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Americans Exaggerate How Much They Go To Religious Services, According To Study

n-RELIGIOUS-ATTENDANCE-EXAGGERATION-large[1]Despite gains in the number of Americans who identify as atheist, agnostic or having “no religion” at all, it’s well known that the nation is largely one of religious believers. In polls over the past two decades, a slim majority of Americans have said they find religion to be “very important” in their lives, while smaller but consistent shares of residents have said they attend worship services weekly or monthly. [Read more]

Discovering the Unexpected: Science vs. Religion

experiment[1]A recent experiment with a box of flour yielded surprising, nay shocking, scientific results: cracks in the vibrated material resulted in a high energy electrical discharge. The experimenter doesn’t understand why this is so, as it’s never been observed in the laboratory before, and there is no immediate explanation for it in the current understanding of applicable scientific theories. [Read more]

Catholic Church Forces Woman to Leave Job After Gay Marriage is Revealed

19SGwx.St.81[1]Colleen Simon insisted on performing her job this week out of devotion. On Wednesday, she managed a delivery of 2,000 pounds of food for the pantry at St. Francis Xavier Church. It’s work she sees as fulfilling God’s will, his call to serve. She couldn’t let the food spoil. But apparently, that is not the way the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph sees her role. Not anymore. Not after it was publicized that Simon is gay and married to another woman. [Read more]

5 Most Surprising Things I Learned As I Turned to Atheism

screen_shot_2014-05-15_at_11.50.22_am[1]“You’re a  what?” It’s usually that, or a slightly suspicious, “Are you secretly a devil worshiper?” glance. But I’m not. I’m just an atheist –well, technically I’m an agnostic humanist (with some qualifiers) but that’s a bit of a mouthful when, inevitably, the topic of belief and society rears its head in the pub or at a dinner party. I’ve learned a lot since starting to identify my atheism to others nearly four years ago, from how people of faith and those perpetually unsure will have quite varied reactions, to how my own expectations of fellow atheists have changed. [Read more]

Racist Comics Teach Children “God’s Truth” About Africans and the Loch Ness Monster

tumblr_inline_n5j4ohe3Jh1r5dzr0[1]Through the years I have tried to explain my grade school experiences with people who had attended public school, but no matter how detailed I felt that I was, the nuances were typically lost in translation. I have put together this post in hopes to better illustrate the severe deficit in the education I had received and display the potential harm of this particular Fundamentalist Christian education structure. [Read more]

A Rather Embarrassing Night for Psychic Sally in Middlesbrough

psychic-sally-middlesbrough[1]I recently went to to see the ‘psychic to the stars’ Sally Morgan at Middlesbrough town hall, and if there was one word I could use to describe my night it would be ‘boring’. First off I feel I have to say that I personally don’t believe that psychics exist so, as you can imagine, I find people like Sally distasteful. [Read more]

Sudan: Woman Facing Death Sentence on Grounds of Her Religion Must Be Released

150879_AI_Korea_Sand_Art_Video_-_stills_grab%20(1)[1]A heavily pregnant Christian Sudanese woman who could be sentenced to death by hanging for ‘apostasy’, and to flogging for ‘adultery’ should be immediately and unconditionally released, Amnesty International said ahead of the ruling expected tomorrow. Meriam Yehya Ibrahim is eight months pregnant and currently in detention with her 20-month-old son. [Read more]

Why Eric Jackson Confessed to Raping His Sister

jackson-brothers-accused-of-rape-244x600[1]Please read We Believe Their Repentance is Genuine, Pastor Says of Brothers Who Raped Sister, for context. Scott Brown, one of the elders at Hope Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina, church home to 2 of the 6 brothers accused of repeatedly raping their sister over an 8 year period, recently shared the reason the Eric Jackson confessed. In a blog post titled Eric Jackson and the Power of the Gospel Brown wrote: “Now, you may have heard that Hope Baptist has two of her members in jail on sex offenses against their sister. The tragic family life of the Jacksons is almost overwhelming. It is a story we will never forget….” [Read more]

Writing for the Godless: Flannery O’Connor on Dogma, Belief, and the Difference Between Religion and Faith

habitofbeing_oconnorletters[1]As humans, we are wired to cling tightly to our beliefs, even the most delusional, and to automatically dismiss conflicting evidence. This is especially true in areas where our beliefs are particularly charged, such as politics and religion. For those of us skeptical of organized religion, who find transcendence in nature and spirituality in science, who fall closer to the atheism end of the belief spectrum, it’s especially challenging to consider perspectives on faith that come from the other end. But something magical happens when we allow the walls of the psyche to soften and become permeable, if only for a moment, to another’s experience of the world — little compares to the self-transcendence that such receptivity invites. [Read more]

The Church Needs More Tattoos

russell-moore[1]U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) often tells audiences, “Republican Party events need more people with tattoos.” It struck me, as I heard him say this, that this is kind of what evangelical Christians ought to be saying about our churches. It struck me further when I read this tribute my former student Spencer Harmon wrote about his new wife and her past that this is precisely the issue facing the next generation of the Bride of Christ, the church. [Read more]

One Million Men Porn Free Pastor: Churches Not Doing Enough to Fight Pornography

A Floridian pastor who gave remarks at an anti-pornography conference believes that the American Church must do more to combat pornography and its harmful effects upon the faithful. [Read more]

Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart Dead At 66: Pioneering Pagan, Polyamory Leader ‘Crosses The Veil’

Pagan leader Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart reportedly died on May 13 surrounded by friends and family, according to updates on her Facebook page and other social media sites.

[Read more]

If Ever You Were Confused About Evolution, Here’s An Answer To Your Every Question

Evolution isn’t an easy concept to wrap your head around, and some people spend years studying the facets of what makes something evolve. If you don’t have that kinda time in your schedule, this video ought to help.

[Read more]

The Bridge Between Suicide and Life

For many years Sergeant Kevin Briggs had a dark, unusual, at times strangely rewarding job: He patrolled the southern end of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a popular site for suicide attempts. In a sobering, deeply personal talk Briggs shares stories from those he’s spoken — and listened — to standing on the edge of life. He gives a powerful piece of advice to those with loved ones who might be contemplating suicide.

[Read more]

Ohio Billboards Feature Local Atheists; Urge Others to ‘Come Out of the Closet’

About a dozen billboards that are part of an atheist campaign sponsored by the Freedom From Religion Foundation have come up in Northeast Ohio, showcasing local nonbelievers and urging others to “come out of the closet.” At least 11 billboards went up recently in Cleveland and Akron in Ohio as part of a national campaign by the Wisconsin-based FFRF and its Northern Ohio Freethought Society chapter. [Read more]

How Close Are We to the Rapture? Pretty Damn Close!

At first I thought this was a joke, but as is so often true with religious websites, I don’t think it is. It’s a site called The Rapture Indexand is meant to tell us how close we are (despite the disclaimers) to being taken up to heaven—or left behind. Here’s the explanation, and the home page for the site, full of information about the Rapture, is here. [Read more]

Crushing Critical Thought

This is the Mormon article from their website about how to crush critical thought. “Asking questions is essential for learning. But how you ask a question can make a huge difference in where it leads you.” There have always been two sorts of humans. One group of people who are orthodox and do not question the status quo. [Read more]