Tuesday Religious and Freethought Headlines


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Godless Millennials Could End the Power of the Religious Right

atheist[1]The 2014 midterm elections are drawing near, and it appears that the Democrats may well lose the Senate, since they’re fighting on unfriendly territory. [Read more]

Atheists Have More Followers on Twitter: Study

If you happen to be an atheist, joining Twitter would be a good idea as you could share your views with many more like-minded people. [Read more]

The 10 Least Religious States in America

6-Oklahoma[1]While the number of people who consider themselves to be atheist has risen 3% worldwide, the number of people who consider themselves religious dropped by 9% between 2005 and 2011. [Read more]

London Black Atheists Celebrates 2nd Anniversary In Style

Clive Aruede and a few other atheists with the aim of bringing together black atheists in London founded London Black Atheists two years ago. LBA provides a nurturing atmosphere for black atheists to come out of the closet and interact in a safe environment. [Read more]

Atheist Group to Distribute “X-Rated Bible” Pamphlets to Florida Schools

bible-book[1]The pamphlet the FFRF is planning to distribute is titled An X-Rated Book: Sex and Obscenity in the Bible. The pamphlet’s cover depicts a menacing cartoon Bible angrily reaching out to a woman running away. According to Raw Story, inside the pamphlet are passages from the Bible that mention sex, nudity, and circumcision. [Read more]

Pope Francis Declares Evolution and Big Bang Theory Are Right and God Isn’t ‘A Magician with a Magic Wand’

Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI. [Read more]

Pastor John Hagee: ‘Nasty’ Welfare Recipients Don’t Deserve To Live

draft-pastor-john-hagee-god-thinks-nasty-welfare-recipients-should-get-a-job-or-starve-75984-475x393[1]Pastor John Hagee of the Cornerstone Church delivered an impassioned speech decrying the evils of welfare dependency. [Read more]

Heresy, Orthodoxy, and the Space In-Between

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like you can’t venture into the world of the Christian Internet without avoiding accusations of heresy being lobbed from one theological camp to another. [Read more]

Young UK Christians Have Faith in Politics But Less in Politicians

britains-prime-minister-david-cameron[1]The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church have asked Christian young people about their attitudes to voting and politics in Britain. [Read more]

Religious Roots, Secular Festivities: Halloween Takes A Hit In Schools

The justification for the decision has raised the question: is Halloween a secular opportunity for children to dress up and have fun, or a religious celebration masquerading as a costume party? [Read more]

Support for U.S. Campaign against ISIS; Doubts about Its Effectiveness, Objectives

10-22-2014-9-41-52-AM[1]Americans say the U.S. military effort against ISIS is not going well, and just 30% think the U.S. and its allies have a “clear goal” in taking military action. [Read more]

Pakistani Christian Loses Appeal Against Death Sentence for Blasphemy

In 2010, Asia Bibi, a mother of four, became the first woman to be sentenced to death under Pakistan’s controversial blasphemy law. [Read more]

Mormon Church Admits For First Time That Founder Joseph Smith Had A 14-Year-Old Bride

Emma Hale SmithThe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says most of Smith’s wives were between 20 and 40 years old. One of them, however, was a 14-year-old girl who was the daughter of Smith’s close friends. [Read more]

Mormon Church Peels Back Mystery of Sacred Undergarments

Often referred to jokingly as “magic Mormon underwear,” the garb, which resembles a T-shirt and shorts, has been ridiculed on Broadway, referenced in political campaigns and exploited online for profit. [Read more]

As Brazilians Drift Away from Catholicism, Virgin Mary Procession as Popular as Ever

RNS-VIRGIN-BRAZIL aMore than 2 million worshipers, pilgrims and onlookers poured around an 11-inch wooden figure of the Virgin Mary as it made its way through the streets. [Read more]

Waves of Young Israelis Find a Home in the Former Nazi Capital

When Nir Ivenizki told his grandmother back home in Tel Aviv that he was emigrating from Israel to Germany, the first thing she did was produce a gun. [Read more]

What’s *Really* Wrong with Intelligent Design

1[1]Design is nothing without fabrication. [See Post]

Theist Cosmology: As Long As God’s Necessary Somewhere

Since entropy continues to increase, and there is a limit of mass and energy how are we here? If there is not a limit of energy and mass, then why do you think so? [See Answer]

Maher vs. Aslan: Is Religion An All-Powerful Force or Mere Window Dressing?

maher_slan[1]These folks have so uncritically embraced modernist body-mind dualism that they blame all of the world’s problems on bad ideas (of which Islam is apparently the “motherlode”). [Read more]

