A Michigan mayor who says that he believes in freedom of religion has refused to allow atheists to set up a so-called “Reason Station” inside City Hall, saying it could upset Christians visiting the nearby “Prayer Station.”
According to the Detroit Free Press, Warren resident Douglas Marshall proposed the “Reason Station” to promote separation of church and state, and to tell people about using free thought, reason and logic.
But Warren Mayor Jim Fouts rejected the display for a period of one year because of Marshall’s affiliation with a group called the Freedom From Religion Foundation. In a letter to Marshall, Fouts explained that the Freedom From Religion Foundation was not protected under the First Amendment’s Establishment clause because atheism was not a religion.
The Los Angeles Times praised the PBS series, "All in all, 'Your Inner Fish' reminds us what smart TV really is."
However, creationist Elizabeth Mitchell recently panned the series on creationist Ken Ham's web site Answers In Genesis and even blamed belief in evolution for abortion:
Wrongly believing that humans are just animals that go through a fish stage in the womb has tragically led many women to destroy the human life within them.
And the false belief that the human body suffers from many flaws consequent to our evolutionary heritage leads to a mistaken view of the real origin of suffering and death.
...God designed a perfect human body along with a perfect world in the beginning. How do we know? He told us so in Genesis 1:31. And God warned Adam that rebellion would have consequences (Genesis 2:16–17).
Adam did rebel and ever since that day the entire world has groaned (Romans 8:22) under sin’s curse. People’s bodies have worn down, gotten ill, and died. The problem is neither bad design nor evolutionary bondage, but the perversion of God’s good original designs as a consequence of man’s rebellion against the Creator.
Westboro Baptist Church protestors left Moore, Okla., in a hurry Sunday after residents didn’t take kindly to the group’s claims that God sent the 2013 F5 tornado that killed 24 people to punish the town. [.] They demonstrated for 10 minutes before Moore residents began crossing the road and police escorted the fleeing WBC members to their vehicles.
While I suppose other interpretations are possible, it’s most likely that the “This program may discuss the topic of evolution” is a trigger warning for creationists or those whose sensibilities may be offended by the “e-word”. But that’s reprehensible, particularly in a place where evolution should not only be taken for granted, but positively promoted as one of the world’s wonders that will excite kids about science. The only reason for such a warning seems to be to avoid injuring parents’ religious beliefs.
According to the MIT Technology Review, the internet does cause a decrease in religious affiliation. A recent study by Allen Downey, a computer scientist at Olin College of Engineering located in Massachusetts, found a correlation between internet usage and a decrease in religion. [.] Downey said "We have controlled for the most obvious candidates, including income, education, socio-economic status, and rural/urban environments." He does admit being on the Internet does not account for all of the decreasing religious affiliation, just a large part of it.
Debates about the nature and value of faith occupy a great deal of time in conversations between Christians and atheists - and it's a frequent subject for believers as well. It's not a concept that has been given an especially coherent and straightforward definition, unfortunately, and that's especially serious given just how central 'faith' is to so many religions. How can they insist on the importance of 'faith' unless they can reliably distinguish between faith and non-faith?
Last year, when it was announced that International Business Times had bought the shrinking Newsweek brand, some media organizations started asking questions about IBT's connection to a shady Korean-born Christian minister. Now we have some new, weird info on that connection.
A new feature story in Mother Jones by Ben Dooley details the role played in IBT—and inNewsweek—by David Jang, an enigmatic pastor who has spent the past decade helping to assemble the Community, a Christian ministry, and a religiously oriented media empire that uses Jang's faithful for cheap labor.
Newsweek, the venerable but flailing eighty-year old news magazine, until recently was a part of the IAC media and online dating empire. IAC owns The Daily Beast and websites including Match.com and Dictionary.com. Last summer, IAC sold Newsweek to a company called IBT, which publishes the International Business Times. In reports first from The Guardian and later from Gawker late last week, and in a stunningly in-depth report from Mother Jones, published just this morning, it seems clear Newsweek’s new owners, IBT, are linked to a Christian Evangelical cult-like group run by Korean Christian David Jang, that sounds somewhat similar to the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church.
