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« Reply #577 on: October 31, 2015, 04:49:20 AM »

I was referring more to the fact it would be more difficult for many folks to worship Jesus if they didn't picture him as a anglo tall good looking dude with a swimmers body.  Smiley I'll go out on a limb and say if Jesus was depicted as Flavor Flavs look alike.. church attendance would be cut in half overnight

Haha.  You know Jindull is pissed because he is still struggling to turn white and Jesus turned white overnight thousands of years ago. 
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« Reply #578 on: December 17, 2015, 06:55:24 PM »

BREAKING: High school boots praying football coach
By  Todd Starnes  
Published October 28, 2015
FoxNews.com

Coach Joe Kennedy has been booted from the locker room at Bremerton High School in Washington State, Fox News has learned exclusively.

Superintendent Aaron Leavell placed the longtime coach on administrative leave after he refused to stop his post-game prayers.

“Effective immediately, pending further District review of your conduct, you are placed on paid administrative leave from your position as an assistant coach with the Bremerton High School football program,” Level wrote to the coach in an Oct. 28th letter. “You may not participate, in any capacity, in BHS football program activities.”

Kennedy, who is a devout Christian, had been under investigation since September after someone complained about his post-game prayers at the 50-yard-line.

He was directed to cease and desist those prayers on Sept. 17th. He was also ordered to avoid kneeling, bowing his head or doing anything that could remotely be seen as religious.

“You violated those directives by engaging in overt, public and demonstrative religious conduct while still on duty as an assistant coach,” Leavell wrote.

Leavell had offered to let the coach engage in “private prayer” following the football games — provided no child could see the coach petitioning the Almighty.

The district’s accommodation for the coach’s “hush-hush, clandestine” prayers would be allowed  “so long as your brief, private religious exercise would not interfere with your performance of your continuing duties as an assistant coach.”

It’s unconscionable that a progressive school district would advocate shoving people back into a closet.

Coach Kennedy is represented by Liberty Institute, the nation’s largest law firm dedicated to defending religious liberty.

Attorney Hiram Sasser said the school district is being hostile towards Christianity.

“They are sending the message to all people of faith that they are not welcome,” Sasser told me.

Leavell noted in his letter to the coach that instead of meeting with him, he ignored their directives and prayed following the Oct. 23 football game.

However, Sasser said that’s not exactly accurate.

“We tried to meet with the school officials in-person but they refused to meet,” the attorney told me. “We were only able to have a brief hour and a half call with their lawyer, and the result was a letter banning private prayer just a few hours before last Friday’s game.”

Liberty Institute has already laid the groundwork for a lawsuit against the school district — accusing them of religious discrimination.

“It is unfortunate this school district is choosing litigation instead of a simple meeting,” Sasser said.

It is also unfortunate that the Bremerton School District and Superintendent Aaron Level have shown such animosity towards a good and honorable Christian man like Joe Kennedy.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2015/10/28/breaking-high-school-boots-praying-football-coach.html

PRAYING COACH FILES DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT IN WASHINGTON
Coach files discrimination lawsuit
A football coach is filing a federal discrimination lawsuit after he was put on leave for praying after games
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BREMERTON, WA (KTRK) -- An assistant football coach who was suspended for praying on the field after games has filed a federal discrimination complaint against his school district in Washington State.

Joe Kennedy claims he's facing discrimination because of his religious beliefs.

Kennedy told local station KCPQ, "I never wanted any of this. I'm just the average guy. You know, I just want to coach football."

Kennedy was told by the school district earlier this year that his tradition violated school policy. He was asked to stop, but didn't. He was placed on paid administrative leave in October, and then on his evaluation last month, a note at the bottom read "do not rehire."

Kennedy called the note "a knife in the heart."

He said, "There's a constitutional right that I have as an American."

Kennedy has filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. His attorney, Mike Berry with the non-profit Liberty Institute, said, "We really feel that this school district has forced our hand into doing this because of the unlawful religious discrimination against Coach Kennedy."

The school district told KCPQ it cannot comment because it has not received official notification of the complaint yet.

Kennedy says he's still hopeful he can return to coaching at Bremerton. He says he's received offers to coach at other schools, but Bremerton is his home and where he wants to stay.

Kennedy said, "The community is our family and these kids are everything. I mean, we've got a lot invested in Bremerton."

http://abc13.com/religion/praying-coach-files-discrimination-complaint/1124632/
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« Reply #579 on: December 17, 2015, 07:01:01 PM »

Somebody complained about Charlie Brown.   Roll Eyes  We are turning into a nation full of sissies. 

Kentucky Grade School Scrubs All References To Christianity In ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’
ERIC OWENS
Education Editor
12/17/2015

Charlie Brown Christmas Linus speaks YouTube screenshot/BeLio Productions   Charlie Brown Christmas Linus speaks YouTube screenshot/BeLio Productions

Thursday’s theatrical performance of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” at W.R. Castle Elementary School in rural Johnson County, Kentucky will be bereft of its heart and soul because a single whiner has scared school district officials into censoring all references to religion.

The main scene which will be deleted involves Linus van Pelt reciting a handful of verses from the New Testament’s Gospel of Luke to explain to Charlie Brown “what Christmas is all about.”

Castle Elementary principal Jeff Cochran — whose “principal’s message page says “Insert text here!” — has announced that anything related to Christianity will be completely scrubbed from the play, reports the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Johnson County school district superintendent Thomas Salyer said he has concluded that both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals flatly forbid any public school student from uttering Linus’s seven Bible verses.