Prominent Atheist Organization Closely Tied to Abortion Industry

Since 1978, the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has promoted secularism and advocated for the so-called “separation of church and state.” [Read more]

North Dakota Argues ‘Right-to-Life’ Measure Intent

864-ziDMu.AuSt.55[1]Megan Madden has tried to educate herself about the eight measures facing North Dakota voters on Election Day. But only one still has her confused. [Read more]

Pastor Who Performed Gay Marriage Keeps Ordination

A Methodist pastor who was disciplined after he officiated at the wedding of his gay son will be allowed to remain an ordained minister. [Read more]

Secular Party Set to Win Tunisia Elections

460x[1]Tunisia’s main secular opposition party was claiming victory on Monday over once-dominant Islamists in the country’s historic parliamentary elections. [Read more]

Students Spring Into Opposition After Bill Maher Announced as Keynote Speaker

In response to an announcement last week that comedian Bill Maher would speak at UC Berkeley’s fall commencement, an online petition started circulating Thursday that demanded that the campus rescind its invitation. [Read more]

Monday Religion, Superstition, Ritual and Blasphemy Report


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Pamphlet Showing Bible Sexually Assaulting A Woman To Be Given To High Schoolers

FFRA-BIBLE_11[1]An atheist group plans to distribute pamphlets whose covers depict a Bible sexually assaulting a woman to high schoolers, CNS News reports. [Read more]

A New Kinder, Gentler Atheism

Searching for the meaning and consolation offered by religion—but without bringing God into it. [Read more]

Freedom to Believe: Ex-Priest Lectures About Atheism, Ironic Message

54406d001cbf3.image[1]Dan Barker was here to give a speech on keeping church and state separate. Barker was an evangelical pastor who spent nearly 20 years in the ministry before he deconverted to atheism. [Read more]

Diversity of Godless Americans in the United States

Today secularism and godlessness define an increasing number of people’s lives and public institutions. This social development cannot be ignored. [Read more]

A Message to My Old Christian Friends

evil-god[1]I encourage you to read your bible from beginning to end as Yahweh wishes you to do. You will not know the story and it’s principles otherwise will you. Jesus can’t help you on this one and neither can I. [Read more]

Theology vs. Atheology: Systematic Engagement with Religion and Theism

Theology and atheology are systematic ways of thinking and talking about god-concepts, religious symbols, religious beliefs, religious traditions, and how they relate to human society. [Read more]

Owning Up to Privilege and Moving Social Justice

Sikivu-AA-2014-265x300[1]“Here,” ordered the atheist/feminist author Sikivu Hutchinson, giving her impersonation of a member of the so-called New Atheism. [Read more]

Creationism — So What?

There’s a relatively new website that seems to have a load of writers of the right-wing persuasion. Wikipedia has a brief writeup on them: The Federalist. [Read more]

Freedom of Religion, Belief Must Be Protected in Workplace Says UN Expert

un-poster-on-religious-freedom[1]United Nations human rights expert Heiner Bielefeldt has told the U.N. General Assembly that freedom to express one’s religion or belief without discrimination should be protected in the employment area. [Read more]

Lawsuit Over MISD Religious Plaques Postponed

Patrick Greene, the man threatening to sue the district, said he is starting a new job and will be away from his home computer. [Read more]

ISIS ‘School of Jihad’ Teaches Torture, Beheading, Gunmanship to Children

School-of-jihad-children-Twitter[1]Official Islamic State media entities have been promoting a video titled “School of Jihad,” which shows children, some younger than ten, being taught how to behead and torture “infidels” and learning how to properly handle automatic rifles. [Read more]

Is Islam a Religion? Christian Seminary Debates Accusations of Islamophobia in the US

With the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) gaining power and territory in the Middle East, questions regarding Islam and the beliefs and traditions among Muslim sects have been asked repeatedly. [Read more]

‘Islam Without Extremes’ – by Mustafa Akyol. A Critique

islamwithoutextremes[1]Perhaps you may think it an exaggeration, but I am quite convinced that the World will be shaped over the next several decades predominantly by how it responds to the threat from Islamist extremists. [Read more]

One Lesson From The Voyeur Rabbi Scandal: Women Must Be Part of Every Board Room

It has now been more than a week since the revelations occurred in the media of the alleged voyeuristic spying committed by one of the most influential and powerful Modern Orthodox rabbis in America, Rabbi Barry Freundel. [Read more]

The Christian Way to Deal With Your Kid Coming Out

heart-balloon[1]Four years ago our daughter came out to us. She was 20. Here’s one of my first thoughts: we’ll never be the same in the church. No kidding. [Read more]

