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One Billion Of Your Tax Dollars Funds Anti-Science Religious Education Across The Nation

Adam[1]If you believe God created the universe in six days and rested on the seventh, if you believe the earth is less than ten million years old, and if you believe evolution is a lie from the pit of hell, then you’ll be thrilled that U.S. taxpayers are doling out $1 billion a year to fund private Christian grade school educations that teach all those beliefs as “facts.” And you’ll be thrilled to learn that $1 billion is increasing dramatically every year. Welcome to the neat trick of publicly-funded private school voucher programs. [Read more]

Westboro Church’s First Protest After Founder’s Death Met By Counterprotest

tumblr_n2v6vc7fhz1qzhpmlo1_500-752x501[1]Westboro Baptist Church protesters demonstrating outside of a Lorde concert in Kansas City, Mo., over the weekend were met with an unusual counterprotest. On Friday, two days after the death of Westboro’s founding pastor, Fred Phelps, about 20 members of the church — holding signs that read “God Hates Sluts” among other messages — were greeted by demonstrators with banners that read, “Sorry for your loss” and “Live your life and be awesome.” [Read more]

For Antigay Church, Losing Its Cause Before Its Founder

WESTBORO-1-master675-v2[1]On the final night of Fred Phelps’s life, as he lay dying in hospice care here, two of his daughters and several of his grandchildren lined a sidewalk in front of an upscale grocery store in Kansas City, Mo., 60 miles to the east, and sang. They were holding signs, of course — “America Is Doomed,” “Same Sex Marriage Dooms Nations” and “Repent or Perish” were among the milder mottoes — and shouting their tolerate-gays-and-face-damnation gospel to the young adults waiting Wednesday night for a concert at the theater across the street. [Read more]

Pat Robertson Says Woman’s Atheism Caused by Rape or Demonic Possession

Robertson_atheist[1]The last time a fundamentalist “Christian” tried to “bring me to Jesus” I was amused. She said, with a great deal of concern in her voice, “We need to talk.” She was very happy to talk about Jesus. But when I tried to offer her my polytheistic views, she said, “We’re not talking about that.” That, in microcosm, is the Religious Right’s view of religious freedom. Their freedom to shove their religion down your throat. Several emotions battled within me besides that amusement: I was offended, of course, but I also felt pity for the so-called Christian for having a faith so brittle that it could only be sustained by having around her others who, by their presence, could bolster her own flagging and uncertain faith. [Read more]

Anti-Gay Harlem Pastor Defends ‘Jesus Would Stone Homos’ Sign

The pastor of an anti-gay church in New York City is coming out in defense of a billboard that contains the message “Jesus would stone homos.”

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Catholic Archdiocese Criticized for Spending Millions on Lavish Mansions While Ignoring the Poor

shutterstock_114178885_0[1]The purchase of new property by a Catholic Archdiocese in Atlanta has sparked a debate among its parishioners over the institution’s spending priorities, and whether that money should go towards helping the poor. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Cathedral of Christ the King, a major Catholic church in Atlanta, has decided to spend $2.2 million on renovations for a new rectory for its priests. The rectory used to be the expansive residence of an archbishop, who moved to a new home–which the church built for an additional $2.2 million. [Read more]

If Phelps Hadn’t Existed, We’d Have Been Forced to Invent Him

fred_phelps_ap_img-300x195[1]I first became aware of Fred Phelps during his attempts to get a monument placed in Central Park at Casper, Wyoming. The monument would have been a dedicated to the late Matthew Shepard, the native son of Casper beaten to death for being gay. The monument would have declared Shepard to be burning in hell. The proposal left the city in a bind. The park was public, but had held a Ten Commandments monument donated by the Fraternal Order of Eagles since the sixties. [Read more]

Confessions of a Hater

As Westboro’s Fred Phelps lies dying, a reflection on the difference between disagreement and hatred. [Read more]

BarbWire: ‘Homo-Maniacal’ Gays Will Put Christians In Cattle Cars

gayroller[1]BarbWire columnist John Biver announced today that from now on he will describe gay rights advocates as “homo-maniacal,” even including in his column an image, from a post making fun of Jerry Falwell in The Oatmeal, of a giant gay steamroller that is being used to crush people. Biver took the phrase from fellow BarbWire commentator Jeff Allen. Earlier this week, Allen authored a column about how gay rights must be defeated like Nazi Germany. Quoting from Winston Churchill’s famous “Blood, Sweat and Tears” speech, Allen said: “That’s the attitude and spirit of a victor, and that’s also why the Allied powers beat the Gestapo then, and we, if we too remain united, can beat the ‘gay’-stapo today!” [Read more]

Taxpayers Fund Creationism in the Classroom

140321_albert_einstein_god_sistine_chapel_gty_ap_6051[1]Taxpayers in 14 states will bankroll nearly $1 billion this year in tuition for private schools, including hundreds of religious schools that teach Earth is less than 10,000 years old, Adam and Eve strolled the garden with dinosaurs, and much of modern biology, geology and cosmology is a web of lies. Now a major push to expand these voucher programs is under way from Alaska to New York, a development that seems certain to sharply increase the investment. [Read more]