“I want to clarify that all programs will go on as scheduled. In accordance with federal laws, our programs will follow appropriate regulations,” the taxpayer-funded superintendent said in a Dec. 11 statement obtained by the Herald-Leader. “The U.S. Supreme Court and the 6th Circuit are very clear that public school staff may not endorse any religion when acting in their official capacities and during school activities. However, our district is fully committed to promote the spirit of giving and concern for our fellow citizens that help define the Christmas holiday.”

Salyer added that he recognizes “the significance of Christmas and the traditions and beliefs associated with this holiday.”

Local scuttlebutt appears to be that the complaint arose from someone related to Castle Elementary.

When asked who complained, Salyer would not say. He cited unspecified confidentiality regulations.

On Monday, about 30 people from the local area protested with signs and an American flag outside the Johnson County Board of Education office in Paintsville, Ky. “Jesus in the reason,” read one sign.”

A smaller group of dedicated demonstrators also showed up on Tuesday.

Salyer told the Herald-Leader he made the decision to censor the Christmas of the Christmas play on the advice of his lawyers and Kentucky state education officials. (RELATED: Kentucky Education Bureaucrats Fail To Spell KENTUCKY Correctly)

“We are just trying to meet the letter of the law,” he said.

American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky spokeswoman Amber Duke applauded the decision.

“It appears the Johnson County School district is committed to honoring its constitutional obligation to protecting students’ freedom of religion and belief,” she told the Lexington newspaper.

Linus’s quotation of the Gospel of Luke takes up 51 seconds — or just 3.3 percent of — “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” It occurs at a point when Charlie Brown has become angrily frustrated because he believes that people aren’t celebrating the true spirit of Christmas.

Linus walks with his blanket to the center of a stage in an adult-less auditorium where several Peanuts characters — and Snoopy — have gathered. As a spotlight shines upon him, Linus quotes from the second chapter of Luke:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.”

“And that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown,” Linus concludes, after picking up the blanket which he had symbolically dropped right after he says, “Fear not.”

WATCH:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CojUP5nRidA" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CojUP5nRidA</a>

Linus’s speech inspires Charlie Brown. He picks up his barren, sad little tree and walks it outside into the snowy, starry night. He looks up at a star and it twinkles at him.

“Linus is right,” Charlie Brown declares. “I won’t let all this commercialism ruin my Christmas.” He then vows to take his little tree home to decorate it. His Peanuts pals then magically turn it into a real tree festooned with popcorn and ornaments. Lucy van Pelt calls him a “blockhead” but admits his tree is fabulous.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” originally appeared as a CBS special in 1965. To the horror of CBS network executives, Charles Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip, insisted on the inclusion of the verses from the New Testament in “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The execs were sure they had a flop on their hands, as National Review explains, but fully 50 percent of Americans watching television in the United States watched “A Charlie Brown Christmas” in 1965 and it has now endured as an essential Christmas season staple for 50 years.

http://dailycaller.com/2015/12/17/kentucky-grade-school-scrubs-all-references-to-christianity-in-charlie-brown-christmas/#ixzz3udaMaRQg
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« Reply #580 on: December 24, 2015, 11:11:36 AM »

Air Force Academy to Continue with Pre-Game Prayers

Image: Air Force Academy to Continue with Pre-Game Prayers
Thursday, 24 Dec 2015

Air Force Academy football players may continue to take a Tim Tebow-style pre-game prayer break on the field, officials say.

The decision comes after a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation about the practice, Air Force Times reports. http://www.airforcetimes.com/story/sports/2015/12/23/air-force-academy-football-players-allowed-pray-publicly/77838894/

"An inquiry was initiated, which found the football players' actions to be consistent with Air Force Instruction 1-1 and its guidance on the free exercise of religion and religious accommodation," Academy officials said in a statement, the newspaper reports.

The complaint came after the Falcons, dropping to one knee, prayed in the end zone after their Nov. 28 game against the University of New Mexico – and then did it again at their next game against San Diego State University.

The Foundation's founder and president, Mikey Weinstein, tells the newspaper he's considering going to federal court to get an injunction "to stop this pernicious and pervasive practice of fundamentalist Christian supremacy, triumphalism and exhibitionism."

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/air-force-academy-pregame/2015/12/24/id/707036/#ixzz3vGcELpIz
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« Reply #581 on: January 14, 2016, 01:45:28 PM »

Newdow is such a loser.  What a colossal waste of time.

Lawsuit demands US remove 'In God We Trust' from money
Published January 14, 2016
FoxNews.com


A new lawsuit filed on behalf of several Atheist plaintiffs argues the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. money is unconstitutional, and calls for the government to get rid of it.

Sacramento attorney Michael Newdow filed the lawsuit Monday in Akron, Ohio. He'd unsuccessfully sued the government at least twice challenging the use of the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Throughout much of his lawsuit, the word appears as "G-d."

Newdow claims "In God We Trust" violates the separation of church and state. One plaintiff says his Atheism is "substantially burdened because he is forced to bear on his person a religious statement that causes him to sense his government legitimizing, promoting and reinforcing negative and injurious attitudes not only against Atheists in general, but against him personally."

The lawsuit represents 41 plaintiffs from Ohio and Michigan, including many unnamed parents and children who are atheists or are being raised as atheists. Defendants include Congress, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and various federal agencies.