On the Night That Jesus Was Born…

As a Christian, you assume that is one part of one coherent Biblical account. As you read the Gospels, you forget the details from Matthew that are not found in the Gospel of Luke and vice versa. [Read more]

The Science (and Non-Science) of the Ouija

dnews-files-2014-10-Ouija-board-670-jpg[1]The Oujia board, also known as a witch board or spirit board, is simple and elegant. The board itself is printed with letters and numbers, while a roughly heart-shaped device called a planchette slides over the board. [Read more]

Sikh Student Allowed to Bring Dagger to Public School As a Gesture Toward Religious Tolerance

Now, according to KING5 (the NBC news channel in western Washington State, a Sikh student at Aubern’s Guildo Rey Elementary School is to be allowed to carry a kirpan with him to school, despite the fact that the school has a zero-tolerance policy for weapons. [Read more]

Pat Robertson Finds ‘Atheist’ Who Says God Cancelled Her Abortion Appointments

cbn_700club_sexworker_141023a-800x430[1]Anny Donewald, a former sex worker and rape survivor, told CBN host Terry Meeuwsen that she eventually realized that money was not the secret to happiness. [Read more]

When We Say “All Religions Are the Same”

When we say all religions are valid ways to access the same divine, that can make it seem like there is no need for a variety of religions. [Read more]

Power and Powerlessness in Religion

Rabbi Barry FreundelUp until last week, Barry Freundel was the rabbi of a large Orthodox Jewish shul in Washington D.C. He was a leader in modern Orthodox thought and an intellectual force in the Jewish world. [Read more]

Darwin, Science, & the Antichrist

Antichrist — there’s an app for that: or there soon will be. It’s so wildly incoherent that we can’t find any theme that even purports to hold it together. All we can do is give you a series of sentences we pulled out of the thing. [Read more]

Biology Professor Tells Students: Science and Religion Cannot Be Reconciled

34b7069817b8287527676a3f1a7df03b_M[1]David P. Barash, a professor of evolutionary biology at the University of Washington, makes it a point at the beginning of each academic year to lecture his students on what he considers to be the basic premise underlying his biology course: that science and religion are totally incompatible. [Read more]

Michael Sherlock’s Atheist Atrocities

Michael Sherlock writes a rebuttal against the popular misconception that Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot were atheists and had they been real Christian their atrocities wouldn’t have happened. [Read more]

Israel’s Other Religious War: The Ultra-Orthodox vs. the IDF

VICE News travels to Israel to speak with hardline members and leaders of the ultra-Orthodox community as well as soldiers in the Netzah Yehuda, the IDF’s ultra-Orthodox battalion, to get their take on the government’s decision.

[Read more]

5 Years After Passage Of Hate Crimes Law, Religious Right’s Dire Predictions Still Haven’t Come True

If Religious Right activists are to be believed, any day now the government will throw pastors in jail, have people “fined $500 a day” for reading the Bible and “start rolling out the boxcars to start hauling off Christians.”

[Read more]

Sunday Religion, Superstition, Ritual and Blasphemy Report


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Secularism Grows As More U.S. Christians Turn ‘Churchless’

RNS-CHURCH-LESSIf you’re dismayed that one in five Americans (20 percent) are “nones” — people who claim no particular religious identity — brace yourself. How does 38 percent sound? [Read more]

Reason vs. Faith, Knowledge vs. Religion

Religious believers will tend to think that it is possible to acquire knowledge of reality and human nature through non-rational sources, obviously, but do they have a good basis for this premise? [Read more]

Yes, Atheists Need Closed Spaces Too

9150551347_a25540ce30_z[1]As imperfect as it is, there is a separation of church and state that protects my right to not be a Christian. Prejudice is alive and well here, but there are also many contexts here where atheism is a complete nonissue. [Read more]

Reza Aslan, Religion, and Moral Influence

It is good to be a polarizing figure. It’s also good to be right with what you say, and, unfortunately, Aslan makes a number of claims about religion that are highly unlikely. [Read more]

Will This Shocking Atheist Pamphlet Be Handed Out in Some Florida Schools?

1023-culture-flpamphlet_full_600[1]An atheist group’s plan to distribute a sexually explicit pamphlet, invoking the Bible, at some Florida high schools is at the center of a dispute pitting school officials against the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which uses the First Amendment to defend its actions. [Read more]

So You Think You’re an Atheist . . .

