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Escaping the International House of Prayer

Ihop2[1]I came into this world as an evangelical pastor’s kid and then became an atheist after almost 4 years of bible college. It is a long story, but one that I hope gives some insight into the inner workings of Evangelicalism. I was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin to two loving parents who had only the best intentions for my life. Among other side occupations such as church directory photography, my father is a pastor and my mother a worship leader. As Bible-believing Evangelicals, they worry about hell fire, where those who do not believe in the right things are punished infinitely for finite crimes and have no opportunity for repentance after death. [Read more]

America’s Changing View of Bible in 2014: For Better or Worse?

326_2975786_299x178[1]With faith-based films like God’s Not Dead and Russell Crowe’s Noah hitting the big screen this year, not to mention the new Left Behind movie starring Nicolas Cage coming out this fall, one would think America’s interest in the Bible would be on the rise. But is this really the case? Seeking answers, the Barna Group and the American Bible Society recently asked Americans six telling questions to divulge their belief in the most popular book of all time – the one upon which all of America’s foundational principles are based. Some of the results might come as a surprise. [Read more]

Comprehensive Study Shows Americans’ Attitudes, Behaviors Toward Bible

State_of_the_Bible4_RGB[1]The Bible has been making its way onto box office screens and home TV screens throughout the past year: from “Noah” to “Son of God,” people have been watching the Bible. But are they still reading the Bible? And do they still believe in the Bible? Each year, Barna Group partners with the American Bible Society on State of the Bible, a comprehensive study of Americans’ attitudes and behaviors toward the Bible. Asking a national representative sample of adults the same questions year after year allows us to track the country’s shifting perceptions of Scriptures. [Read more]

Rhode Island Governor Declares May 1 ‘Day of Reason’

Rhode-Island-governor-declares-May-1-Day-of-Reason[1]Governor Chaffee: “Whereas, the application of reason, more than any other means, has proven to offer hope for human survival upon Earth by cultivating intelligent, moral and ethical interactions among people and their and their environments … I, Lincoln D. Chafee, governor of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, do hereby proclaim May 1, 2014 as Day of Reason in Rhode Island and encourage all state residents to join me [in] recognizing the importance of this day.’’ [Read more]

Fox Guest Compares Atheist Activists to Westboro Baptist Church

Screen-Shot-2014-04-18-at-11.41.50-AM[1]This year’s War on Easter coverage on Fox News came to a head this morning when Fox & Friends contributor Ainsley Earnhardt pitted an atheist and a Christian against each other for a heated debate over the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s right to post “anti-Easter” signs alongside the giant cross and resurrected Jesus monuments in Chicago’s Daley Plaza. “Has Easter evolved into an occasion to demean religious beliefs and Christianity?” Earnhardt asked at the top of the segment. And what are those “anti-Easter” images? Quotes from America’s Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, reading “In reason, we trust” and “Keep state and religion separate,” respectively. [Read more]

Fox Guest: Promoting Church-State Separation at Easter Like Carrying ‘God Hates F*gs’ Sign

easter_fox[1]In a Fox News segment called The Unholy War on Easter, a field director from Faith and Freedom Foundation decried the lack of “class” exhibited by a separation of church and state group, comparing them to the infamous anti-gay Westboro church. At issue is a display being set up in Chicago’s Daley Plaza of two 8 foot banners featuring the secular views of Thomas Jefferson and President John Adams, with one  banner reading ‘In reason, we trust,’ the other reading ‘Keep state and religion separate.’ [Read more]

UK PM Cameron Accused of Fueling Division by Calling Britain a Christian Country

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????A group of scientists, academics and prominent writers accused British Prime Minister David Cameron on Monday of stoking sectarian divisions through his repeated description of Britain as a “Christian country”. The public figures, including authors Philip Pullman and Terry Pratchett, said they respected the Conservative leader’s own religious beliefs, which he has addressed in a series of statements. But they took issue with his characterization of Britain saying, in a letter to the Daily Telegraph, the country was actually a “plural society” of largely “non-religious” people. [Read more]