A message seeking comment was left Wednesday at the office of U.S. attorney for Ohio's northern district.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/01/14/lawsuit-demands-us-remove-in-god-trust-from-money.html?intcmp=hplnws
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« Reply #582 on: January 14, 2016, 01:50:21 PM »

It must be nice to have the time and energy to waste worrying about having "In God We Trust" on legal tender.
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« Reply #583 on: February 08, 2016, 05:15:27 PM »

'God Bless America' signs fly after atheist group targets post office banner
Published February 07, 2016 
FoxNews.com

A poster from Jake's Fireworks now hangs in Sen. Jerry Moran's Kansas office. (@JerryMoran)

A Midwestern community has united in a show of patriotism after an atheist organization targeted a local post office’s “God Bless America” poster.

Freedom from Religion Foundation cried foul after the group noticed a “God Bless America” banner that employees at a post office in Pittsburg, Kan., had erected after Sept. 11, 2001. A lawsuit filed by FFRF on behalf of a Pittsburg resident forced the banner down in late January, The Christian Post reported.

But the sign’s removal after nearly 15 years of display had an unintended effect.

When news of the banner’s banishment spread, a business in the area, Jake’s Fireworks, printed 1,200 “God Bless America” yard signs and 300 banners. Jake’s gave away all of the signs within 45 minutes, according to the Post.

“Obviously, we’re among the majority that didn’t agree with the decision to take the sign down,” retail sales director Jason Marietta told The Morning Sun.

But not all residents supported the post office flying the banner.

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” Bert Patrick wrote in a Letter to the Editor for The Morning Sun. “The sign was removed because the postal officials realized, most likely after consulting legal counsel, that the sign’s message violated the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from supporting any religion.”

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., however, said the Constitution guarantees “freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”

“It is outrageous that some would aim to divide a community over a banner that has been proudly displayed since Sept. 11, 2001,” Moran wrote on Facebook. “I commend the Pittsburg community for rejecting this decision and I stand with them.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/02/07/god-bless-america-signs-fly-after-atheist-group-targets-post-office-banner.html?intcmp=hpbt4
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« Reply #584 on: February 08, 2016, 06:21:22 PM »

'God Bless America' signs fly after atheist group targets post office banner
Published February 07, 2016 
FoxNews.com

A poster from Jake's Fireworks now hangs in Sen. Jerry Moran's Kansas office. (@JerryMoran)

A Midwestern community has united in a show of patriotism after an atheist organization targeted a local post office’s “God Bless America” poster.

Freedom from Religion Foundation cried foul after the group noticed a “God Bless America” banner that employees at a post office in Pittsburg, Kan., had erected after Sept. 11, 2001. A lawsuit filed by FFRF on behalf of a Pittsburg resident forced the banner down in late January, The Christian Post reported.

But the sign’s removal after nearly 15 years of display had an unintended effect.

When news of the banner’s banishment spread, a business in the area, Jake’s Fireworks, printed 1,200 “God Bless America” yard signs and 300 banners. Jake’s gave away all of the signs within 45 minutes, according to the Post.

“Obviously, we’re among the majority that didn’t agree with the decision to take the sign down,” retail sales director Jason Marietta told The Morning Sun.

But not all residents supported the post office flying the banner.

“Let’s call a spade a spade,” Bert Patrick wrote in a Letter to the Editor for The Morning Sun. “The sign was removed because the postal officials realized, most likely after consulting legal counsel, that the sign’s message violated the First Amendment, which prohibits the government from supporting any religion.”

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., however, said the Constitution guarantees “freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”

“It is outrageous that some would aim to divide a community over a banner that has been proudly displayed since Sept. 11, 2001,” Moran wrote on Facebook. “I commend the Pittsburg community for rejecting this decision and I stand with them.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/02/07/god-bless-america-signs-fly-after-atheist-group-targets-post-office-banner.html?intcmp=hpbt4

100% WRONG

Freedom of religion INCLUDES freedom from religion
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« Reply #585 on: February 29, 2016, 02:14:10 PM »

Paranoid anti-religious extremists strike again.

Bible removed from POW/MIA display inside VA clinic
By  Todd Starnes 
Published February 29, 2016
FoxNews.com

Military Religious Freedom Foundation

A Bible and Bible verse were removed from a POW/MIA display inside an Ohio Veteran’s Administration clinic after the notorious Military Religious Freedom Foundation complained.

The religious artifacts were part of a “Missing Man Table” recently erected by volunteers at an outpatient clinic in Akron.

Click here to join Todd’s American Dispatch – a must-read for Conservatives! 

MRFF founder Mikey Weinstein alleged the inclusion of the Bible was a violation of the U.S. Constitution. He said he intervened at the request of nearly a dozen, mostly Christian, military veterans who utilize the clinic.

However, clinic administrator Brian Reinhart said to his knowledge no one ever complained. In other words, Mr. Weinstein’s allegations are a bit dubious.

Nevertheless, Reinhart relented and evicted God’s Word from the display.

 “I just wanted to let you know that the Bible has been removed from our POW table and the Bible verse has been removed from the framed scripture,” Reinhart wrote in an email to Weinstein.

To say that Weinstein was giddy over the desecration of such a moving tribute would be an understatement.

“MRFF’s veteran client soldiers and we at the MRFF as well, applaud this VA Clinic Administrator’s sage wisdom and courage in recognizing that the U.S. military is comprised of hundreds if not thousands of diverse faiths as well as no faiths,” he wrote in a statement. “We heartily commend his taking decisive and swift action to remedy the situation so that the MIA/POW table truly honors all.”

I reached out to Reinhart and he told me that he alone was responsible for ordering the Bible removed from the display.

