Republican Ticket to Make History – Absence of Protestant Christian: News Roundup

In the news this week: Republican ticket to make history, atheist group billboard targets candidates’ religions, atheism on the rise in the U.S., and other stories.

In selecting Paul Ryan for his running mate, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney has made modern political history: a major party ticket with no Protestant Christian.
 
Some historians call it the first ever. Others say it's technically the first since Abraham Lincoln. And there is an argument to be made regarding Dwight Eisenhower.
 
But in any case, "this Republican ticket really symbolizes the passing of an era," said William Galston, senior fellow with the Brookings Institution. CNN
 
A prominent atheist group is using next month's Democratic National Convention to take aim at the presidential candidates' religion, putting up billboards targeting Mormonism and Christianity in Charlotte, North Carolina.
 
“Our political system is rife with religion and it depends too much on religion and not enough on substance," said David Silverman, president of American Atheists, sponsor of the ads.
 
The billboard targeting Christianity features an image of Jesus Christ on toast and this description of the faith: "Sadistic God; Useless Savior, 30,000+ Versions of ‘Truth,’ Promotes Hates, Calls it ‘Love.’ ”
 
The billboard targeting Mormonism lambastes – and, Mormons would say, distorts – specific Mormon doctrines: "God is a Space Alien, Baptizes Dead People, Big Money, Big Bigotry.”
 
The Mormon billboard features a man in white underwear, a reference to special Mormon garments. CNN
 
Religiosity is on the decline in the U.S. and atheism is on the rise, according to a new worldwide poll.
 
The poll, called “The Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism,” found that the number of Americans who say they are “religious” dropped from 73 percent in 2005 (the last time the poll was conducted) to 60 percent.
 
At the same time, the number of Americans who say they are atheists rose, from 1 percent to 5 percent. Washington Post
 
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is urging Metro-North to put up ads of its own in response to "inflammatory" postings in the Hartsdale station.
 
The ad in question, sponsored by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, lists the number of deadly Islamic attacks since 9/11" and says "It's not Islamophobia, It's Islamorealism."
 
Feiner says the ad can't be removed, but is offensive. He wants Metro-North to warn passengers that the ads could be upsetting and don't represent Metro-North's views or that of the community. NY Daily News
 
Mere hours after the Chicago Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) expressed fears that recent statements made by Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) could make area Muslims a "target," shots were fired at a suburban Chicago mosque.
 
According to an alert issued by CAIR, two air rifle shots were fired at the outer wall of the Muslim Education Center mosque in Morton Grove Friday evening, while the building was full of worshippers observing Ramadan. Huffington Post