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5 Atheist and Muslim Billboards That Really Pissed Off Right-Wing Christians

merry_christmas_and_happy_holocaust[1]In weeks past, we’ve brought you some outrageous signs and billboards posted by right-wing Christian churches. It turns out certain people can dish it out a lot better than they can take it. Here are some signs posted by people of other beliefs that caused major upset among conservative Christians. [Read more]

South African Jews Enraged at ANC Party Worker’s Post Praising Hitler

A Facebook posting by a woman working for the national ruling party in South Africa has angered the Jewish community by saying Adolph Hitler was right in killing Jews. [Read more]

‘In God We Trust’ Sign Will Be Hanging in Baldwin County Commission Chambers Thursday

15406723-mmmain[1]A temporary ‘In God We Trust’ sign will be hanging in the Baldwin County Commission chambers when it the commission meets Thursday. “I think it looks good,” Chairman Skip Gruber said. [Read more]

Atheists Want Eruv Pulled From Miami Beach Streets

A national atheist group is demanding that an eruv be taken down in Miami Beach. The eruv around the Pinetree Park area was erected two months ago, despite the fact that the entire island of Miami Beach is surrounded by an eruv, after the city installed a kayak ramp rendering part of the main eruv invalid, the Miami New Times reported at the time. [Read more]

Pat Robertson’s Rationale for Why a Woman’s Son’s Stomach Hurt When She Prayed to Jesus? “Witches, Man. Witches”

cbn_700club_witch_140714a-615x345[1]Televangelist Pat Robertson advised a mother on Monday that she could cure her son’s stomach pains by finding someone to cast out demons that were possibly caused by an ancestor who practiced witchcraft. [Read more]

“Religious Freedom is Fading…”

Christian Post editorial, utterly unsurprisingly, confuses the reeling back of the slightest measures of over-privilege with jack-booted religious repression. [Read more]

Jennifer Haselberger, Church Lawyer, Alleges Sex Abuse Cover-Up In Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Jennifer HaselbergerA canon lawyer alleging a widespread cover-up of clergy sex misconduct in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has made her most detailed claims yet, accusing archbishops and their top staff of lying to the public and of ignoring the U.S. bishops’ pledge to have no tolerance of priests who abuse. [Read more]

Ken Ham Criticizes Unitarian Church’s ‘Evolution Camp’ for Children; ‘Shocked’ at Assemblies of God Presence

Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham expressed “shock” that an Assembly of God member volunteered as a teacher for a Unitarian Church’s “Evolution Camp” for children in Missouri. Ham posted on his Answers in Genesis blog on Sunday a response to a recent News-Leader article, which highlighted the camp. [Read more]

Activist Texas Minister Commits Self-Immolation to Protest Local Racism

Priest-Reading-From-The-Holy-Bible-Close-Up-Shutterstock[1]A 79-year-old retired minister in Texas killed himself via self-immolation in an effort to protest what he described as lingering racism in his childhood home — his final effort in a career marked by social activism, the Dallas Morning News reported. [Read more]

Americans United, Allies Ask Federal Court To Strike Down Ohio’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage

Americans United for Separation of Church and State and its allies have asked a federal appeals court to uphold a lower court’s ruling that struck down Ohio’s same-sex marriage ban. [Read more]

Governor Tells Iowans to ‘Repent’ in Official Proclamation for Christian Revival at Capitol

branstad_proclamation1-615x345[1]An official proclamation signed by Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) has called on Iowans to pray and repent on a daily basis. In a public ceremony earlier this year, Branstad signed the proclamation ahead of a July 14 revival at the Iowa Capitol. [Read more]

Trouble in MormonLand: Marginalization of Women Threatens Church

I knew that in 1978 the Mormon leadership, which had previously barred blacks from being priests (Mormons have a lay priesthood, and blacks were allowed to be members but not priests), did a 180°  theological turn. [Read more]

Vatican Challenges Another Report on Francis

cellifrancis[1]The Vatican said the latest published interview with Pope Francis, in which he says fighting sex abuse and the mafia will be priorities of his pontificate, should not be considered a record of his exact words. [Read more]

Officials of Secular Groups Must Be Allowed to Solemnize Marriages Just Like Clergy Can

Indiana law allows clergy members to solemnize marriages: if they conduct a wedding ceremony, the marrying couple is married, with no need for a further proceeding in front of a civil official. [Read more]

The Supreme Court’s Religious Parenting Precedent

US_Supreme_Court_Building-400x300[1]In the second of the three-part series on the Constitution and parenting, Jeffrey Shulman from Georgetown Law looks at Wisconsin v. Yoder, the Supreme Court “port” from which a number of religious parenting cases would be launched. [Read more]

Why Are Faitheists So Nasty?