“In discussing it with the volunteers, we thought as though it was the best course of action since several veterans did express concerns regarding it,” he said in a telephone interview.

Reinhart probably should’ve run Weinstein’s demand up the flag pole – because he may have committed an egregious error.

“MIA/POW tables have been part of military tradition for generations,” said Ron Crews, the executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “They have always included certain elements including a Bible.”

The official Navy blog clearly identifies the Bible as a significant part of the Missing Man Table & Honors Ceremony.

“The Bible represents faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God,” the Navy ceremony text reads.

The National League of Families of American Prisoners and Missing in Southeast Asia has similar wording in its ceremony.

“The Bible represents the strength gained through faith to sustain us and those lost from our country, founded as one nation under God.”

Crews lamented the decision to remove the Good Book.

“It is a sad day when the Veteran's Administration caves to one narrow view of the proper way to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who have dedicated their lives in service of their country,” he said.  “Many have died to protect the right of Americans to have and read the Bible.  Surely we can honor their sacrifice by allowing a Bible at their table of remembrance.”

It’s not the first time the military has desecrated a Missing Man table. In 2014 a Bible was removed from a display at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida – to make the table more “inclusive.”

And whenever you see the word “inclusive” it normally means Christians are about to get silenced.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/02/29/bible-removed-from-powmia-display-outside-va-clinic.html?intcmp=hpbt3
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« Reply #586 on: March 03, 2016, 01:32:47 PM »

"And whenever you see the word “inclusive” it normally means Christians are about to get silenced. "

Long overdue
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« Reply #587 on: April 11, 2016, 02:40:26 PM »

Blatantly unconstitutional IMO.  But I do like fact the fact they made a .50 cal sniper rifle the official state rifle.   Smiley

Tennessee lawmakers vote to make Bible official state book
Published April 05, 2016
Associated Press

April 4, 2016: Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, left, speaks during debate on a bill by Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, front right, to make the Holy Bible the official book of Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Having already made a .50-caliber sniper gun the official state rifle, Tennessee lawmakers on Monday gave final approval to making the Holy Bible the state's official book.

The state Senate voted 19-8 in favor of the bill despite arguments by the state attorney general that the measure conflicts with a provision in the Tennessee Constitution stating that "no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship."

Opponents argued the Bible would be trivialized by being placed alongside other state symbols such as the official tree, flower, rock or amphibian. But both chambers of the Legislature brushed aside those concerns to send the bill to the desk of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. He opposes the measure but hasn't said whether he'll issue a veto.

Republican Sen. Steve Southerland argued that his bill is aimed at recognizing the Bible for its historical and cultural contributions to the state, rather than as government endorsement of religion.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Yarbro questioned why the legislation highlights the economic impact of Bible publishing in the state, or that Bibles were traditionally used to track family histories.

"I don't think that's why we read the Bible, I don't think that's why we send our kids to vacation Bible school," Yarbro said. "To those of us who grew up in this faith, it is so much more."

In solidly Republican Tennessee, heavy doses of God and guns are considered reliable election-year politics.

The Bible bill came to a vote just days before the candidate filing deadline, giving lawmakers pause about being portrayed by political rivals as being as opposed to the Bible if they voted against the bill.

Earlier this session, the Legislature approved a resolution to add the .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle the state's official symbols. The Murfreesboro-based company run by a prominent Republican supporter, Ronnie Barrett, supplies its firearms to law enforcement agencies, private citizens and more than 70 militaries around the world.

Hedy Weinberg, the executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, called on Haslam to veto the Bible bill. She called it a "thinly veiled effort to promote one religion over other religions clearly violates both the United States and Tennessee Constitutions."

Southerland said that an outside legal organization has offered to defend any lawsuits challenging the bill for free.

"So I ask you, what do we have to lose?" he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/04/05/tennessee-lawmakers-vote-to-make-bible-official-state-book.html?intcmp=hpbt4
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« Reply #588 on: April 11, 2016, 05:32:51 PM »

Blatantly unconstitutional IMO.  But I do like fact the fact they made a .50 cal sniper rifle the official state rifle.   Smiley

Tennessee lawmakers vote to make Bible official state book
Published April 05, 2016
Associated Press

April 4, 2016: Sen. Ferrell Haile, R-Gallatin, left, speaks during debate on a bill by Sen. Steve Southerland, R-Morristown, front right, to make the Holy Bible the official book of Tennessee. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –  Having already made a .50-caliber sniper gun the official state rifle, Tennessee lawmakers on Monday gave final approval to making the Holy Bible the state's official book.

The state Senate voted 19-8 in favor of the bill despite arguments by the state attorney general that the measure conflicts with a provision in the Tennessee Constitution stating that "no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship."

Opponents argued the Bible would be trivialized by being placed alongside other state symbols such as the official tree, flower, rock or amphibian. But both chambers of the Legislature brushed aside those concerns to send the bill to the desk of Republican Gov. Bill Haslam. He opposes the measure but hasn't said whether he'll issue a veto.

Republican Sen. Steve Southerland argued that his bill is aimed at recognizing the Bible for its historical and cultural contributions to the state, rather than as government endorsement of religion.

Democratic Sen. Jeff Yarbro questioned why the legislation highlights the economic impact of Bible publishing in the state, or that Bibles were traditionally used to track family histories.

"I don't think that's why we read the Bible, I don't think that's why we send our kids to vacation Bible school," Yarbro said. "To those of us who grew up in this faith, it is so much more."

In solidly Republican Tennessee, heavy doses of God and guns are considered reliable election-year politics.

