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I Never Thought I Would

Depressed-man-by-window-007[1]I never, in a million years, would have thought that I would lose my faith in God. I was “saved” when I was seven years old at a vacation bible school at the church my family attended. It was a Wednesday night. We had finished our game time and snacks, and we were all filing into the sanctuary to here the message. The preacher began telling how God made us and loved us very much, but that we were sinners, unable to do the right thing and obey God. He explained that God loved us so much that he sent Jesus to die for our sins so that if we believed in him, we would go to heaven when we died instead of hell. [Read more]

The Fear That Passes Understanding

church-house[1]I finally decided to tell some of my story, for whatever it is worth. My parents became born again Christians when I was seven years old. Prior to that, my childhood was full of bad experiences of domestic violence and bullying from my older siblings (I was the fifth child of six). Things had been so bad right before they converted that both my parents were regularly attempting suicide. Both my mother and father would take the gun with them out behind the barn and tell us all they were going to end their lives and then fire the weapons so we would all be in tears. Then, thankfully, we would see them coming back to the house and we would hug them and thank them for staying alive. Whatever was going on inside their mentally ill minds, I guess they were coming to the end of their ropes, and then, the ANSWER presented itself. [Read more]

5 Reasons Atheists Shouldn’t Call Religion a Mental Illness 

IMG_5471-269x359[1]A few days ago, in a post on faith healing, American Atheists president Dave Silverman wrote: “We must recognize religion as brainwashing. We must recognize the (hyper) religious as mentally damaged.” He’s not the first to equate religion with mental illness or “mental damage.” Bill Maher has called religion “a neurological disorder.” Sam Harris wrote in The End of Faith, “it is difficult to imagine a set of beliefs more suggestive of mental illness than those that lie at the heart of many of our religious traditions.” [Read more]

Indiana Science Teacher Admits Using Creationism Videos to Teach Biology Class

A high school science teacher in Indiana is under fire after admitting that he used videos from a creationism museum to teach biology class. Last week, Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) attorney Patrick C. Elliott sent a letter to Concord Community Schools Superintendent Wayne Stubbs after learning that Concord High School biology teacher Ryan Culp had been showing videos produced by Kent Hovind, a radical young Earth creationist. [Read more]

Publisher Withdraws History of Hinduism, Amid Protest

hindus_302[1]The news has hit most of the major papers in India and the United States. Under threat from a small group called Shiksha Bachao Andolan, Penguin Press has withdrawn Wendy Doniger’s The Hindus: An Alternative History. Rather than challenge sections of the Indian penal code which make it a crime to insult religion or religious beliefs, Penguin India has agreed to pulp all remaining copies of the book in India, and declare respect for all world religions. [Read more]

Science Denial Can’t be Cured by Education

A recent LA Times op-ed by Pat Morrison addressed important similarities between creationists and anti-vaccine advocates, both of whom affect the collective intellectual and physical health of those around them due to their rejection of scientific evidence. Though it is an important point, it only scrapes the surface of larger issues surrounding pervasive skepticism and the borrowing of scientific authority. [Read more]

An Exercise in Skepticism: Islam, the Pentagon and a Think Tank

I get several newsletters from organizations that I normally disagree with.  I do so in order to make sure  that I have not missed anything in regards to evidence or reasonings that would change my mind.   Most of the time they don’t, but they do provide interesting, entertaining, frustrating, and annoying readings at times – often at the same time.   Not to mention the feeling of smug superiority that I often in reading their material (plan to work on that little fault of mine someday). This particular one that I am about to go over was sent to me by the Middle East Forum – a conservative American think tank founded by Daniel Pipes that “promotes American interests in the Middle East and protects Western values from Middle Eastern threats”. [Read more]

Need Perspective?: We Are Made of Stars

BT_Neil[1]This is a classic science video that one can never watch too many times: Neil Degrasse Tyson on what is the most astounding fact. His answer will put your life and the universe in perspective in an inspiring way. For more inspiration, read Daniel Honan’s piece for Big Think on how you can be the next Neil Degrasse Tyson. [Read more]

Stephen Hawking’s 10 Best Science Jokes

Stephen Hawking shares 10 of his best science jokes in this video series from the Science Channel. Charismatic and controversial, Hawking has no shortage of fans. [Read more]