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UK’s ‘Atheist Church’ Holds First Global ‘General Assembly;’ Plans Expansion

the-sunday-assembly[1]The U.K.-based Sunday Assembly, or the “atheist Church,” which has congregations also in the United States, is holding its first “general assembly” to establish a church-like management system and discuss governing principles and “doctrines.” The congregation of godless people, which predicts it will have at least 100 congregations around the world by the year-end, is holding its first “general assembly” in London this weekend, which, the organizers say, will be compared to the Church of England’s General Synod, according to The Guardian. [Read more]

Why Religions, Too, Would Benefit from Embracing Secularism

350x[1]Anyone who follows foreign news will know that in some areas of Pakistan the persecution of Christians is endemic. Churches are burned, pastors are murdered, people are forced under torture to convert to Islam. No wonder the Christians there want secularism. They have come to understand that secularism is their best hope. It could help them gain the right to worship in the way they want to – as it would every other minority in the country. [Read more]

Here’s the First Look at the New Satanic Monument Being Built for Oklahoma’s Statehouse

Screen-Shot-20f14-05-01-at-1-22-20-PM[1]In January the Satanic Temple announced plans to erect a monument glorifying the Dark Lord on the front lawn of the Oklahoma Statehouse. An Indiegogo campaign was launched with what seemed like a somewhat lofty goal of $20,000, but by the time donations ended almost $30,000 had been raised. Now an artist trained in classical sculpture is toiling away in New York, crafting a Baphomet figure sitting beneath an inverted pentagram and flanked by two children gazing upward in loyalty. When it is finished, it will be cast in bronze and, the Satanists hope, eventually displayed in Oklahoma. [Read more]

Holy Land Catholic leaders say Israel Failing to Prevent Attacks on Churches

attacks-on-holy-land-christians-and-muslims[1]The Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries in the Holy Land has accused the Israeli government of failing to prevent attacks by Jewish extremists on Christian holy sites in Palestinian territories. “The Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land report and condemn with great concern three major acts of vandalism and profanation against Christian sites in Galilee on April 27,” the Catholic leadership body said in a statement Wednesday. [Read more]

Dr. Dobson Explains Remarks at Nat’l Day of Prayer Condemning Obama as the ‘Abortion President’

dobson[1]

California Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn walked out of the National Day of Prayer event on Capitol Hill Thursday after hearing Dr. James Dobson refer to President Barack Obama as “the abortion president.” Speaking to Fox News host Megyn Kelly on “The Kelly File” Thursday night Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family and “Family Talk,” a Christian radio ministry, explained the significance of his comments and context in which the statement was made. [Read more]

An Atheist in Kuwait: Interview with Ben Baz Aziz and ExZombie – Part Two

kuwaitcity-300x224[1]Infidels Anonymous was established on Facebook in 2009, yet we’d held monthly meetings since 2003 in a local traditional café, a gathering that became known as “the meeting under the infidels’ shed” in reference to the shed the infidels used to gather under to discuss the prophet’s shenanigans. We meet in person or through the Internet, and discuss openly everything, but for safety reasons the Infidels Anonymous became a safe haven to vent and discuss issues regarding religion, customs and traditions, philosophy, history, and even news. [Read more]

Major Christian Conference ‘Pushing Mysticism’

new-age-christianity-praying-600[1]A major Christian church-leadership organization, which brought thousands of pastors and church workers together in Carrollton, Texas, this week, succeeded in raising eyebrows from some of the attendees – over so-called “contemplative spirituality.” The event, called “Catalyst Dallas,” was sponsored by Atlanta-based Catalyst, and featured speakers Craig Groeschel of LifeChurch.tv, filmmaker Ryan Leak, corporate management expert Patrick Lencioni and author Jen Hatmaker, among many others. [Read more]

Albert Mohler Has No Use For Jesus

AlbertMohler[1]You may have heard about the awful botched execution in Oklahoma the other day. Many people took it as yet another reason for America to reconsider whether or not putting our neighbors to death actually has a place in civilized society. But not Southern Baptist Theological Seminary president Albert Mohler. Al doesn’t want the death penalty to end. Far from it. He wants us to start executing more people sitting on death row. As he explained in his “Why Christians Should Support The Death Penalty” op-ed piece for CNN. [Read more]

MPs Call for Catholic Schools to be Given Greater Freedoms to Discriminate in Admissions

350x[1]A number of Conservative MPs have called on the Government to scrap the 50% cap on faith based admissions to free schools, to give Catholic schools greater freedoms to discriminate on religious grounds. Faith based free schools’ admissions criteria must allow for 50% of places to be allocated to children without reference to faith if the school is oversubscribed. This is supposed to ensure that such schools provide places for the broader local community. [Read more]