The Bible bill came to a vote just days before the candidate filing deadline, giving lawmakers pause about being portrayed by political rivals as being as opposed to the Bible if they voted against the bill.

Earlier this session, the Legislature approved a resolution to add the .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifle the state's official symbols. The Murfreesboro-based company run by a prominent Republican supporter, Ronnie Barrett, supplies its firearms to law enforcement agencies, private citizens and more than 70 militaries around the world.

Hedy Weinberg, the executive director of the ACLU of Tennessee, called on Haslam to veto the Bible bill. She called it a "thinly veiled effort to promote one religion over other religions clearly violates both the United States and Tennessee Constitutions."

Southerland said that an outside legal organization has offered to defend any lawsuits challenging the bill for free.

"So I ask you, what do we have to lose?" he said.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/04/05/tennessee-lawmakers-vote-to-make-bible-official-state-book.html?intcmp=hpbt4

I wonder if these retarded rednecks happened to mention which version of the bible was the official state book
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« Reply #589 on: April 14, 2016, 08:48:48 AM »

 Roll Eyes

Congressman Wants A ‘National Day Of Reason’ As Atheist Alternative To Day Of Prayer
Because not everyone has a god to pray to.
04/13/2016
Nick Wing
Senior Viral Editor, The Huffington Post

BILL CLARK/CQ ROLL CALL VIA GETTY IMAGES
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) says it’s time to officially recognize a secular version of the National Day of Prayer.

Each year, on the first Thursday of May, elected officials gather in Washington, D.C., and around the country for the National Day of Prayer. It’s a day when public servants from the president on down encourage Americans of all faiths to pray and contemplate the role of the divine in their lives. But 20 percent of Americans identify as religiously unaffiliated or simply don’t believe in God — and many of them aren’t comfortable with the idea of a government-sanctioned occasion that shuts them out entirely.

This week, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District of Columbia in the U.S. House of Representatives, introduced a resolution to create a secular alternative to the National Day of Prayer. The one-time occasion, known as the National Day of Reason, would be observed on Thursday, May 5, the same day as this year’s National Day of Prayer. According to the resolution’s authors, the National Day of Reason would provide an opportunity for the religious and non-religious alike to come together and recognize “the importance of reason in the betterment of humanity.”

“The application of reason has proven to improve the conditions in which people live, offer hope for human survival on Earth, and cultivated intelligent, moral, and ethical behaviors and interactions among people,” said Honda in a Tuesday press release. “I encourage everyone to take this occasion to reflect upon the way that philosophical principles developed during the Age of Reason influenced our Founding Fathers as they formed our country and how the employment of reason, critical thought, the scientific method, and free inquiry can help resolve human problems and improve the welfare of humankind.”

Honda introduced a similar resolution last year, only to see it die in committee. Atheism and outspoken support for non-traditional religious beliefs remain, for the most part, a third rail in politics. There isn’t a single openly atheistic member of Congress, and only one — Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona — who lists herself as unaffiliated. More than 90 percent of members of Congress identify as Christians, and an entire 57 percent, including Honda, consider themselves Protestants.

But the American Humanist Association, a nonprofit that lobbies Congress on the separation of church and state, hopes to see more progress on the resolution this year, perhaps starting with a companion measure in the Senate.

“Our final hope would be to have something similar to what’s done with the National Day of Prayer, where you have a presidential proclamation being issued calling on people to use their reason, to come together, to unite and essentially celebrate the same values that are in the National Day of Prayer but without the call to prayer,” said Matthew Bulger, a legislative assistant at the American Humanist Association.

“The National Day of Prayer has a lot of good things about it,” he went on. “They celebrate the values of freedom, civil rights — all things that atheists and nontheists want to be able to join into, but would feel uncomfortable praying about because it contradicts their religious views.”

Every year on the National Day of Prayer, the president signs an official statement stressing the importance of expressing one’s faith. And while President Barack Obama’s proclamations have included gestures of inclusion toward nonbelievers as well as the faithful — “I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings,” the 2015 proclamation read — the day is still most closely associated with Christianity, a religious identity that 75 percent of Americans claim.

For example, the National Day of Prayer Task Force, an organization that coordinates events nationwide and will host congressional lawmakers in a Capitol Hill ceremony next month, says it “represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.”

This intersection of religion and politics has caused controversy in the past, with groups unsuccessfully challenging the National Day of Prayer as a violation of church-state separation.

Groups like the American Humanist Association acknowledge that the current political climate makes it hard to take much of a stand against the National Day of Prayer. But they’re encouraged by recent moves at the state and city level to break up the strictly religious tone of the day’s events.

In states like Delaware, Iowa and Nebraska, governors have officially declared the first Thursday in May a National Day of Reason. The governors of Iowa and Nebraska are both Republicans, which some see as a sign that controversy over the effort is waning.

For Bulger, it’s important to send a message to all Americans that they are equally welcome to engage in civic life, regardless of their faith — or lack thereof.

“The National Day of Reason is an observance worthy of government recognition not only because of the values it promotes, whether it’s reason-based public policy or community cohesion, but because of the idea that when government decides to take part in a private observance, it needs to do so on the most inclusive grounds possible,” he said. “It cannot effectively say to a whole segment of the population that you are not able to participate in American civil life because you do not hold the same religious views that we hold.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/national-day-of-reason_us_570e7143e4b08a2d32b89ad5
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« Reply #590 on: May 23, 2016, 08:52:57 AM »

It's a shame they have to jump through these hoops to deal with a handful of irrational crybabies. 

