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10 Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Atheists
It’s almost Oscar season, and we all know what that means: a parade of well-dressed, trophy-clutching men and women thanking their friends, family, spouses, and above all, God. As I watch the Academy Awards each year, I’m always left wondering: Aren’t there any atheist celebrities? [Read more]
Edwin Kagin, Atheist Who Battled Religion in Public Square, Dies at 73
Edwin F. Kagin, the son of one minister and father of another, who saw religiosity creeping into the public domain and fought against it in a dual role as head lawyer and jester-provocateur for one of the country’s most militant atheist organizations, died on March 28 at his home in Union, Ky. He was 73. The cause was undetermined, but he had a history of heart ailments, his sister Mary Kagin Kramer said. [Read more]
Atheist Turned Christian Character in ‘God’s Not Dead’ Movie Was Inspired By Real-Life Harvard Educated, Chinese-Born Doctor
A character who leaves behind his atheist convictions in the recently released God’s Not Dead movie was inspired by the real-life Lasik and cataract surgeon, Tennessee resident Wing Mang. Wang, a native of China, endured the country’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, which sent millions of its better-educated and professional citizens to hard labor camps. In 1982, Wang immigrated to the United States, equipped with little more than $50 and a Chinese-English dictionary. [Read more]
Brandeis Nixes Honor for Islam Critic After Outcry
After taking heat from some of its own over a decision to grant an honorary degree to an advocate for Muslim women who has made comments critical of Islam, Brandeis University withdrew the planned honor Tuesday night. The university said in a statement that Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali would no longer receive the honor at the May 18 commencement. Ali, a member of the Dutch Parliament from 2003 to 2006, has been quoted as making comments critical of Islam. [Read more]
Pope Approves Reforms for Scandal-Plagued Vatican Bank
Pope Francis has approved a new direction for the scandal-ridden Vatican bank as it seeks to improve transparency and compliance with international guidelines, the Vatican said Monday (April 7). The bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, was founded in 1942 to manage funds for Roman Catholic institutions, Vatican employees and clergy but has been plagued by allegations of money laundering and Mafia links for decades. [Read more]
Muslim Brotherhood Warns Against British Government Investigation
If England bans the Muslim Brotherhood it will leave itself wide open to terrorist attacks, warned one of the group’s senior leaders, Ibrahim Mounir. His warning on Saturday (April 5) came a few days after Prime Minister David Cameron ordered an urgent investigation into the Muslim Brotherhood amid growing fears that the organization is planning extremist activities in England. Mounir, 77, said that a ban would damage England’s reputation in the Muslim world and make people think peaceful Muslim Brotherhood values don’t work. [Read more]
An Introduction to Banana Man Evangelism
The first creationist I started to look into was Ray Comfort. I stumbled across one of his books when I was at a local CVS Pharmacy and decided to look at a small book rack that was filled with Christian books. “How to Know God Exists” caught my eye because there was a quote from Albert Einstein on the cover. The quote on the cover is “I want to know how God created this world”. I scoffed at it when I picked it up because I knew Einstein wasn’t a Christian, when he used the word “god” it was in a pantheistic way. [Read more]
Noah’s Ark: Moral Lesson, or Barbaric Myth?
Many of us remember learning about the story of Noah’s Ark in Sunday school. Most likely, we learned from our parents and Sunday school teachers about God’s overflowing capacity for redemption and forgiveness. Now that Hollywood is giving its take on this legendary story, let us examine exactly what moral lessons it conveys. [Read more]
Do “Hellish Beliefs” Cause Unhappiness?
Does belief in hell affect your emotional state? Previous research has suggested that countries where there is a strong belief in a punitive afterlife experience less crime and more economic prosperity, but it seems there is a trade-off—people who dwell on a hellish afterlife tend to report less happiness, according to a recent survey. This latest study forces us to ask ourselves, is there a place for belief in hell in our work as ministers ordained online, or should we do away with it entirely? [Read more]
Jon Stewart Hilariously Mocks Confused Christian Critics of ‘Noah’
Jon Stewart did not really talk about whether or not he thought the top-grossing action flick “Noah” is a good movie or not last night. But he did point out that despite a lot of clamoring and complaining among Christian kooks that Hollywood just does not “churn out” enough religious movies, they are still not happy with “Noah.” What gives?
Purity in Mississippi
I don’t know that “safe sex” lectures are going to change this culture, but it’s obvious that abstinence lectures are backfiring. The idea that using more insulting analogies to describe young women or showing more disgusting picture of advance stages of STDs is going to turn things around seems naive. [Read more]
Is Religion a Superstition?
Now I know this is largely a semantic issue, but have a look at the following definitions—every one that pertains to this issue—and decide for yourself. Then vote below (of course nobody’s gonna say “yes” or “no”: there will be explanations and qualifications. [Read more]
How To Be A Christian Without Being A Total $@#& About It.
Let’s be honest: Christianity in America has an image crisis, and justifiably so. Somehow the most beautiful story ever told got diluted into a hybrid of culture and religion that people are finding less than appealing. Not for lack of a good narrative– even some of my atheist friends have privately conceded that as far as narratives go, we’ve got the better story. Instead, people are rejecting Christianity not simply or entirely because they don’t believe it, but because too many of us are just plain ole $@%#’s about it. Meanwhile, we have people like Matt Walsh arguing that Jesus didn’t care about being nice, and that neither should we. [Read more]
“Life Sucks” – the First Christian Lie
The first crime of religion is to convince us that the world is not okay as it is. Let’s think about the real immensity of this crime. Picture the canopy of stars on a clear night when you can see hundreds of faraway galaxies along with familiar constellations, beautiful shades of color on planets, and the occasional “shooting star.” [Read more]
So I’m not an atheist yet but am not a Christian either. I’ve done investigation and am convinced that there are miracles, believe that prayer has power, and that there is some providential power greater than myself caring for me. Well over the last two years, whatever Theism I embraced has been dwindling. I would rather there was no God than one like the one that is portrayed as punishing people for ever. [Read more]
The Purpose of Philosophy is to Ask the Right Questions
“I’m not a philosophical megalomaniac,” says Slavoj Žižek in the video below. Philosophy is not here to provide all of the answers. What it can do however, which is more powerful, is ask the right questions. [Watch Video]