Do the people who practice atheism actually know what they are putting their faith into? I hope that more atheists take an interest in learning more about what they think they believe. [Read more]

NSS Welcomes New Measures to Tackle FGM

350x[1]Under an amendment to the Serious Crime Bill, children at risk of FGM could be made to surrender their passports to prevent the practise known as “vacation cutting.” [Read more]

Objectification and Evangelization

Proselytization is central to the religious faith of many evangelical Christians – they will “share” their beliefs with anyone they come across if they are given half a chance. [Read more]

30 of the Most Violent Exhortations from the Bible, Torah and Quran

screen_shot_2014-10-23_at_1.30.53_pm[1]How well do you know your Torah, Bible or Quran and Hadith? Can you tell which is which? Give it a try and then check the key at the bottom. [Read more]

Pope Francis Blasts Supermax Prisons As ‘Torture’

Pope Francis said Thursday (Oct. 23) that keeping inmates isolated in maximum security prisons is “a form of torture,” and called life sentences “a hidden death penalty” that should be abolished along with capital punishment. [Read more]

House Democrats “Finding Religion” on Money in Politics

IMG_3454[1]“It’s kind of interesting that a couple weeks before the election, after having done nothing for years, they’re finally finding religion on property tax reform,” Rep. Kurt Wright (R-Burlington) said at the time. [Read more]

God Hates LGBT People So God Made Ebola

As if life weren’t already a living hell for Liberia’s LGBT population, Reuters reports that LGBT people are being blamed for the country’s Ebola outbreak that has killed around 5,000 people so far. [Read more]

Drugs and Religion Key Themes in Ottawa Shooter’s Troubled Life

web-attack-suspect24nw1[1]For years, Mr. Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, tried and failed to use prayer as a shield against the drug addiction and mental instability stalking him through adulthood. [Read more]

Piedmont High Suspends Public Prayer at Football Games After Letter

Piedmont City school officials say they have suspended public prayers at home football games in response to a letter from a Wisconsin-based organization. [Read more]

Saudi Arabia’s Religious Police Outlaw ‘Tempting Eyes’

1321713801600.cached[1]In the latest affront to women’s rights, the U.S. ally has announced that it has the right to cover women’s eyes—’especially the tempting ones.’ David Keyes on how they’re defending the outrage. [Read more]

Jailed Bangladesh Ex-Islamist Leader Dies

A former Bangladeshi Islamist party leader, whose imprisonment on war crimes charges triggered violent protests last year, has died of a heart attack in a prison cell of a government hospital. [Read more]

Chaldean Catholic Clerics Stripped of Duties for Fleeing Baghdad Without Consent

middle-east-christian-leaders-in-geneva[1]The Chaldean Catholic Patriarch has barred at least 12 of its clerics living in the United States, Sweden, Australia and Canada from carrying out their ministry, for failing to seek permission to flee Iraq. [Read more]

“Nones” Rise Again in the U.S.

Professor Ceiling Cat long ago predicted that America was becoming more secular, and eventually, long after we’re worm food, I believe that the U.S. will be as godless as France or Scandinavia. [Read more]

Free Church of Scotland Attacks Secularism and “Sexual Equality”; Calls for Biblical Principles in Scottish Government

350x[1]In a submission to the Smith Commission on increased powers for Holyrood, the Free Church of Scotland has claimed that secular humanism is “harmful to society” and argued for an increased role for religion in public life. [Read more]

More On Why Smart People Are Not Always Rational

If rationality is not a product of intelligence, then what is it a product of? To find out, researchers such as Keith Stanovich, Richard West, and others have studied individual differences in rationality. [Read more]

New Documents Uploaded


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Hello friendly, secular readers!

Just a quick note to let you know that there are over 600 documents, books, pamphlets and booklets available for the access price of $9.95 (via Paypal). Many of these books cost over $10 each for the PDF file on their own, but we’re giving you access to all 600-700 for less than ten dollars!

Follow this link to gain access to books on topics ranging from atheist to religious, secular to spiritual, segregation to abolition, Christian to Muslim, science to metaphysics, Scientology to witchcraft, secret societies to conspiracy theories, and more.


Enjoy! Stay educated.