Texas city hatches real estate deal with church to cross out atheists' lawsuit
Published May 23, 2016 
FoxNews.com

Residents of Port Neches rallied when an atheist group demanded removal of a cement cross, but the city seems to have found a way to keep it. (Fox4Beaumont.com)

A $100 real estate deal may have ended a potential constitutional crisis in a small Texas city.

An atheist group sued Port Neches last fall over a 10-foot cement cross that stood in a public park for more than 45 years, saying its presence on public land violated the First Amendment's establishment clause. But the city short-circuited the lawsuit by selling the 400-square-foot plot where the cross stands to a local church. 

“We found a section in the local government code that allows the sale of property to a religious organization, as long as that organization owns land within the municipality and there’s an agreement to revitalize that land,” Port Neches City Attorney Lance Bradley told 12News Now.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation raised the issue last November, after it said it received a complaint from an unidentified citizen of the community of 13,000 near the East Texas city of Beaumont.

“The government’s permanent display of a Latin cross on public land is unconstitutional,” the group wrote in a letter to Port Neches Mayor Glenn Johnson. “The display of this patently religious symbol on public property confers government endorsement of Christianity, a blatant violation of the Establishment Clause.”

The organization demanded the removal of the cross, sparking a backlash from area residents buoyed by a defiant Johnson.

“I want to make it perfectly clear to the citizens of Port Neches specifically that this mayor and this city council will not fold, it will not bend, it will not roll over,” Johnson told reporters. “We’re going to fight this all the way. And if it goes to court, then it goes to court. And we’ll fight it there as well.”

But the sale of the cross and the land on which it stands to First United Methodist Church of Port Neches seems to have satisfied all parties.

“We looked at a number of options and this is the direction that city council decided to proceed,” City Manager Andre Wimer told ChristianNews.net.

FFRF called the sale a “victory,” but expressed skepticism about the price.

“The action to remove the Christian symbol from the public park is certainly a step in the right direction,” attorney Rebecca Markert told local television station KDFM. “FFRF will be looking into the details of the land sale to ensure the law was followed. If it is determined that the sale did not go through the proper process and the purpose was to save a religious symbol, then it’s not a closed case.”

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/05/23/texas-city-hatches-real-estate-deal-with-church-to-cross-out-atheists-lawsuit.html?intcmp=hpbt4
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« Reply #591 on: May 24, 2016, 08:09:04 AM »

I applaud the FFRF for holding government accountable
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« Reply #592 on: May 24, 2016, 10:24:38 AM »

Memorial Day crosses honoring fallen soldiers removed from public property after complaint
Published May 24, 2016 
FoxNews.com

A Memorial Day display featuring crosses to honor fallen soldiers was removed from public property in Georgia after someone questioned whether the soldiers were all Christian.

The 79 white, handmade crosses posted on public property along state Highway 92 in Hiram, Ga., were meant to represent the 79 Paulding County residents who died in America’s wars, according to town officials.

But the crosses were abruptly taken down last Friday after someone called Hiram City Hall questioning whether the cross is an appropriate symbol for the memorial.

Hiram Mayor Teresa Philyaw said the cross display, which she approved and planned, was never intended to be religious.

"It was never about religion -- it was just to honor them," Philyaw told FoxNews.com on Tuesday. "I was devastated when it had to come down."

"We wanted to make sure that they weren’t forgotten. We also wanted their families to know that our hearts still bleed for them," she said. "At the time, it never, ever crossed my mind about the religious factor in it."

"The cross is a 'rest in peace' symbol to me," said Philyaw.

But not everyone in the Georgia town with a population of 2,332 agrees with Philyaw.

Hours after the crosses were posted, an unnamed resident called the office of city manager Barry Atkinson and asked whether all 79 military personnel were Christians.

Philyaw said they had died in wars from World War I to Iraq and Afghanistan. She said to her knowledge, none of their families had complained.

The cross memorial has since ignited fierce debate on social media -- with many people saying its removal is political correctness run amok, while others argued all faiths should be represented.

"The 79 veterans from Paulding County who sacrificed their lives for our nation are being taken down for the Memorial Day holiday because some find it offensive," wrote one Facebook user. "Tell that to the families of these brave veterans who died for us so we can have freedom and shame on you, mayor of Hiram, Georgia, for caving in to their demands."

"It is impossible to do anything good in this world anymore," wrote another.

Some Facebook users posted photos of other memorial sites in which crosses were used to honor the fallen.

Barry Atkinson indicated he agreed with the decision to remove the crosses, WSB-TV reported.

The phone call, Atkinson told the station, "opened our eyes that we missed something here.”

“We immediately took corrective action,” he said.

Atkinson also noted that the caller offered to make a donation should the city plan to build a permanent memorial.

"If Hiram was willing to do a permanent veterans memorial, they offered to make a cash contribution, so I wouldn't say they were really mad," he said.

Some Hiram residents, meanwhile, are searching for private property where the crosses can be displayed, according to the station.

For her part, Philyaw said, "If there is one of those 79 that they know to be of a different religious belief, we will gladly put up."

A city council meeting is schedule for Tuesday night to debate the proper way in which to honor the fallen heroes.

"Whatever the choice is, a memorial of some kind will be displayed," said Philyaw.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/05/24/memorial-day-crosses-honoring-fallen-soldiers-removed-from-public-property-after-complaint.html?intcmp=hpbt3
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« Reply #593 on: May 24, 2016, 10:34:35 AM »

"Barry Atkinson indicated he agreed with the decision to remove the crosses, WSB-TV reported.

