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“The Myth of Persecution”: Early Christians Weren’t Persecuted

myth_of_persecution-620x412[1]In the immediate aftermath of the Columbine High School massacre, a modern myth was born. A story went around that one of the two killers asked one of the victims, Cassie Bernall, if she believed in God. Bernall reportedly said “Yes” just before he shot her. Bernall’s mother wrote a memoir, titled “She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall,” a tribute to her daughter’s courageous Christian faith. Then, just as the book was being published, a student who was hiding near Bernall told journalist Dave Cullen that the exchange never happened. [Read more]

Neil deGrasse Tyson Slammed For Dismissing Philosophy As ‘Useless’

eogds65ohygmkxa3t4vb[1]On a recent episode of the Nerdist podcast, Neil deGrasse Tyson dismissed philosophy as a useless enterprise, advising students to avoid it. It’s not the first time he’s made such remarks, prompting biologist and philosopher Massimo Pigliucci to write a must-read response. “[The] offense is particularly egregious, for two reasons,” writes Pigliucci at his blog, “first, because he is a highly visible science communicator; second, because I told him not to, several times.” [Read more]

Why Philosophy Is Important

Cosmos-Neil-deGrasse-Tyson-1900x1200-300x189[1]By now many are aware of the misguided utterances of Neil DeGrasse Tyson concerning the field of philosophy. His dismissive attitude is disheartening for me personally because I do admire this man’s work, gumption and overall scientific acuity. However – at least for me – nobody is above reproach. I have no sacred cows. Admiration is not veneration. Thus, while it is unfortunate, I must say that I do not agree with Tyson’s denigration of philosophy nor do I appreciate the temerity with which he downplayed the value of it. [Read more]

Christians, Not Atheists, are Thin Skinned

thin-skinned-christian[1]Dallas News posts opinion that it is Christians that are hypersensitive to contrary views. “Will, in his article about public prayer and thin skins, seems to make the assumption that it is the atheists who have the thin skins and who need to get over being so “prickly.” His assumption does not totally match with reality. Should Mr. Will care to look at some history, he would find that when prayers other than Christian are given, many times it is the Christians who yelp in protest. A prominent example of this was when, in 2007, a Hindu gave the opening prayer for the U.S. House, over the sound of hecklers from the gallery and over the protest of a prominent Christian group….” [Read more]

Creationists Grow Increasingly Desperate in Feud with Neil deGrasse Tyson

neil_degrasse_tyson-620x412[1]Creationists want religion out of Cosmos, unless of course it favors them. Each week Neil deGrasse Tyson has been attacked by creationists and the religious right for anything he says that makes religion look bad. In this week’s episode about electricity, Tyson discussed a Christian scientist, brushing off the importance of religious belief while engaging in scientific inquiry. Naturally, creationists don’t like that. Michael Faraday was introduced this week to millions around the globe for his contributions to science, many of which benefit us all today in our everyday lives. [Read more]

Is The Bible A Cure For Insomnia?

insomnia_man[1]Ever get insomnia? Of course you do; we all suffer sleepless nights from time to time. Yup, whether it’s our overly religious, self-righteous family, co-workers and acquaintances, or in my case, the insecure, back stabbing, child brainwashing jerk (aka natural father of my two step-daughters), like the common cold, nobody ever completely escapes the occasional nocturnal insomnolence. Right now, I’ve got insomnia… big time. I’ve had it for close to a month now. What scares me is that I know it’s becoming a serious problem in my life. “How’s that, Russy?” I hear you ask. See, I told you it’s serious… I’m even hearing things now. [Read more]

Satanic Temple, Come On Down: Florida Eases Holiday Display Bids at State Capitol

satanic-temple-displays[1]The Satanic Temple will give Florida another chance after being blocked from putting up a holiday display last year, as the state intends to maintain its mostly open-door, first-come, first-served policy on Capitol displays. Rather than institute a new policy that would limit displays as some expected, the state Department of Management Services is trying to make the application process easier for groups seeking to put up temporary displays in the Capitol complex. And before a new online application process becomes available, a spokesman for the New York-based temple — which threatened a lawsuit after last year’s proposed display was deemed “grossly offensive” — says the group will again apply. [Read more]

Debating Death: Is It Really the End?

lifeafterdeath_302[1]Last week, four scientific big thinkers settled into their seats on stage at NYC’s Kaufmann Center to debate this provocative proposition for NPR’s Intelligence Squared.  They would be discussing this proposition from a purely scientific, not a religious point of view, wrestling with the fundamental question of whether or not consciousness is totally contingent on a functioning human brain. And if it is not, so the logic goes, then the demise of the brain does not deal a fatal blow to consciousness—therefore, death is not the end. [Read more]

Gay and Christian? Issue Is ‘Are You Following Jesus?’ Author Says

michael-brown[1]The main issue for those who are gay and Christian is whether they are following Jesus, author Michael Brown says in his new book, Can You Be Gay and Christian: Responding With Love and Truth to Questions About Homosexuality? Christians too often have a misplaced emphasis when encountering followers of Jesus who have a same-sex attraction, Brown said Wednesday in a lecture at Family Research Council introducing the book. [Read more]

