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Why The Education Department Awarded Religious Title IX Exemptions

Arne Duncan At House Hearing On Education BudgetDespite concerns that the U.S. Department of Education is being lax about granting religious exemptions for how colleges deal with LGBT students, officials say it’s the same stipulations they’ve used for decades. [Read more]

How Did Our Legends Really Begin?

A new theory suggests that the similarities shared by many myths means that they have a common origin, passed down across thousands of generations. So, how did our stories really begin? [Read more]

Satanists Demand Religious Exemption From Abortion Restrictions, Cite Hobby Lobby Ruling

satantic-638x150[1]The Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision, which allowed some for-profit companies to claim a religious exemption to Obamacare’s contraception mandate, has sparked a heated debate over the definition of religious libertyand its role in modern society. At this point, even a Satantic cult has decided to weigh in. [Read more]

Rise of the Christian Left: Why the Religious Right’s Moment May Be Ending

It’s hard to tell if the near-constant stream of millennial-centric political think-pieces are perpetuating or reflecting growing curmudgeonly fears about the future of the country. Maybe it’s a little of both. [Read more]

Rivers of Blood Prove the Bible is True

river-in-china-turns-to-blood[1]Not really, but I had to get your attention. Many Evangelicals have what I call a newspaper theology. They scan newspapers and the internet for proof that the B-i-b-l-e is true. [Read more]

Let’s Stop Teaching Philosophy of Religion in Secular Colleges

Philosophers have reproved me because, as a mere biologist, I have no right to criticize the teaching of philosophy of religion in colleges, nor to call for its end. [Read more]

The Right-Wing Agenda Propelling False Claims of Christian Persecution

screen_shot_2014-07-29_at_11.42.21_am[1]If you only consumed the Fox News Network or books penned by Fox “journalists,” you could be forgiven for believing that the streets of America run red with the blood of Christian martyrs or that Bibles are being burned in the streets of San Francisco by marauding atheists. [Read more]

Obama Nominates First Non-Christian to Lead Religious Freedom Initiative

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced yesterday that President Barack Obama is nominating the first non-Christian, Rabbi David Saperstein, to the post of ambassador for international religious freedom. [Read more]

Criticising an Atheist Horseman – Sam Harris is Wrong about Israel and Palestine

Old City from the Mount of the OlivesSam Harris’s take on Israel and Palestine shows an incredible naivety about the situation and buys into the whole notion that the conflict is purely religious in nature. Let’s break it down. [Read more]

Terms of Engagement: Why the Dawkins-Benson Pact is Meaningful

Richard Dawkins trended on Twitter, which is never a good sign. ‘Mild pedophilia is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse’, he’d tweeted, an idea I blogged about last year. [Read more]

Alabama State Officials: We Won’t Comply with the EPA Because God Gave Us Coal

coal_plant_pollution_rect-620x412[1]On Tuesday, Alabama state officials said they refused to comply with the EPA’s new carbon pollution measures because God gave them coal. I mean… what? [Read more]

Christian Conservative FACT Gives Most TN Legislators 100 on Scorecard

The Family Action Council of Tennessee has issued its scorecard on the 108th General Assembly, reporting that a majority of the Senate and almost half of House members voted with the Christian conservative organization 100 percent of the time on issues FACT considered important. [Read more]

Science Is Changing What It Means to Be Dead

article_inset_shulevitz_645[1]There are worse ways to die than by freezing. To be sure, it’s extremely unpleasant, but only for a while. At first, the cold gnaws at your skin, which soon goes slightly numb, the blood shunted away from the surface to protect your inner organs. [Read more]

Jerry Brown Urges ‘Religious Call … to Welcome the Stranger’ in Border Crisis

Gov. Jerry Brown suggested Monday that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s ordering of National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to address the surge in border crossings is misguided, urging politicians instead to heed the “religious call … to welcome the stranger” in addressing the crisis. [Read more]

Oregon Bakery that Refused Lesbian Couple Now Making Cakes for Ex-Gay Ministry

cake30n-2-web[1]Sweet Cakes by Melissa, the Gresham bakery that refused to bake a lesbian couple’s wedding cake, was more than happy to serve the Restored Hope Network, an ex-gay ministry. [Read more]

Religious Bigotry is a Big Problem in the Military

Freedom is a strange thing. On some level, everyone wants it. People usually can’t stop talking about it when arguing socioeconomic matters. Yet, so many take freedom’s political arm, liberty, for granted. Nowhere is this more true than in the U.S. military. [Read more]

4 Questions For An Atheist

4Questions2[1]Later this week I have been asked by Deakin University to sit for an interview for them to use as content for their “World Religions” course. During the interview I will be asked 4 questions, and if my answers are any good, my words will be used as a voice for atheism in the course itself. [Read more]

I Want My Christianity Back – Without the Ugly Baggage

172011075[1]Telling someone I’m a Christian means I must immediately follow it up with, “but not that kind of Christian.” It’s like saying, “Yeah, sure, these are some mind bogglingly ugly suitcases, but I’ve got the coolest stuff on the inside of them. No, really, I do.” [Read more]

