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Why Should I Consider Atheism?

This can be a difficult question to answer without knowing more about a person’s particular situation. There are two ways to interpret it: why should you, an individual in a specific situation, consider being an atheist, and why should anyone at all consider atheism and the challenges which atheism and atheists present to theistic beliefs? [Read more]

Climate Change Threats To ‘The Least Of These’ Compel Evangelical Christians To Act

n-CLIMATE-CHANGE-CHURCH-large[1]“Climate change is a really bad reason to get divorced.” Katharine Hayhoe, a leading climate scientist, recalled the trial she and her husband Andrew, an evangelical Christian pastor, faced when they discovered they weren’t on the same page about global warming. After a number of intense discussions, mediated by shared values and beliefs, their marriage persevered. Andrew accepted the overwhelming scientific evidence, and they even went on to co-write a book for Christians on climate change. But in evangelical churches across the U.S., a faith community to which Hayhoe herself belongs, many pastors and parishioners continue to perceive an incompatibility between their faith and the climate science. [Read more]

85 Million Unchurched Christians. Is That Good?

empty_church-300x199[1]The moment I became a Christian (see I, a Rabid Anti-Christian, Very Suddenly Convert), I did not also simultaneously transform into something which apparently God himself can’t turn me into, which is a joiner. I have no idea why it’s true, and I’m not proud of it, but if independentitis were a disease I’d have died of it long ago. I couldn’t join an “Up with Water” organization in the middle of a draught. It’s not that I don’t like people; I’m resolutely pro-people! But if I’m in a room with more than about three of them who all start agreeing upon the same things—let alone upon the same set of, say, moral principals—I can’t help but feel that I’m about two minutes and the working out of a secret handshake away from being waterboarded until I confess something. [Read more]

Buddhism is a Religion: a guest post by Dr. David Brazier, Dharmavidya

taiwan-pure-land-cave-small[1]Buddhism is a religion. It has beliefs, rituals, altars, offerings, bells, candles, metaphysics, clergy, devotees, prayers, meditation, visions, visitations, celestial beings, other worlds, other lives, moral law, and salvation. All these are found in Zen Buddhism, in Theravada Buddhism, in Tibetan Buddhism, in Pureland Buddhism, in the other schools of Chinese and Vietnamese Buddhism, in fact, in all of Buddhism all over Asia. Buddhists probably burn more candles and incense than the Catholic Church. [Read more]

Oklahoma’s 2nd 2014 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead

road-kill[1]There were two creationist bills that were being considered in the current session of the Oklahoma legislature. We previously posted about the demise of the first one here: Oklahoma’s 1st 2014 Creationism Bill — It’s Dead. But their second bill was moving along, as we reported a month ago — see Oklahoma’s 2nd Creationism Bill Passes House. That one is House Bill 1674. It was introduced by two familiar creationist names — Gus Blackwell (a preacher) and Sally Kern, a sociology major who is married to a preacher. It’s one of those Academic Freedom bills, based on the anti-science, anti-evolution, pro-creationism model act promoted by the Discovery Institute. [Read more]

Politics, Religion Almost Derail Girl’s State Fossil Bill

1396494470000-040114wooly-mammoth[1]The Columbian mammoth survived an ice age, but the South Carolina Senate almost killed it off for good before allowing a key vote Wednesday to make the extinct mammal the official state fossil. The elephant-sized mammal that once roamed this part of the world is taking a rocky path toward becoming an official state symbol. On Wednesday morning, the dream of 8-year-old Olivia McConnell, who suggested that the Legislature adopt a state fossil, hit a major hurdle. Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, a Republican from Gaffney, S.C., known to be on the conservative end of the ideological spectrum, objected to the bill for several hours before lifting his protest, which could have spelled the end of the road for the legislation that passed the state House in February. [Read more]

10,000 Chances At Redemption

wvgirl[1]Yesterday afternoon I participated in a conference call with World Vision president Rich Stearns. It lasted a little less than an hour and consisted mostly of Rich explaining and apologizing for everything that has taken since (and before) World Vision changed and then reversed their decision to hire employees who are married and gay. While the original decision may have seemed like a publicity stunt, it was not. World Vision had no intention of trying to grab headlines with their employment policy change. In fact, they held small group meetings with all of their employees in an effort to talk through the change and hear concerns in hopes of having a smooth and quite internal transition. [Read more]

Teenage Bloggers in Bangladesh Arrested For ‘Blasphemous’ Facebook Posts

istishon[1]After they were attacked and beaten by a mob, two teenage bloggers were arrested for allegedly posting “derogatory comments against Islam and Prophet Mohammad” on their Facebook accounts, according to Bangladesh’s English daily Dhaka Tribune. Fellow bloggers allege that an Islamist student organization distributed false propaganda material which rallied the mob against the two bloggers and led to their arrest. The mainstream media has largely refrained from reporting this story. [Read more]

My Faith Is Gone and It Hurts

sadness[1]I am in such emotional pain. I think on real death, real nothingness, no afterlife, no heaven, no pony and no dessert buffet. I was hoping for so much. I’ll never see my dead mom again. I’m stuck with no one better than my own species for company. No eternally powerful and infinitely moral invisible best friend. My own species is still so awful to itself and each other, considering this knowing this short little bit of time we have is all we will ever have is too much. [Read more]

The New Church Ladies

giphy1[1]Social-justice warriors, assemble! I’m about to deliver a sermon. Back in the 1980s—in that Pre-Cambrian era before many of you were even swimming in your dad’s scrotum—Dana Carvey on Saturday Night Live did a recurring character called “The Church Lady.” It was a spot-on parody of a tight-assed, hyper-moralistic Christian woman who was constantly lecturing and demeaning others for their sins. [Read more]

How Does Humanism Relate to Environmentalism?

humanismEnvironmentalism2[1]The earth is currently suffering from the sum of human activity, particularly the activity we have undertaken over the past 200 years. Environmental degradation can be blamed for many problems we face currently, and given our thirst for more, I believe it will only get worse in the near future. Huge swathes of rainforest are cleared daily, tops of mountains are lopped to unearth ore, seas are gradually losing their inhabitants and may one day lose the ability to support life. [Read more]