Bobby Jindal, Raised Hindu, Uses Christian Conversion to Woo GOP Base for 2016 Run

Liberty_University_Commencement-00525[1]A dozen politically active pastors came here for a private dinner Friday night to hear a conversion story unique in the context of presidential politics: how Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal traveled from Hinduism to Protestant Christianity and, ultimately, became what he calls an “evangelical Catholic.” Over two hours, Jindal, 42, recalled talking with a girl in high school who wanted to “save my soul,” reading the Bible in a closet so his parents would not see him and feeling a stir while watching a movie during his senior year that depicted Jesus on the cross. [Read more]

Was Prof Wrong to Ask Students to Not Thank God?

grads_302[1]Seemingly to prove the thesis of God’s Not Dead—i.e., that colleges and universities are bastions of secular liberalism, staffed by arrogant professors bent on destroying the faith of their students by any means necessary—an East Carolina University chemistry professor told his students last week that they’re not allowed to “thank God” during the department’s graduation ceremony. According to an email “obtained” by Campus Reform, the right-leaning watchdog group devoted to exposing liberal “bias and abuse on the nation’s college campuses,” chemistry professor Eli Hvastkovs sent his students a list of guidelines governing personal statements to be read at the ceremony. [Read more]

Southern Baptists Struggling to Attract Younger Generations, Says New Report

millennials[1]A report released by the Southern Baptist Commission this week suggests that the country’s largest denomination outside of the Roman Catholic Church is struggling to bring in new members from the Millennials and younger age group demographic. According to the Pastors’ Task Force on SBC Evangelistic Impact & Declining Baptisms, 25 percent of Southern Baptist churches baptized no new members in 2012, while 60 percent reported no baptisms for youth between the ages of 12 and 17. [Read more]

Sudan Woman Faces Death for Apostasy

_74885885_74885447[1]A Sudanese court has sentenced a woman to hang for apostasy – the abandonment of her religious faith – after she married a Christian man. Amnesty International condemned the sentence, handed down by a judge in Khartoum, as “appalling and abhorrent”. Local media report the sentence on the woman, who is pregnant, would not be carried out for two years after she had given birth. Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law. [Read more]

Black Mass Hysteria at Harvard: The Real Story

haxan_302[1]When the Satanic Temple offered to perform a historical re-enactment of a black mass through the Harvard Extension School Cultural Studies Club, no one had any idea what a media circus would ensue. The event was originally intended as a lecture on the history of legends surrounding the black mass followed by a performance. The idea was similar to the 1922 film Haxan: Witchcraft Through The Ages, which informed the audience about early modern beliefs about the devil featuring actors portraying a witch’s Sabbath. [Read more]

Latinos in the U.S. Have a Strong Belief in the Spirit World

PF_14.05.07_HispanicReport_dataCards_evilEye[1]A majority of American Catholics see Pope Francis as a major change for the Catholic Church. But in one area, Francis may be the most traditional pope in a generation: He has “not only dwelled far more on Satan in sermons and speeches than his recent predecessors have,” according to a recent Washington Post article, “but also sought to rekindle the Devil’s image as a supernatural entity with the forces of evil at his beck and call.” [Read more]

Pat Robertson: You Gotta Be Deaf, Dumb, & Blind To Believe In Young Earth Creationism

There are very few things that Pat Robertson and I agree on. As the years pass, and he seems to get crazier and crazier, we agree on even less. But, behold, one of the few things in which Pat & I are of one accord. As he puts it, “The truth is you have to be deaf, dumb, & blind to think this earth that we live in only has 6,000 years of existence,” Amen, Pat. Amen.

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President Ronald Reagan’s Son Says in TV Ad That He’s a “Lifelong Atheist” and “Not Afraid of Burning in Hell”

It’s not a secret that President Ronald Reagan‘s son, Ron Reagan, is a vocal atheist. Last November, he taped a radio ad in which he proclaimed his godlessness and advocated for the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

[Read more]

Nice to Think We Have Paranormal ‘Abilities’ But That Doesn’t Make It True

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette prints a rosy, comforting, credulous story about paranormal and psychic beliefs and people’s search for answers. Paranormal connections: seeking answers from the other side in Pennsylvania. [Read more]

Street Preachers at Abortion Clinics

It fits in with the dialogue of pro-life. You claim concern and in effect create a lie. What are you doing at the clinic? I am saving souls… not harassing women making a medical decision and making life harder than it needs to be. So let us look at the strategy here. [Read more]

Synagogue Reaches Out to ‘Jews of No Religion’

A Pew Research study released last December found that one in five American Jews identifies as Jewish by culture alone. These so-called “Jews of no religion” were found to be significantly less likely to have a strong sense of belonging to Judaism and less likely to participate in Jewish organizations. [Read more]

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