The phone call, Atkinson told the station, "opened our eyes that we missed something here.”

“We immediately took corrective action,” he said.

Atkinson also noted that the caller offered to make a donation should the city plan to build a permanent memorial.

"If Hiram was willing to do a permanent veterans memorial, they offered to make a cash contribution, so I wouldn't say they were really mad," he said. "

Barry seems like a reasonable guy
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« Reply #594 on: May 24, 2016, 10:37:42 AM »

Barry should have told the crybabies to go pound sand. 
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« Reply #595 on: May 24, 2016, 10:47:44 AM »

You know, I'm not religious myself, but really, who does it harm if people want to use crosses to commemorate their fallen friends and family?

They aren't hurting anyone.
Barry should have told the crybabies to go pound sand. 

I agree.
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« Reply #596 on: August 24, 2017, 10:23:50 AM »

PRAYING COACH FILES DISCRIMINATION COMPLAINT IN WASHINGTON
Coach files discrimination lawsuit
A football coach is filing a federal discrimination lawsuit after he was put on leave for praying after games
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

BREMERTON, WA (KTRK) -- An assistant football coach who was suspended for praying on the field after games has filed a federal discrimination complaint against his school district in Washington State.

Joe Kennedy claims he's facing discrimination because of his religious beliefs.

Kennedy told local station KCPQ, "I never wanted any of this. I'm just the average guy. You know, I just want to coach football."

Kennedy was told by the school district earlier this year that his tradition violated school policy. He was asked to stop, but didn't. He was placed on paid administrative leave in October, and then on his evaluation last month, a note at the bottom read "do not rehire."

Kennedy called the note "a knife in the heart."

He said, "There's a constitutional right that I have as an American."

Kennedy has filed a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. His attorney, Mike Berry with the non-profit Liberty Institute, said, "We really feel that this school district has forced our hand into doing this because of the unlawful religious discrimination against Coach Kennedy."

The school district told KCPQ it cannot comment because it has not received official notification of the complaint yet.

Kennedy says he's still hopeful he can return to coaching at Bremerton. He says he's received offers to coach at other schools, but Bremerton is his home and where he wants to stay.

Kennedy said, "The community is our family and these kids are everything. I mean, we've got a lot invested in Bremerton."

http://abc13.com/religion/praying-coach-files-discrimination-complaint/1124632/

Court rules high school football coach cannot pray on the field
By Todd Starnes
Published August 23, 2017
Fox News

A Washington state high school football coach who was punished for taking a knee at the 50-yard line for a post-game prayer violated the U.S. Constitution, according to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel ruled the Bremerton School District was justified in suspending Coach Joe Kennedy after he took a knee and prayed silently at midfield after football games.

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"When Kennedy kneeled and prayed on the fifty-yard line immediately after games while in view of students and parents, he spoke as a public employee, not as a private citizen, and his speech therefore was constitutionally unprotected," the 9th Circuit wrote.

Kennedy, who served as an assistant coach at Bremerton High School from 2008-2015, was ordered to refrain from bowing his head, taking a knee or doing anything that could be perceived as praying on public school property.

PODCAST: Listen to Todd interview Coach Joe Kennedy’s Attorney

To be fair – it’s not like Coach Kennedy was conducting a Billy Graham Crusade at midfield. He would simply take a knee, bow his head, thank God for a good game and 30 seconds later – he went about his business.

"An objective student observer would see an influential supervisor do something no ordinary citizen could do – perform a Christian religious act on secured school property while surrounded by players – simply because he is a coach," the judges wrote.

The evangelical Christian was suspended in 2015 when he defied school officials and continued his post-game religious ritual.

Kennedy was not rehired when his contract expired.

"This is deeply disappointing to us," First Liberty Institute attorney Jeremy Dys said on The Todd Starnes Show.

"The 9th Circuit believes they can ban all coaches from praying individually in public just because they can be seen," Dys said. "That is simply wrong. It is not American. And it is not the America contemplated by our Constitution."

First Liberty Institute said they have not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling.

"Now all coaches across the country stand under the prospect of being prevented from engaging in any outward displays of religion,” Dys told me. "That includes crossing yourself or even taking a knee to pray."

That’s right, folks – not even Catholic coaches will be allowed to cross themselves in public, the attorney said.

Welcome to the America that was fundamentally transformed by President Obama and his activist judges.

It’s a nation where football players can take a knee to disrespect the flag, but a coach can’t take a knee to pray to the Almighty.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/08/23/court-rules-high-school-football-coach-cannot-pray-on-field.html
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« Reply #597 on: September 06, 2017, 02:34:00 PM »

Teacher: Dear Parents, Tell Your Kids to Stop Talking About God
By Todd Starnes/Twitter
August 30, 2017

Photo/Fox9

School is back in session across the fruited plain and students are getting settled in their new classes – adjusting to new teachers.

So it's not all that unusual for moms and dads to receive letters from their child's teacher - especially regarding inappropriate classroom behavior. But a letter written by a first grade teacher and sent to parents in McCordsville, Indiana is causing quite a stir.

The teacher urged parents to encourage their children to stop using religious words in the classroom.

“I have had a group of about five students using the words God, Jesus and Devil in conversation,” the teacher wrote.

Back when I was in grade school my classmates would typically invoke the Good Lord's name -- usually just before an exam.

She explained that she had “a talk” with the children regarding inappropriate classroom language – but the lesson did not seem to work.

“With McCordsville Elementary being a public school, we have many different religions and beliefs, and I do not want to upset a child/parent because of these words being used,” she wrote to parents.

