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The U.S. Spends as Much Teaching Creationism in Schools as 23 Nations’ Annual GDP

MjhjMzdjMzc5ZSMvT0NyQkhnT0UzeVhiaXUzcS14MzUzT1ltak5zPS8xMHgxMDI6MjY5OHgxNzk4Lzg0MHg1MzAvczMuYW1hem9uYXdzLmNvbS9wb2xpY3ltaWMtaW1hZ2VzLzAwYzhkNDZjNzRiOWYyNjY0YTdiZmVjM2YzYWE5YjM0OTliMj[1]Concerned about government waste? Then you’re probably not too pleased with American taxpayers in 14 states bankrolling nearly $1 billion in public funding for private schools — which as POLITICO reports, includes “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.” Public schools across the United States are generally not allowed to teach creationism or intelligent design, despite state laws in Louisiana and Tennessee designed to allow Christian-influenced materials into classrooms as a so-called alternative. [Read more]

Billboard Accused Of Persecuting Christians

jesusismuslimsign[1]This week a group called ‘Ask a Muslim’ put up a billboard on the North side of Columbus that stated ‘Jesus is Muslim’. Of course some evangelical Christians got the vapors. They plan on holding a rally and prayer vigil against the billboard this Saturday. Really. The Christians plan on protesting a billboard. And ‘Coach’ Dave Daubenmire is involved. Just because someone puts up a billboard message that is contrary to your beliefs doesn’t actually take your beliefs away. Holding a rally against a billboard says more about you then the message on the sign. [Read more]

Religious Tide Turns Against ‘Noah’

Whenever Hollywood makes a movie from a well-loved story or saga — Batman, Tolkien, “50 Shades of Grey” — there’s usually a period of … well … let’s call it adjustment, along with a “spirited” give-and-take among fans over such things as casting, content and approach. [Read more]

Evangelical Church Finally Offers Holy Oil Cure-all for Everything from Cancer to Strokes to Bladder Problems

0e39e1a3645cd87623c586060d14b532cb70f343_620x311[1]An evangelical church is marketing olive oil as a part of a religious cure-all treatment for everything from tumours and schizophrenia to relationship problems. The event this Sunday, promoted through a mass mail drop in Auckland, is pitched as “the unique opportunity for those of you in need of a miracle”. The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God says its “holy oil” — olive oil purported to have been blessed at the sites of biblical miracles in Israel — has helped to cure tumours, mental illness, stomach and bladder problems, marriage difficulties, strokes and heart defects. [Read more]

Atheists Have Their Number: How the Christian Right is Hastening Religion’s Decline

anne_rice_can_leave_christianity_but_im_staying-460x307[1]Of those aged 18 to 35, three in 10 say they are not affiliated with any religion, while only half are “absolutely certain” a god exists. These are at or near the highest levels of religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the 25 years the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics. As encouraging as this data is for secular humanists, the actual numbers may be significantly higher, as columnist Tina Dupuy observes. “When it comes to self-reporting religious devotion Americans cannot be trusted. [Read more]

The Folly of Pretense
We must not preserve the myth of God – it was a useful crutch, but we’ve outgrown it

As I explain in the chapter by that title in Breaking the Spell, “belief in belief” is a common phenomenon not restricted to religions. [Read more]

Are Religious People Nicer on Sundays?

462805593[1]Prior research has found mixed evidence for the long-theorized link between religiosity and pro-social behavior. To help overcome this divergence, I hypothesize that pro-social behavior is linked not to religiosity per se, but rather to the salience of religion and religious norms. I report a field experiment that examined when auction participants will respond to an appeal to continue bidding for secular charitable causes. [Read more]

God Must Be a Master Planner

geocentricLg[1]For the first 15 years of my life, I was a devout Christian, mainly due to my dozens of insanely religious relatives. It wasn’t until my zoology class in high school that I really began to think. My whole life, I was taught that evolution was blatantly wrong, the entire universe was 6000 years old, etc. But when I was confronted with the mountains (literally) of evidence against that viewpoint, I was astounded. As a lover of chemistry, I understood the concept of a half-life fairly well and it began to occur to me that if there was the correct amount of carbon in the lower layers of the Grand Canyon to suggest that it was billions of years old, then obviously God made it that way for a reason that, as a human, I wasn’t qualified to understand (this was the extent of my brainwashing). [Read more]

On the Marvelously Pathetic Death of Fred Phelps, 1929-2014

Fred Phelps, who for decades railed against fags like me, isn’t in Kansas any more. The pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church, whose followers (blood kin or not) knew him as Gramps, was declared dead just over a week ago; no funeral was organised. [Read more]

Godless Libertarians Find Their Religion

birth_control[1]On Tuesday, the Supreme Court considered a challenge to Obamacare from religious employers who object to including coverage for certain forms of birth control in their employees’ health plans. Based on the questions posed, the three female justices seem poised to reject the employers’ claim under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 while the four-man conservative bloc of justices seems inclined to approve it. [Read more]

Secular Pro-Life (Anti-choice) Claim: Planned Parenthood Cheats Donors

Apparently, Secular Pro-Life is so irked by Planned Parenthood that they are willing to make unfounded charges about what they do with donations. True Pooka investigates… [Read more]

Creationism and Science: Beware the Faux!

creationismtextbook[1]Most of the time it is fairly easy to see the difference in quality between creationist “evidence” and that of evolution.  For example, this link of creationist explanations for the Grand Canyon is not going to fool anyone who has any knowledge of science and of how science works.  However, recently some creationists have managed to create faux science journals and faux science conferences that take on the trappings of science, the language of science, and the appearance of science. But, despite appearances, its content is most assuredly not science. [Read more]