What has struck me over the past few weeks is the anger with which certain writers (I won’t name names, but there are more than one) excoriate the New Atheists—even if those critics are atheists themselves! (I call atheists sympathetic to religion “faitheists.”) [Read more]

Son of Dead Sea Scrolls Scholar Is Sentenced to Two Months in Jail

SCROLLS-master180[1]Five years after he was arrested in a case that tested the limits of free speech on the Internet in New York State, a man convicted of using fake email accounts to impersonate and malign his father’s academic rivals was sentenced on Monday to two months in jail. [Read more]

The End of the ‘Mormon Moment’

Last month, Kate Kelly, a feminist Mormon lawyer who had called on the Mormon Church to open the priesthood to women, was excommunicated on the charge of apostasy. John P. Dehlin, who runs a popular podcast on hot-button church issues and has loudly advocated for the church to welcome gay men and lesbians, also was threatened with expulsion. [Read more]

Church of England General Synod Approves Female Bishops

A member of the clergy arrives for the General SynodThe Church of England has finally agreed that women may become bishops next year, breaking with nearly 2,000 years of tradition and ending 20 years of bitter compromises since women were allowed to become priests in 1994. [Read more]

Humanists Win Right to Solemnize Their Own Weddings in Indiana

A federal court has ruled that humanist couples in Indiana can be married by their own “secular celebrants,” something that until now was illegal under state law. [Read more]

Jailed Chinese Pastor’s Family Escapes to U.S.

460x[1]Three members of an imprisoned pastor’s family have sneaked out of China to the U.S. with the help of activists after complaining about an extended campaign of harassment by Chinese authorities, a Christian rights group said Tuesday. [Read more]

Iraqi Shiite fighters of Balad provide bulwark for Baghdad

The Shiite militia commander, slight of build and decked out in green fatigues, views the checkpoint that he oversees as much more than an isolated outpost amid the endless palm groves of the Tigris River valley. [Read more]

Giriraj Kishore: Indian VHP Leader Dies Aged 94

_76241725_acharyagirirajji[1]Giriraj Kishore, a senior leader of the hardline Hindu organisation VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council), has died after a long illness. Mr Kishore, 94, died in Delhi on Sunday evening at the VHP headquarters, the organisation said in a statement. [Read more]

Atheist Opens NY Meeting; Top Court OK’d Prayers

An atheist cited the freedoms promoted by the Founding Fathers as he delivered the opening invocation Tuesday at a town meeting in a community whose leaders won a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the right to start their gatherings with a prayer. [Read more]

Evolution 2014: Daniel Matute, Dobzhansky Prize Winner

dan-matute-speaking-edited[1]At the end of last month I attended the Evolution 2014 meetings in Raleigh, North Carolina. Jerry already posted one note about the meetings from Mohamed Noor’s tw**t about the “banana creationist” who protested outside the meeting, and I’ll have a few more posts to add. [Read more]

Why ACE is Awesome

I have a permanent running offer out to anyone who can offer a defence of Accelerated Christian Education: Submit it here, and I will post it on the blog. Well, the following comment got left recently in response to A Collection of ACE Survivor Stories, and I think it’s the best defence of ACE I’ve seen. [Read more]

Evolution Needs to Be Seen to Be Believed

Antibiotic ResistanceA substantial proportion of Americans reject evolution. This is perhaps partly due to evolution not being terribly intuitive. Life began over 3.5 billion years ago — a timespan that is simply incomprehensible to our puny minds. If a species evolves over the course of 100,000 years, that is considered “quick” by evolutionary standards. [Read more]

AIG — The “True” Shape of Noah’s Ark

At last, months after we posted Hey, Hambo — Noah’s Ark Was Round!, we have a response from the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis, the on-line ministry of Ken Ham (ol’ Hambo), the ayatollah of Appalachia. [Read more]

Helen Stringer on Atheist Community Building

1797375_228442487356156_1832397662900605563_n-164x300[1]Kansas City Oasis is an alternative to faith-based communities. We meet weekly, feature live music performances and guest speakers, and basically build relationships. The secular community at large is like a box of crayons scattered about, lots of great people but mostly separated from each other. [Read more]

Pope Francis Says “1 in 50 are Paedophiles”

In a candid conversation with the 90 year old Eugnio Scalfari, the pope seemingly let this candid piece of information slip. But it wasn’t on record. Eugenio Scalfari writes for La Repubblica which carries the Pope interview. [Read more]

David Brat’s Hand-of-God Economics

13economy-master675[1]Even before David Brat’s out-of-nowhere victory against Eric Cantor last month, there was plenty of skepticism about whether he merited the label of academic economist. Brat, a professor at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia, is certainly not in danger of winning a Nobel Prize. [Read more]

Group of Law Professors Urges Obama to Deny Religious Exemption in Order

More than 50 constitutional law professors urged President Obama on Monday not to include a religious exemption in an expected order barring federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. [Read more]

An Outrage Beyond All Others: The Use Of Religion to Assault Democracy

image11-485x327[1]There is a fairly well-know idiom, “give someone an inch and they’ll take a mile” that describes a person or group who has been given a small amount of power or freedom to do something, and then attempts to seize a lot more, or unlimited, power. [Read more]

Religious Freedom or Bias Protected by Law?

The Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act became the law as of July 1. Officially, it protects a person’s “right to the exercise of religion.” That’s like saying brass knuckles protect your hand’s right to the exercise of not getting chapped. [Read more]

Dear Christian, You May Think You Understand Me, But You Don’t

bible1[1]After a long period of growing doubts about my Christian faith, I realized a few years ago that I had become a non-believer. Yes, I’m an atheist. Since that realization, I’ve begun the process of coming out, first mostly online, but more recently to most of my friends and family. [Read more]

Hobby Lobby Does Not Compel Anti-LGBT Religious Exemption, Legal Scholars Tell Obama

Over 50 legal scholars have signed a letter organized by the Columbia Law School Center for Gender and Sexuality Law Public Rights/Private Conscience Project, urging President Obama not to include a religious exemption in his planned executive order barring anti-LGBT discrimination in hiring by federal contractors. [Read more]

Does Abstinence Education Violate Human Rights? Teen Forces School To Dump Christian Sex Ed

absitinence-education-human-rights-teen-complaint-665x385[1]A teen in Alberta, Canada, was forced to sit through a sex education class taught by a Christian group, a class that she says advocated abstinence and included such teachings as “condoms don’t work” and “gonorrhea can kill you in three days,” among other examples of flagrant misinformation. [Read more]

God Lives on Lemon Street

Tucked beneath the Brooklyn side of the Brooklyn Bridge, beyond the serviceberry trees and hedgerows of the Bridge Park Greenway, across the blacktop of Furman Street, the House of God awaits. Nearly 7 million Jehovah’s Witnesses throughout the world call the collection of buildings Bethel, transliterated from the Hebrew, Beth El, “House of God.” [Read more]

Taking to the Pulpit Against Climate Change

1405363801000-XXX-7-4-14-Rabbi-Rieber-012[1]Rabbi Moti Rieber travels the politically red state of Kansas armed with the book of Genesis, a Psalm and even the words of Jesus to lecture church audiences, or sermonize if they’ll let him, about the threat of global warming. [Read more]

The Prison That Dared to Pray: Angola Used Faith, Family to Stem Violence

In the sweltering heat of the 18,000-acre prison here, a joyful declaration over a loudspeaker pierced the suffocating air. “Shawn Martin,” the name of an inmate’s child, reverberated among a crowd of hundreds of prisoners and their families. [Read more]

Guy Consolmagno, Jesuit Brother, Wins Carl Sagan Medal For Achievements In Astronomy

Guy ConsolmagnoJesuit brother Guy Consolmagno is living proof that science and religion need not be at odds with one another. The papal astronomer was just awarded the prestigious Carl Sagan Medal for “outstanding communication by an active planetary scientist” by the American Astronomical Society’s (AAS) Division for Planetary Sciences, according to the Catholic Sun. [Read more]

School Holidays and Religious Ignorance

l_eidsqueeze[1]When he was campaigning for mayor of New York City, where one of eight public school students is Muslim, Bill de Blasio pledged to add Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha — the two most sacred Muslim holidays — to the school calendar. So here’s a quick quiz: Can you identify and explain those holidays? [Read more]

Pope Francis: End the ‘Racist and Xenophobic’ Approach to Migrants Along U.S.-Mexico Border

Pope Francis on Tuesday (July 15) waded into the controversy of the wave of unaccompanied minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, calling for an end to racism against migrants and pushing the U.S. to offer greater protection for young children entering the country illegally. [Read more]

She Grew Up Mormon And Carried A Big Secret For Most Of Her Life

Eri tells her story with confidence and clarity, which is part of the reason I watched this 15-minute short doc without realizing how quickly the time had passed. I’d never heard anyone talk about growing up Mormon from this perspective before.

[Read more]

Swastika Banner Over New York Beaches Angers Residents

A banner promoting a website called proswastika.org outraged New Yorkers when it was towed by plane over several local beaches on Saturday. The banner displayed a swastika, a Star of David, a peace sign and a heart symbol, in addition to the URL of the website, the New York Post reported.

[Read more]

11 Things About Sex My Christian Family Hid from Me That I Want My Daughter to Know

screen_shot_2014-07-02_at_12.51.21_pm[1]My mother’s talk about sex was nonexistent, like in many fundamental Christian homes. Her only words were, “Don’t do it. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?” So I was naïve and thought I should follow the church rules and wait until marriage to “serve” my man. It was about what I “gave up.” [Read more]