, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Praise of Atheism: How Believing in Nothing Gives My Life Meaning

It’s a common argument for religious belief: if you believe that everything ends with death, then what’s the point of life? [thespinoff.co.nz]

Neither Comfortable Nor Comforting, Thomas Paine Still a Favorite

A man who inspired the American and French revolutionaries still makes the powerful uneasy. [pressherald.com]

Humanists Are Being Persecuted Too

Seventeen humanists from around the world call for a review into the persecution of the non-religious. [theguardian.com]

Widening the Scope of Freedom of Religion or Belief Policy: The United States and Beyond

Tina L. Mufford outlines the remit of this independent, bipartisan body. [blogs.lse.ac.uk]

In NO God We Trust?

An atheist seminar in Fort Worth drew a capacity crowd, evidence that Texas’ growing nonreligious population is finding its political voice here in the Bible Belt. [texasobserver.org]

The Pointlessness of Happy-Clappy Atheism

It a little hubristic to assume that it should be a piece of cake to get people together for church-style assemblies, but the basic idea was so clearly well intentioned. [unherd.com]

What Americans Know About Religion

U.S. adults generally can answer basic questions about the Bible and Christianity, but are less familiar with other world religions. [pewforum.org]

Many Secular “Churches,” Once Part of a Growing Movement, Are Struggling

The so-called “atheist church” burst onto the scene several years ago offering an alternative for people who missed the rituals of churches but no longer believed in the supernatural. [patheos.com]

Faith Healing Parents Facing First-Degree Murder Charges for Death of Newborn

Prosecutors initially charged Rachel and Joshua Piland with felony manslaughter for their role in the infant’s death. However, prosecutors allege new information in the case now warrant a charge of first-degree murder. [patheos.com]

Germany’s Catholic Church lost more than 200,000 members in 2018

According to the Germany’s Catholic and Protestant Churches, the loss to both communities amounted more than 430,000 faithful. [vaticannews.va]

Bishop Claims if a Pregnant Woman Has Anal Sex, the Baby Will Be Gay

The Most Reverend Metropolitan Neophytos (Masouras) of Morfou of the Church of Cyprus has posted a video to YouTube that surpasses “ridiculous” and heads straight into “batshit crazy” territory quickly. [lgbtqnation.com]

When Religion Meets Secularism in Urban Planning

“I’m interested in the peaceful coexistence of communities,” says PhD student Babak Manouchehrifar, who left his home country of Iran to study at MIT. [mit.edu]

Gov. Kristi Noem Signs Capitol Carry, ‘In God We Trust’ School Display Into Law

Every public school will be required to prominently display the national motto, “In God We Trust,” beginning in the 2019-20 school year, according to a bill signed into law by Noem this week. [argusleader.com]

The Problem of Mindfulness

Mindfulness promotes itself as value-neutral but it is loaded with (troubling) assumptions about the self and the cosmos. [aeon.co]

Covington Catholic High School Teen’s $250 Million Lawsuit Against Washington Post Dismissed

Remember the viral video of Nick Sandmann wearing a MAGA hat, staring down Nathan Phillips while Sandmann’s peers seemingly cheered and jeered? [alternet.org]

Six Markers of a Modernist Buddhism

Karma and rebirth, understanding of the nature of the Buddha, psychology, approach to sacred texts, and the nature of and relationship with teachers. [patheos.com]

Can We Really Get A Universe From Nothing?

The biggest question that we’re even capable of asking, with our present knowledge and understanding of the Universe, is where did everything we can observe come from? [forbes.com]

(PARODY) Ray Comfort Introduces New Martial Arts-Based Evangelism Program

The series will teach you how to make people aware of their sinfulness before a holy God and offer them the gospel of Jesus Christ while you pummel them with brutal martial arts moves. [babylonbee.com]