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Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris Are Old News: A Totally Different Atheism Is on the Rise

screen_shot_2014-06-04_at_11.43.16_am[1]It’s surprising just how much media analysis, both mainstream and progressive, continues to take as given the notion that atheism can be defined and discussed solely by looking at the so-called “New Atheists” who emerged roughly between 2004 and 2007. It’s easy to understand the appeal: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens became prominent representatives of atheism because they were all erudite, entertaining and unafraid to say what they thought. [Read more]

Apostasy Laws and Blasphemy in Islam – Islamic or Not?

Quran-no-compulsion[1]In January 2011, the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, was gunned down by one of his own security guards over a controversial move — opposing the blasphemy law in Pakistan. Although thousands of Pakistanis condemned this by attending his funeral and showing support on social media, religious fanatics hailed his murderer as a hero, recently naming a mosque after him. [Read more]

4 in 10 Americans Believe God Created Earth 10,000 Years Ago

creation-of-adam[1]Four in 10 Americans believe God created the Earth and anatomically modern humans, less than 10,000 years ago, according to a new Gallup poll. About half of Americans believe humans evolved over millions of years, with most of those people saying that God guided the process. Religious, less educated, and older respondents were likelier to espouse a young Earth creationist view — that life was created some 6,000 to 10,000 years ago — according to the poll. [Read more]

Dear Tom Cruise, Where Are Your Scientology Super Powers?

Tom-Cruise-Scientology[1]Tom Cruise used to be very vocal about Scientology, but now there’s silence. He once boasted running 17MPH, but there’s not even a verifiable record of that. And what about psychic abilities, telekinesis and super intelligence? But undoubtedly he has super powers because otherwise the whole Scientology thing is a fraud, right? And unquestionably Tom has enough integrity to apologize if he was promoting something that wasn’t true, right? [Read more]

You May Be Surprised How Many Born-Again Christians Use Ashley Madison

slide_321591_3021236_free[1]Having faith doesn’t necessarily mean you’re faithful… to your spouse. A new survey conducted by Ashley Madison — a dating website for people already in relationships — sought to discover the link between religion and infidelity by asking 105,000 of its members around the world about their religious affiliation. More than 60,000 of the respondents were in the U.S. It turns out, one in four members who responded described themselves as “born again” Evangelist Christians. [Read more]

“God Hates Nipples” — Westboro Baptist Church Pickets Rihanna

Rihanna2-195x300[1]When R&B singer Rihanna appeared in an invisible dress at the Council of Fashion Designers of America recently, a light bulb went off in the head of the Westboro Baptist Church’s new leader. God must surely hate bare breasts and buttocks as much as he hates “poofters.” After much brainstorming and abandoning the slogans “God Hates Boobies” and “God Hates Pubic Hair”, Phelps and his 41 fellow church members Magic-Markered up a dozen signs with their new battle cry against Rihanna and other “shameless exhibitionists.” [Read more]

Sword Fight at India’s Golden Temple on Raid Anniversary

sikh-sword-fight-i_2933103c[1]A sword fight erupted on Friday at Amritsar’s Golden Temple between two Sikh groups as tensions ran high on the 30th anniversary of a notorious army raid at the holy site. Groups believed to be tied to rival political factions faced off in violent confrontation, hacking at one another in chaotic scenes which left at least 10 injured. [Read more]

Another Humanist Running for Congress in a Red District

531f46730c086.preview-300[1]Check this out. And give her some help if you can. Barbara Stocker, an atheist and dedicated humanist, is running for US Congress…in Missouri! She’s the Democratic Candidate for the 8th Congressional District, and will be first on the ballot, the only woman against a field of three conservative men, and the only progressive in the race. Stocker is a retired scientist (having worked in safety and environmental health for major corporations) and a “believer in a government that works for the people,” defending “Social Security and Medicare, cooperation in Congress, and investment in infrastructure.” [Read more]

Four-in-Ten Pakistanis Say Honor Killing of Women Can Be At Least Sometimes Justified

PakistanPakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for “immediate action” Thursday over thestoning death of a pregnant 25-year-old woman in Lahore earlier this week. Farzana Parveen’s murder, carried out by her family members because she married a man without their consent, has shined a light on so-called “honor killing,” a practice in which relatives end the lives of women and men who are said to bring shame to the family. [Read more]

Pitzer Secular Study Program Confounds Critics

9017990145_ffea4c55e0_z-640x426[1]In 2012, 74,193 students attended 260 divinity schools in North America.  That same year, Pitzer College, a small liberal arts college near Los Angeles, offered students a new option:  an undergraduate degree in secular studies.  In an increasingly secular world, Pitzer sociology professor Phil Zuckerman, author of Society Without God and Faith No More:  Why People Reject Religion, wanted a curriculum affording students the opportunity to study secularism’s many different forms and meanings. [Read more]

So. Baptists to Plant Churches in D.C. Area With Goal of Reaching 6 Million People

sbc[1]The Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board will focus part of its efforts on planting churches in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with the aim of reaching nearly six million people. In order to implement its plan, organizers are recruiting Southern Baptist churches to partner and commit to the vision of planting and multiplying churches over the next five years. [Read more]

Private Religious Instruction Will Count in Ohio for Public High School Credit

26515_squarefeature[1]The Ohio Legislature has passed a bill that will allow high school students to get up to two credits for private religious instruction. State Rep. Jeff McClain sponsored the bill. He says Ohio already allows students to be released from school for religious instruction and the bill will allow it to count as an elective. McClain says religious instructions has a lot of benefits. [Download MP3]

Faith Little Discussed Issue on SC Campaign Trail

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s six Republican primary challengers frequently and loudly question whether he’s conservative enough. But, in a deeply religious state, they haven’t questioned his faith. [Read more]

Americans Who Mistrust Climate Scientists Take Cues from Global Temperatures

The White House obviously accepts the science behind human-caused climate change, as was made clear again this week by its announcement of plans to cut carbon emissions from U.S. power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030. Some Americans remain skeptical—but they’re in the minority. [Read more]