Are You There God? It’s Me, Hobby Lobby

hobbylobby630x354[1]On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Inc., the most closely watched case of the year. The stakes are high. Thanks to novel legal arguments and bad science, a ruling in favor of the company threatens any number of significant and revolutionary outcomes, from upending a century’s worth of settled corporate law to opening the floodgates to religious challenges to every possible federal statute to gutting the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act. [Read more]

Tennessee Preacher Refuses to Marry Whites and Blacks Because Communism

Wow! The Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in Tennessee must be channeling Phil Robertson! Brother Donny Reagan doesn’t like Communism–and by Communism, he means “race mixing.” To choruses of “Amen” and applause, Brother Donny explained to his congregation that God made people just the way they are, and that it is an affront to the Big Guy to attempt to change that.

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An Invitation to Listen: How Christians Should Think about ‘Noah’

Noah-poster-202x300[1]Imagine it’s Thanksgiving. You’re gathered with extended family: your organic, hippy-dippy sister and her vegan kid, your two-tours-in-Iraq Marine Corps cousin, your Boomer peacenik aunt and your Korean War vet, hard-drinking grandfather. History with this bunch reaches back decades, some of it from before you came on the scene. There are tender spots of emotional wounds and intellectual points of disagreement. Sometimes the emotional and intellectual are woven so closely you don’t know where one starts and the other ends. Everyone disagrees with each other, strongly. Everyone thinks the other is a little kooky.  And when you all look at each other, you sometimes shake your head. [Read more]

The Atheists’ Case for Fighting Poverty

coyne1_0[1]A new study by Pew Research Center analyzes data from more than 40,000 people in 40 countries who were asked this provocative question: “Do you need God to be moral?” It is of course a staple of religious thought that without religion, the world would be morally anarchic; as Ivan Karamazov famously said in Dostoyevsky’s novel, “If God does not exist, everything is permitted.” But Pew’s question has already been answered by philosophers and sociologists with a resounding “no.” [Read more]

Religious Case at Supreme Court Could Affect Obamacare and Much More

A challenge to part of President Obama‘s healthcare law that hits the Supreme Court on Tuesday could lead to one of the most significant religious freedom rulings in the high court’s history. [Read more]

The English Catholic Church and the Sex Abuse Crisis

350x[1]The excellent campaigning work by the NSS on the Catholic abuse crisis has focussed on the Vatican, and with good reason: the Vatican stands at the apex of the worldwide Catholic Church, a uniquely centralised institution, and the Vatican must bear primary responsibility for the culture of denial and cover up which has now been exposed in Catholic institutions around the world. But in challenging the Vatican, we should not overlook events nearer home. [Read more]

Fischer: God Hasn’t Struck Down Bill Maher In Order To Give Him A Chance To Repent

On his HBO program on Friday, Bill Maher delivered an rant against religion in which he called God an “psychotic mass murderer” and declared that America is a “stupid country” because most Americans believe the Bible’s story of Noah and the Ark to be true. Maher’s blasphemy did not sit well with Bryan Fischer.

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Evangelical Charity to Hire Married Gay Christians

The prominent Christian relief agency World Vision said Monday it will hire Christians who are in same-sex marriages, a dramatic policy change on one of the most divisive social issues facing religious groups. [Read more]

MRFF Complains About Atheists Proselytizing at Air Force Academy?

MRFF was contacted by seven people at the Academy (four cadets, two faculty members, and one staff member; six of whom Christians) about an announcement made to all cadets in the Mitchell Hall dining facility that today and tomorrow were going to be “Ask an Atheist Days,” and that a table would be set up on the third floor of Fairchild Hall, an academic building. [Read more]

Prayer Continues to Raise Eyebrows in the Falls

When the invocation is given to open the Cuyahoga Falls City Council meeting today, the chaplain will likely invoke Jesus Christ. Terry Mader said he will continue to do so whenever it is his turn to give the invocation. [Read more]

Police Chief A.C. Roper Responds To Atheist Criticisms By Participating In Prayer Walk

On March 12, the Freedom from Religion Foundation posted a video accusing Birmingham, Ala. police chief A.C. Roper of using his office to promote Christianity. [Read more]

Demonic Yoga

I often am irritated by the yoga brigade. Yes, yoga is a great exercise. I like it for that. Yes, meditation has benefits, we have seen some scientific evidence for the calming effects of meditationg. We aren’t saying Yoga lets you shoot fire and meditation lets you access a higher plane of consciousness. We are just saying that these are good exercise both physical and mental. So it is rather puzzling when Christians buy into the magic powers aspect of “yoga”. [Read more]

When Religious Freedom Should Be Restricted

I begin with that confession to illuminate the obvious fact that LGBT people maintain diverse perspectives as it relates to same-sex marriage. Some of us maintain the view that the “institution of marriage” is a social construct-become-social fact created to preserve heteronormative (read, “traditional,” “normative,” “respectable,” “straight”) relational formations. And if LGBT people think differently about same-sex marriage, it should be completely understandable if same-sex supporters, LGBT and heterosexual, hold different views regarding religious freedom. [Read more]

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