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The disparity between how humans feel about themselves and how we treat the world has grown thanks to social media. Awareness of the impact of climate change and the stunning destruction of fundamentalist religious ideologies has intensified, yet a belief in our innate specialness persists.
Whether you fervently believe in a deity or flat our reject any religious teachings, opting for an atheist mindset, chances are you would rather be surrounded by like-minded people. Outside of the extreme religious control exercised by ISIS or the state-mandated atheism of countries like North Korea, most places are somewhere in between on the religiosity scale. But if you wanted to know what is the most “godless” place you can live, where would you go?
This guide is intended for secular people who are having questions or problems balancing their secular life with their non-secular families or traditions. This also includes a list of secular holidays and celebrations during each season. Click here to download this guide in PDF format.
Pope Francis, who once famously said “Who am I to judge?” on the subject of gay priests, has approved a new Vatican document reaffirming that “persons with homosexual tendencies” are barred from Roman Catholic seminaries and the priesthood. The document, called “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” was released today, Catholic magazine America reports. It was written by the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy, and Pope Francis signed off on it.
Pope Francis – who has made headlines by breaking from papal tradition and has supported numerous progressive policies – is unwilling to budge on this major issue. Earlier this year, the pope raised many people’s hopes when he said he would consider allowing women to become deacons – a step below priesthood. Some saw this as a signal that Pope Francis may authorize female priests at some point in the future. However, this week’s comments seem to have settled the issue. For Catholic women with aspirations to join the Church leadership, becoming a priest remains a pipe dream.
There has been a lot of speculation about how President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to run the U.S. Department of Education, Betsy DeVos, might affect the issue of private school vouchers. DeVos is known primarily for her advocacy of vouchers, and Trump has backed a nationwide plan with a staggering price tag of $20 billion. Many people are rightly alarmed. But there’s another education-related issue we ought to be concerned about as well: creationism.
Looks like Satanists have a lot more empathy for women than GOP conservatives, because the Satanic Temple is fighting back against Ohio’s draconian Fetal Heartbeat Bill. The provision, which would ban abortions later than six weeks into the pregnancy, was recently passed but is still awaiting Governor John Kasich’s signature. It is being called the most-restrictive abortion legislation in the country, especially considering that most women don’t even know they’re pregnant at that point. And now the non-theistic religious community is asserting religious exemption to the impending law.
If it’s a day ending in Y at Unfundamentalist Christians, it’s probably a day on which we’ve gotten some version of the following from one of our detractors: “Your argument seems to be with the Bible.” These are the people who believe the Bible to be the Definitive Word of God, and who believe, even when offered any number of nuanced arguments about why that’s problematic, that “the Bible clearly says X,” about any given issue.
For those who care about justice and fairness, the Salvation Army is simply not worthy of financial support. The Salvation Army is an anti-gay Christian church with a long and well documented history of promoting discrimination against the LGBT community. Recently the Salvation Army has tried to improve its tarnished image by scrubbing explicitly anti-gay statements from its websites and issuing a statement purportedly “debunking” the “myth” of its anti-LGBT stances.
For many conservatives, the phrase “fake news” is now being used to describe “liberal bias,” but fake news has real consequences. A man who was investigating a conspiracy theory about a secret child sex ring showed up at a Washington pizza place on Sunday with a rifle and fired at least one shot. Gunman Edgar Welch says he has been influenced by the book “Wild at Heart,” by John Eldredge about faith and masculinity, a popular one for some evangelicals.
In 2016, the year of “Post-Truth,” it’s no surprise that there was a fair amount of junk science being tossed around. Like we do every year, we strived to debunk as much of it as we could. We also called out its most prominent purveyors. Now, we count down the worst of the worst. So here it is: our annual list of the biggest junk science of 2016. Click the red arrows to the right of Jean Luc Picard (pictured above) to begin. And gird yourself, this will get ugly.