Steve, Editor

End-of-the-Week Religion and Atheism News and Commentary 10/24, Part 2


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#AtheistVoter Campaign to Politicians: We Are Abundant, Passionate Voters

voting[1]The New Jersey-based American Atheists launched the #AtheistVoter campaign on Tuesday as the midterm congressional elections draw near. David Silverman, president of American Atheists, told The Christian Post that the campaign was created to refute the claim that the atheist community is “small or insignificant.” [Read more]

Into the Fold of Humanism

I think the Reason Rally embodied that reasonable approach to forming a political movement or a government based on reason instead of sloganism, or hatred, or exclusion, or all the division that we’re so used to seeing now. [Read more]

Ariana Grande Reveals Love For Gay Brother Frankie Made Her Question Catholic Faith

marriage_map_100614[1]As more and more states decide that bans on gay marriage aren’t acceptable, Ariana Grande took her own stand recently — questioning her Catholic faith and choosing to stand by her brother Frankie, who is gay. [Read more]

Bishops More Welcoming yo LGBT, But Not to Women

The surprisingly conciliatory tone regarding gay Catholics in the working document for the family synod released yesterday is being described by some as an “earthquake” and“revolutionary.” [Read more]

Pastor’s ‘If I Have Gay Children’ Blog Stirs US Debate

photograph-of-pastor-john-pavlovitz[1]More than 1.5 million people have read the website of Pastor John Pavlovitz who wrote the blog titled “If I Have Gay Children” where he outlined his thoughts on the possibility of having gay children. [Read more]

Thank God for Mystery Fiction: Religion and the Rise of the Detective Story

There were no organized law enforcement systems until the formation of the Surete in Paris (1811), created by Eugene Francois Vidocq who was, incredibly enough, a notorious criminal. [Read more]

Alex Kane on the Richard Dawkins Documentary

4133021632[1]In the world of evangelical atheism, Dawkins and Krauss are gods. The sort of gods who look down on those who have other beliefs: the sort of gods who are never allowed to be seen losing an argument or debating with anyone who might, just might, be their equal. [Read more]

Overlooked and Dismissed During the Synod, How Single Parents Continue to be Regarded in the Church…

Well, the Extraordinary Synod for the Family, has ended, and not surprisingly single parents have gotten the same sort of polite inattention from the Catholic bishops that we are used to getting in the pews. [Read more]

Michigan Gay Rights Push Prompts Protest from Religious Group Outside State Capitol

16145792-mmmain[1]Roughly 150 religious leaders and activists gathered outside the Michigan Capitol on Wednesday to protest a potential gay rights amendment to the state’s anti-discrimination law. [Read more]

“Celebrate Same-Sex Wedding or Go to Jail”

For years, those in favor of same-sex marriage have argued that all Americans should be free to live as they choose. [Read more]

Fox News Host to Atheists: Accept the ‘Culture’ of Jesus in Schools When You Come to the South

fox_ff_religion_school_141022a-800x430[1]Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt on Wednesday lashed out at atheists who had asked that Christian plaques be removed from public schools in Texas, saying that they “need to understand the culture” in the South. [Read more]

Georgia Chamber Draws a Line in Sand Over ‘Religious Liberty’ Bills

Last week, in the far-away Vatican, a gathering of Catholic bishops very nearly declared a truce in the war against gay marriage. At the last minute, they balked. [Read more]

American Schools Are Training Kids for a World That Doesn’t Exist

Gemini Chair-Neri OxmanAre Americans getting dumber? Our math skills are falling. Our reading skills are weakening. Our children have become less literate than children in many developed countries. [Read more]

The Catholic Clash: How Social Issues Divide Clergy and Congregants

The Synod of Bishops is still huddled together in Rome discussing the Catholic Church’s stance on topics such as pre-martial sex, divorce, and same-sex marriage, but a “working paper” of their conversations has already caused somewhat of a media frenzy. [Read more]

Repressive, Atheist North Korea Has a Surprising Relationship with Christian Missionaries

RTXYBP1_0[1]The North Korean government does not take kindly to Christian missionary activities. Just ask American Jeffrey Fowle. [Read more]

Brazilian Presidential Candidates Downplay Religious and Social Issues

Incumbent Dilma Rousseff and challenger Aécio Neves shy from controversy, after a third candidate’s campaign collapsed following a flip-flop on same-sex ‘marriage.’ [Read more]

Halloween Night and Happy Anniversary to Me

trappist-leaving[1]It was on Halloween night 60 years ago that I was evicted from the Trappist monastery. It was just before Compline, the last church service of the day. Everyone filed into the church. [Read more]

Alone In Her Presence: Halloween – Inviting the Secular

This is a time many Pagans call Samhain, a sabbat to honor the death of the Horned God in his epic journey of death and rebirth. [Read more]

Scars In Heaven

I don’t believe that God allows things like the Holocaust to happen as a necessary part of some mysterious divine plan that we simply won’t understand until we get to heaven. [Read more]

The Young Turks LiveStream With Controversial Atheist Sam Harris

If you’re a member of The Young Turks’ premium page, you are in for an intense Livestream discussion between Cenk Uygur and noted author Sam Harris.

[Read more]


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