Dubious Theology Behind Catholic Opposition to Contraception Compromise

Priests for Life, Catholic University and St. Thomas Aquinas College are now asserting that not only would the notification mechanism make them morally complicit in the provision of contraception, but so would “offering health plans through an insurance company or third-party administrator authorized to provide contraceptive coverage to students and employees.” [Read more]

Can a Church Split Truly Be Gracious?

ndchurch[1]Denominational rifts are everywhere. In 2012, a group of Presbyterians founded the Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, calling itself a new Reformed body. Their website reports they now number 127 congregations and 213 pastors. [Read more]

Kentucky About to Give Tax Breaks to Ark Park

This of course means the State of Kentucky is not only in the religion business, but is forcing its citizens to subsidize telling lies to children. If you’d like to protest, the FFRF has contact information. [Read more]

If Scotland Secedes from UK, or Stays, Interfaith Group to Support Communities

scotland-independence-vote[1]Scotland’s religious communities have met to consider the role they wish to play in Scottish society in the year that the country’s voters will decide whether to stay in the United Kingdom. [Read more]

U.S. Cites Surge in Religious Refugees

The State Department on Monday released a report documenting the largest international displacement of religious communities “in recent memory” in 2013, particularly in conflicts with religious or sectarian dimensions. [Read more]

Anti-Semitic messages pop up on synagogue and cars in Miami-Dade

1hPLvB.Em.56[1]Swastikas were spray-painted on the front pillars of a Northeast Miami-Dade synagogue Monday morning, leaving the surrounding community on edge — especially after two cars in Miami Beach were defaced over the weekend. [Read more]

When Religion Becomes a Trap Rather Than a Safety Net

The title of Ingrid Ricks’s memoir Hippie Boy: A Girl’s Story comes from the nickname Ricks’s father, Jerry, gives her as a young girl with long, tangled hair. It’s the story of a family in Logan, Utah whose profound dysfunction is rooted in part in religion and in part in the economic and social upheavals of the mid-twentieth century. [Read more]

The Rise Of Europe’s Religious Right

enhanced-buzz-wide-11345-1406151067-21[1]On a hot Friday in late June, the walls of a 15th-century marble palace in a secluded corner of the Vatican were lit up with the face of Breitbart News Chairman Steve Bannon. [Read more]

In Home of Dalai Lama, Traffic Makes for Bad Car-ma

This town in the Himalayan foothills, the residence of the Dalai Lama and his retinue of Tibetan Buddhist monks, has attracted spiritually minded visitors for decades. But just down the road there is now a more worldly tourist attraction: a cricket stadium. [Read more]

Ground Zero Cross Can Stay at 9/11 Museum, Appeals Court Rules

RNS-GROUNDZERO-CROSSA cross-shaped beam from the wreckage of the World Trade Center can remain on display in the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum at Ground Zero, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled, dismissing a lawsuit brought by atheists. [Read more]

Syrian Casualties Surge as Jihadis Consolidate

More than 2,000 Syrians — almost half of them pro-government forces — have been killed in just over two weeks of fighting in Syria, marking one of the worst death tolls in the country’s three-year civil war, opposition activists said Monday. [Read more]

Are Michelangelo’s Drawings Anti-Semitic?

Aminadab_a_web[1]The American Jewish writer Irving Stone (born Tannenbaum) aptly titled his 1961 novel about Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling paintings “The Agony and the Ecstasy.” [Read more]

Religious Colleges Are Getting Legal Permission To Discriminate Against Trans Students

The U.S. Department of Education has granted exemptions to three Christian universities allowing the schools to deny accommodations for transgender students. One of the schools has also been given latitude to discriminate against unwed mothers. [Read more]

My Exodus from Christianity

exit[1]I have been through the most terrible, dreadful time of my life, emotionally, in the last few years so its kind of hard knowing where to start, there is so much to say I just want to scream everything out all at once but I will try to tell my story as best as I can. [Read more]

The Woman Who Came Back from Hell

How Rwanda’s Pentecostals are keeping the demons of the past at bay. [Read more]

Pope Francis Apologizes for Persecution of Pentecostals

Pope Francis visits Pentecostals, reunites with longtime friendPope Francis sought forgiveness for decades of persecution of Italian Pentecostals when he met with around 300 evangelicals from the U.S., Argentina and Italy in the southern town of Caserta on Monday (July 28). [Read more]

The Spiritual Significance of a Traditional Church Wedding

According to new data, Catholic marriages in the U.S. are on a steep decline. Why are fewer couples relying on religious institutions as they take their vows? [Read more]

Pastor Steven Anderson: Jews Don’t Believe In The Torah

Pastor Steven Anderson has a long and well established reputation for bringing the crazy in the desert. This Phoenix area pastor has taken bold biblical stands against men sitting down to pee, National Geographic Magazine, Christian music, and women in general. Ridiculousness is essentially his spiritual gift.

[Read more]