Bullied by Belief

I was an unusual child, preferring books and sketchpads to normal social interaction, and my congregation was of the “ignorance is spiritual bliss” philosophy. Every child under 15 at that church and school treated me like shit, which I’m honestly not too pissed about now that I’m older and know more about the shitty family dynamics they were dealing with at the time. My real issue is with the adults – teachers, pastors, and other parents – who repeatedly turned a blind eye to my peers’ torment of me or encouraged me to see their maltreatment as an opportunity to be more “Christ-like” and “turn the other cheek.” [Read more]

My Atheistic Testimony

thoughtful[1]I was raised in a Conservative Baptist Church in a Mid-Atlantic state in the American Union. From almost the beginning, I heard Bible stories, from both the Old and New Testaments, and I was also schooled in God’s love, grace, mercy, and power, pretty early on in my Sunday School lessons. I remember hearing about hell when I was six or seven years old. However, from the age of six or seven, I had prayed with my mother and sister, and both my sister and I accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. (My mother had already been a Born-Again Christian for many years). Therefore, I was very confident, as a youngster could be, that I was headed for Heaven, after my life on earth, and that I was already saved, at the moment of my conversion. [Read more]

Pastor Tony Evans on Homosexuality, Christianity and the ‘Far Too Silent’ Black Church 

dr-tony-evans[1]Dr. Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship church and president of The Urban Alternative, recently shared his perspective on why the issue of homosexuality is unavoidable in today’s cultural climate, and explained why he believes Christians cannot afford to remain silent or compromise on “God’s standard about sexuality and the family.” Pastor Evans, known for his popular books and teachings on how a “kingdom agenda” impacts men, women, families, and society, founded the 10,000-member OCBF in 1976 with wife and ministry partner, Dr. Lois Evans. [Read more]

Secular Organizations Can Get Free Course Admission

Are you part of a secular, atheist, humanist, or other organization? Or know someone who is? Let that org’s leadership know that before this July they can get a deal for access to any course this year we are gradually building to teach online at SecularActivism.org. [Read more]

Atheist Candidate Takes on Christian Congressman

Polls show that atheists remain the most distrusted and despised minority in America. A University of Minnesota study found that 40 percent of Americans believe atheists “do not agree with my vision of American society.” [Read more]

Theories are Worthless

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Post-Bulletin of Rochester, Minnesota. The title is Theories come and go, so they shouldn’t be seen as facts. It’s a bit short, and rather confusing, but it’s all we could find today. We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll just use the letter-writer’s first name, which is John. [Read more]

Consequences of Church Tax Exemptions

Unfortunately, not all churches and religious organizations have been content to live within the legal rules. Quite a few have attempted to evade the rules, either secretly or very openly, in order to allow churches and religious groups to participate actively in political campaigns even while retaining their charitable tax-exempt status. [Read more]

Atheists Force W. Virginia School to Cover Gym Wall Bible Verse

Officials at a West Virginia high school have painted over a Bible verse on a gym wall after a national atheist group informed them such endorsements of religion violated the Constitution. [Read more]

Secular As Kids, Religious As Adults?

At Vox.com, Dylan Matthews argues (with charts) that the retention rate among people raised with no religion is much lower than among people raised with religion — in other words, that people raised with no religion as children are more likely than people raised with religion to change their religion as adults, in this case, to become religious. [Read more]

5 Famous Atheists in Literature

In a recent Slate article Dan Falk asks, “Was Shakespeare an atheist?” and concludes that he very well may have been. But Shakespeare is hardly alone on a list of literary figures who questioned the reality of a deity. Here are some other famous writers who dared to question the authority of religion. [Read more]

Creationist Ken Ham Says You Can’t Trust Evolution Because It’s An Unscientific ‘Religion’ That ‘Brainwashes’ People 

In a radio interview on Friday, Creation Museum founder Ken Ham attacked evolution as a “religion” that has “brainwashed” its adherents into thinking that they are observing a scientific theory. Ham, a Young Earth Creationist, criticized Christians who believe in evolution by touching on the Creationist talking point that the Bible is the only eyewitness account of the history of the world. [Read more]

Iowa GOP Senate Candidates Vow To Block Judges Who Won’t Follow ‘Biblical’ Law

The Iowa-based Religious Right group The Family Leader held a forum for Republican US Senate candidates on Friday, at which the group’s view that “God instituted government” figured heavily. In fact, nearly every candidate at the debate vowed that if they were to be elected to the Senate they would block federal judicial nominees who do not follow what they perceive as “natural law” or a “biblical view of justice.”

[Read more]

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

Say you’re reading this at your computer, and there’s a warm, homemade chocolate chip cookie on a plate beside you. Nice, right? But how would you say that cookie came to be? Some might talk about the flour and milk and sugar inside each one, mixed just so. [Read more]

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