VIDEO: Atheist Mother Begs Ballwin Not to Put Up "In God We Trust" Sign

"This is what an atheist looks like," Nikki Moungo tells the Ballwin City Council.
Nikki Moungo, a self-proclaimed atheist and a mother, made an impassioned plea to the Ballwin City Council asking it not to put up a planned "In God We Trust" sign on city property.

Instead, Moungo told the council she'd like a sign with the motto "E pluribus unum" (Latin for "Out of many, one"), and she brought a $1,000 check to the meeting to fund it.

"If you want to put up 'E pluribus unum,' you've got my money. If you want to put up 'In God We Trust,' then it will be a fight I'm ready to take on," Moungo told the council at Monday's meeting. "This is my kids' lives. This is their town. And they deserve to be included as much as Christian children do."

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Catholic High School Cor Jesu Fires Gay Teachers, Former Students to Protest

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The all-girls Catholic high school Cor Jesu Academy: No boys or gays allowed.
For Olivia Reichert and Christina Gambaro, this was supposed to be a summer to remember. But not like this.

Earlier this summer the couple traveled to New York to get married, and upon returning to St. Louis signed a mortgage on a house together. By the end of July they were anticipating the start of the school year at Cor Jesu Academy, an all-girls Catholic high school near Affton where the newlyweds were employed as teachers.

But after the school got ahold of the couple's mortgage application, Reichert, a P.E. teacher and coach, and Gambaro, a social studies teacher, announced on a private Facebook group that the administration had terminated them both, citing a violation of school's morality clause.

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Archdiocese Asks St. Louis to Stop Ice Bucket Challenge Donations to ALS Association

theglobalpanorama on Flickr
The ice bucket challenge raises money for an organization the Archdiocese of St. Louis says it can't support.
Are you one of the countless philanthropists taking on the ice-bucket challenge and donating to the ALS Association? The Catholic Church says you're doing it wrong.

The St. Louis Archdiocese has released a statement urging Catholics to donate to a research organization that doesn't support embryonic stem cell research.

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St. Louis Archdiocese Releases New Sex Abuse Allegations Against St. Louis Priest

Archbishop Robert Carlson, who says the allegations of sexual abuse against Alexander Lippert are "credible."
Father Alexander Lippert, a Catholic priest who served in eleven St. Louis-area parishes over 33 years, sexually abused a minor in the 1970s, according to the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Archbishop Robert Carlson says a report accusing Lippert of abusing a minor is credible, the archdiocese announced last week. Since Lippert died in April 2000 and can't respond to the allegations, the archdiocese has officially ruled the report of sexual abuse as "credible though unsubstantiated."

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Judge Denies Archbishop Carlson's Motion to Dismiss Abuse Victim's Lawsuit

Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang.
A Lincoln County judge has refused to dismiss the civil lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Archbishop Robert Carlson by the family of an underage girl who alleges priest Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang sexually abused her.

Lawyers for the archdiocese wanted the judge to dismiss charges that the church failed to supervise Jiang and intentionally inflicted emotional distress by arguing that the church isn't responsible for the abuse if it isn't on church property. The judge denied their motion.

See also: Lawsuit: Priest Asked Teen to Dress Like a Woman, Not a Child, Before Sexual Abuse

"We are pleased with the court's ruling that the case against the archdiocese can proceed despite the defendants' argument that it should be dismissed because most of abuse happened off church property," says the family's lawyer, Ken Chackes. "We argued that the archdiocese still had control over Jiang even when he was molesting the victim at her family's home in Lincoln County."

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St. Louis Archdiocese Dismisses Victim's Abuse Claims as Lies, "Personal Issues" (VIDEO)

Katie Pesha: "We simply do not believe her allegations are true."
Immediately after the Archdiocese of St. Louis settled a civil lawsuit Monday from a woman who accuses a priest of molesting her as a child, church officials went after the alleged victim, discrediting her claims and dismissing her as mentally ill.

The archdiocese admits that the accused ex-priest, Joseph Ross, sexually assaulted at least one boy before being defrocked in 2002. But in Monday's statement, executive director of communications Katie Pesha says the woman, known in the lawsuit only as Jane Doe 92, lied about her abuse and has "very personal issues" regarding her mental health.

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UPDATE: St. Louis Archdiocese and Defrocked Priest Head to Trial Today on Sex Abuse Cover-Up

Joseph Ross
Update 9:11 a.m.: The case settled this morning prior to the start of trial. Ken Chackes, the attorney for Jane Doe, is to make a statement later today. More as it develops.

Update 9:42 a.m.: In a prepared statement, attorney Ken Chackes confirmed that the case was settled. And, in terms of the settlement, could (and would) only state the following:

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St. Louis Archdiocese Condemns Gay Marriage, Lectures Everyone But Catholic Church on Sex

Andrew Balet/Wikimedia
The pillars of morality at the St. Louis Archdiocese are not pleased with all this gay-marriage stuff happening in the city.

One day after Mayor Francis Slay granted marriage licenses to four gay couples, the archdiocese released a statement expressing its disappointment over two things church leaders are not exactly famous for knowing much about: getting married and same-sex relationships that consist of consenting adults.

"It is disheartening to see our wonderful city, named after the great Catholic civil leader St. King Louis IX, so eagerly cast aside the laws of our state and disregard the laws of nature," the statement says. "The fact is, the union of two men or the union of two women is not the same as the union of a woman and a man."

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Cathedral Basilica Named St. Louis' Top Landmark, No. 11 in U.S.: TripAdvisor

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Inside the Cathedral Basilica.
The Cathedral Basilica's breathtaking beauty and world-class mosaics propelled the 100-year-old cathedral to become the top landmark in St. Louis and the 11th best in the country, according to travel site TripAdvisor.

Here in St. Louis, the basilica beat out Forest Park, the Fox Theatre, the Missouri Botanical Garden, the City Museum, Busch Stadium and every other local tourist attraction thanks to TripAdvisors' users, who review each local landmark. Cathedral Basilica also ranked No. 11 on a list of U.S. landmarks, coming in behind No. 10, Washington D.C.'s Korean War Veterans Memorial, and No. 12, the Brooklyn Bridge.

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Church Group Prays Speaker Tim Jones Will Listen to Jesus, Not Special Interest Groups

Does Tim Jones need some Jesus?
Speaker of the House Rep. Tim Jones is listening to special interest groups instead of Jesus, says members of Metropolitan Congregations United. That's why they held a prayer service to help the speaker see the light.

"We're concerned that Mr. Jones, despite being vocal about his faith being a guide in his life, is really listening more to special interest groups," says Mary Chubb, chair of MCU's South County cluster of congregations, in a press release. "We know he has higher political aspirations but the well-being of Missourians should drive him. It will mean more at election time if people know he acted on their behalf."

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