Bo Gardiner is an environmental analyst, naturalist, writer, and humanist/skeptic organizer. She's a former research hydrologist, EPA consultant, wildlife program director for a national NGO, and TV writer/producer. She holds a B.A. in communications and M.S. in environmental engineering sciences.
Sir, Got witches? Are you and your staff quite out of your Constitutionally derelict minds? With that best-ever opening to a church-state separation letter, attorney Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation notified Air Force officials that it’s time for them to get out of the witch-hunting business and give Deborah Schoenfeld back her her dental technician job. The Air Force Times reports: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation is representing a former Air Force contractor who says she was fired from a dental clinic at Fort Meade, Maryland, after complaining that her co-workers discriminated against her because she was Hindu. She claims they then accused her of being a witch. Read more
Sunday’s episode of CNN’s news program Reliable Sources was mostly interesting, focusing on the dramatic decrease in media reporting of the Oregon college shooter’s name and face. This was a response to the gunman making clear he did this for fame, after wistfully writing online of the limelight won by other high-profile murderers. I expect this to be a trend for the future as we belatedly catch on to the problem. But then, the usually reliable host Brian Stelter had this to say: Read more
It’s a rallying moment for American Christians angered by the growing voices of the nation’s non-religious, however small a minority we remain. Christian communities online are feverishly crying, “Now do you believe we’re persecuted?” Political, cultural, and religious leaders are calling on Christians to rise up against their non-religious persecutors, accusing us of fostering violence, and demanding we take responsibility. That fever is rising with each news report about the massacre of nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Read more
Two weeks ago I reported on a sweeping program of organized religious coercion of student athletes by their Christian coaches at public high schools across southwestern Virginia. Since then I’ve received reports of two more schools involved, bringing the total number we know to host this program to twelve: Read more
On a sweltering August afternoon at a Virginia public high school’s football practice, the coach calls his hot, thirsty players to attention. A guest, he announces, has brought them ice-cold watermelon — and a message. As the grateful young teens in uniform drop to the grass to savor their treat, the coach steps back and nods to his guest. The visitor is a preacher, and he’s there to bring the boys around to Coach’s particular brand of faith. Coach figures all his boys and assistant coaches are Christian, because that’s what good Virginians are. And if they aren’t, they should be. He tells himself it’s part of his job because it’s good for the team. A boy without Jesus isn’t as respectful, strong or reliable — you know, Christian traits. The preacher reads “The Competitor’s Creed” from the back of the book he holds, God’s Game Plan: The Athlete’s Bible: Read more