Paths to People: Establishing a Humanist Service Corps

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The Pathfinders have been to rural Cambodia, teaching English to children at dawn before they head off to the rice fields. We have sung science songs with students in Uganda while teaching them to use computers. In Ghana we have educated junior high school students about hygiene, HIV/AIDS, and menstruation. We four—Ben Blanchard, Michelle Huey, Conor Robinson, and myself—are the initial team of the Pathfinders Project. Over the course of a year we are partnering with social justice organizations in eight countries on four continents. We are laying the groundwork to establish a permanent Humanist Service Corps (HSC), which will fill a global service and justice hole. HSC will also provide an opportunity for humanists to put their humanism into action—to be humanists helping humans and bringing people together. [Read more]

‘Under God’ doesn’t belong in the Pledge of Allegiance

14758242-mmmain[1]Don’t want “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance? Then your kids are free to keep quiet while the rest of class does its patriotic duty. That, in short, is the popular answer when someone objects to the words “under God” in the school ritual — as one New Jersey family did, it was announced this week. That leaves two unappealing options: Swear an oath you don’t believe in, or be ostracized from your classmates. Both are unacceptable — and examples of why “under God” should be stripped from the pledge. [Read more]

Clemson Responds to Group’s ‘Too Religious’ Complaint

Dabo SwinneyIt was reported earlier this week that a group of individuals with too much time on its hands and not nearly enough of a life had filed a formal complaint to Clemson alleging that Dabo Swinney‘s football program blurs the line between the separation of church and state as mandated in the U.S. Constitution. An attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation stated that “the football coaching staff is doing a number of things to promote Christianity to their student-athletes” such as conducting Bible studies with their players.  A school spokesperson subsequently fired back that “no one is required to participate in any religious activities related to the football program” and that any participation is strictly voluntary. [Read more]

Muslim Vote Could Impact Outcome in Indian Elections

18274C15-6246-4E59-A489-2D3F4B196CAA_w640_r1_s[1]As India’s multi-phase election continues, the country’s Muslim minority could have a significant impact on the outcome of the vote in the biggest democratic election in world history. Muslims are uneasy about the popularity of the prime ministerial candidate of the Hindu nationalist, Bharatiya Janata Party, Narendra Modi. The Imam of New Delhi’s Grand Mosque, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, urged Muslims to vote for the Congress Party, that currently is the ruling party in India. [Read more]

Top Figures in Conservative Movement Spreading Crazy Lie That Faith in God Ended Slavery

The fanatical right in the US has a problem on its hands and that problem is American history. History tells a tale that does not fit the narrative of the Tea Party and libertarian version of American’s founding and history. [Read more]

Author Chronicles Florida’s Battles Over Teaching the Theory of Evolution

Brandon Haught watched in 2008 as skeptics protested changes to Florida’s science standards that called for more explicit instruction about evolution. It wasn’t the first time, Haught’s research revealed. [Read more]

Fr. Jonathan Morris and Fox Friends Forgive Atheists!?

The propaganda at Fox News is pretty slick in that it can be very overt or, when necessary, cleverly couched in a pretty party package in such as way that the audience doesn’t even realize the not so subliminal message. [Read more]

When Good Skeptics Go Bad:
Isaac Chotiner Interviews Barbara Ehrenreich About Her Mystical Experiences

Barbara Ehrenreich has written 14 books, many of them on the economic difficulties of average Americans or the role of women in history, and I’ve read (and enjoyed) two of them: Nickled and Dimed and (especially) Bright Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America. [Read more]

Louisiana’s Bible Bill, Nudity, & Raelians

First, as many of you know, the hopelessly creationist legislature of Louisiana has been considering a bill that would make the bible the official state book. We’ve mentioned it only one time, briefly, because although it’s absurd, it’s not the sort of thing we usually discuss here. But today we have some news about it. At the website of CBS News we read Louisiana lawmaker scraps plan to make Bible the official state book. [Read more]