In other words – Jesus is not welcome in McCordsville Elementary School.

“If you go to church or discuss these things at home, please have a talk with your child about there being an appropriate time and place of talking about it,” the teacher wrote.

In my new book, “The Deplorables’ Guide to Making America Great Again,” I delivered a call to arms. I urged you to take a stand for your Constitutional rights – to take a stand in your neighborhoods.

And that’s exactly what happened in McCordsville. One of the parents sent a copy of the teacher’s Jesus-ban to a local Fox News station – and faster than you could say, “God bless America,” the school district backtracked.

“Trying to limit a student’s view on religion is a violating of a student’s first amendment rights,” the district wrote in a statement.

Patriots took a stand and as a result a terrible wrong was made right.

Sadly, in many school districts parents have capitulated and allowed their school districts to become public indoctrination centers for far left activists – schools where words like “Jesus” are banned, but words like “gender fluid” are celebrated.

https://www.toddstarnes.com/column/teacher-dear-parents-tell-your-kids-to-stop-taking-about-god
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« Reply #598 on: September 13, 2017, 09:27:51 AM »

Atheists Tell School to Stop Playing Hallelujah Chorus
By Todd Starnes/Twitter

A gaggle of disgruntled atheists are doing a whole lot of hollering about the Hallelujah Chorus in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation’s local chapter is angry after a teacher at Linden Elementary School played a portion of the “Hallelujah Chorus”  during morning announcements.

“While this music may be beautiful and even inspirational for Christians, it is not acceptable for broadcasting to the entire student body at Linden Elementary,” Aleta Ledendecker wrote in a letter to the school district that was obtained by the Oak Ridger.

The aggrieved atheist group said they were acting on behalf of two parents who had children enrolled in the school.

“In consideration of all the possible choices of music, this piece with its distinctly religious content can be interpreted as proselytizing,” Ledendecker wrote.

For the record, there have not been any reports of children spontaneously converting to the Christian faith as a result of George Handel’s beautiful song.

“This is the litmus test I use: if I were a Christian parent walking in the school, and I heard over the PA system during morning announcements music with the words ‘Praise Allah. Allah is king on high. Bow down to Allah,’ how would I feel as a Christian parent with that being broadcast to all the children in the schools,” Ledendecker told the Oak Ridger.

The school district told the Todd Starnes Show that a teacher had a good reason for playing a 20 second excerpt from Handel’s Messiah.

“The passage was selected to correspond with the school’s overall music curriculum that, for that particular week, featured the musical works of George Handel,” the school spokesperson told me.

Long story, short – Handel is not going anywhere.

“The school system strongly disagreed with her position and, through our school board’s attorney, we responded promptly to the writer suggesting that she was in error,” the spokesperson told me.

“The criticisms articulated by Ms. Ledendecker appear to have been based upon insufficient information taken entirely out of context, incorrect assumptions about the school’s music curriculum and a fundamental misunderstanding of the First Amendment’s relationship with historically sacred classical music compositions being taught in a public school music curriculum,” the spokesperson added.

Yeah, that response is probably going to jingle the atheists’ bells.

It’s about time a school district stood up to those godless bullies and politely told them to blow it out their piccolo.

As George Handel would say, Hallelujah!

https://www.toddstarnes.com/column/atheists-tell-school-to-stop-playing-hallelujah-chorus
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« Reply #599 on: October 04, 2017, 02:52:47 PM »

School Marching Band Stands Up to Tone Deaf Atheists

By Todd Starnes/Twitter

High school football is a religion in the Deep South. So, it’s really no surprise that the halftime show at Leeds High School is a religious experience.

The Alabama high school marching band’s show includes classical music, pop rock and several traditional hymns.

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This year’s show features renditions of among others Amazing Grace, Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee and Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.

In addition to the religious-flavored music, the marching band’s routine includes church pews – on the football field.

While the show is quite popular with most of the folks in town, it’s not exactly a toe-tapper for an aggrieved atheist.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a Wisconsin-based group of perpetually offended atheists, agnostics and free-thinkers, fired off a letter to the school district – warning that the halftime show violates the law.

“Turning a school-sponsored marching band performance into a religious event violates the constitutional separation of religion and government,” the FFRF wrote.

“Leeds City Schools has a responsibility to ensure that performances by school-sponsored groups do not impermissibly promote religion over non-religion or Judeo-Christianity over all minority faiths,” they added.

They alleged (without proof) that the marching band’s director told students if they did not like religious music they should “drop out.”

“The band director’s actions are over the line,” FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement.

Normally, terrified school districts capitulate once they receive one of FFRF’s threatening letters.

But we’re talking about the Deep South, folks. And the good people of Alabama don’t have any qualms about telling a bunch of out-of-town agitators to take their threats and blow ‘em out their trombone.

“We are going to keep the music as is,” Principal Brent Shaw told me. “We have evaluated our props to see if we need to adjust those, but we are not changing the music.”

The principal pointed out that the halftime show is instrumental – not a single word is sung.

“We are not trying to offend anybody or convert anybody,” the principal told me. “It’s just a variety show with all types of cross-cultural music.”

For example, the band’s version of “I Saw the Light,” was written by Hank Williams, Sr.

“And Hank, Sr. was not trying to convert anybody,” the principal said.

Still, the atheists are a defiant bunch of bullies. They say public school marching bands are not permitted to toot their horns to any religious tunes (and that goes for the oboe and piccolo, too).

https://www.toddstarnes.com/column/school-marching-band-stands-up-to-tone-deaf-atheists
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