A Catholic high school in Charlotte, North Carolina is under fire after one of its regular guest instructors last week delivered a lecture that reportedly blamed poor parenting, single parenting, pornography and masturbation as the causes of homosexuality. Sister Jane Dominic Laurel is accused also of telling students at a mandatory school assembly at the Charlotte Catholic High School that gay people have have between 500 and 1000 sexual partners, and of portraying same-sex couples as child abusers.
The managing director of American Atheists, Inc. reported on Tuesday that she was refused notary service at a TD bank in Cranford, NJ because of her atheist affiliation.
In a post on Facebook, Amanda Knief wrote, “I was just refused service — because I am an atheist. It was embarrassing, humiliating, and it pissed me off.”
According to Knief, she and American Atheists president David Silverman were in the process of getting documents notarized by one of the bank’s notaries public when the woman asked them what the documents were for.
“The documents were charitable organizations registrations for American Atheists in several states,” wrote Knief. “So I told her what AA is about. She looked down, then looked at me and Dave Silverman and said she couldn’t sign the documents because of ‘personal reasons’ and went to find another notary who was eating his lunch to come do the authentications.”
“I have been called names, threatened, hated on and all manner of ridiculed because of my atheist activism, but I think sitting in a bank and having another professional refuse to do business with me because I am an atheist was the worst slight I have ever received,” she continued. “This is completely unacceptable, and far from over.”
Victor Arden Barnard, a minister who claimed to be the messiah and dressed to match, is now facing 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct for abusing girls who came to live at his compound.
Barnard, 52, is the founder of a Minnesota cult where he ministered to his “maidens,” a group of virginal girls and women who came to receive his teachings. Two girls who were sent to live with him at River Road Fellowship camp near Finlayson, Minn. at the ages of 12 and 13 have come forth with accusations that Barnard sexually abused them.
I’ve often heard it said that if Jesus showed up in rags, many Christians would turn him away. Metaphorically speaking, that’s what happened when a statue of a homeless Jesus was installed on a park bench at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, N.C.
One woman even called the police . . . because she thought the statue was an actual homeless man.
While most people are in support of the statue – that is only recognizable as Jesus by the wounds on his bare feet – there are others like the woman who called the cops. One man wrote a letter to the editor of DavidsonNews.net to say that the statue “creeps him out.”
Pope Francis on Friday personally asked forgiveness for child sex abuse by priests — the first time he has made such an apology since being elected last year.
“I feel compelled… to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” the pope said at a meeting with members of a children’s charity, Vatican Radio reported.
Francis said the number of guilty priests was “quite a few in number” but “obviously not compared to the number of all the priests”.
Longtime anti-LGBT crusader and leader of the group Americans for the Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) Peter LaBarbera was denied entry into Canada on Thursday.
According to BarbWire.com, the country blocked LaBarbera at the border under its “hate propaganda” law, which forbids the spread of misinformation and hate speech about protected groups, the type of defamatory speech that the Southern Poverty Law Center says is LaBarbera’s stock in trade.
A group of students and faculty at Montana Tech are organizing an unprecedented graduation boycott to protest the university's decision to invite two commencement speakers who are prominent supporters of a young earth creationist museum. [.] For their part, the Gianfortes have told Montana reporters that they will talk about their engineering careers and will not touch on social issues at commencement. But for the students, faculty and alumni who oppose the invitation, the key issue is that their university should not be honoring individuals who campaign against science.
People notice and wonder why Christians of the literal Bible-believing kind are so angry. [.] There are serious problems for a person with Christianity as a framework for living in the modern world. [.] The thing is that Christianity is not just a cognitive set of beliefs. It is a worldview that completely colors reality. It works on a deep level of the mind through metaphors, images, and tacit assumptions. The Christian worldview is a closed, irrational system which is taught to small children who can’t and don’t question. It is transmitted like a virus down through generations and supported in the larger culture.
God has spoken out for the first time in pretty much two thousand years in an effort to distance himself from the continuing acts of barbarity carried out in his name around the world, claiming non-existence in his defence. ‘Honestly, it’s fuck all to do with me,’ God said, ‘I don’t care what you call me – Allah, God, Yahweh, Vishnu, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, whatever – It really doesn’t matter because I don’t exist. Seriously, can you please stop killing each other in my name, which isn’t real by the way, because even if it were it still wouldn’t be any kind of justification whatsoever.’
Archbishop Wilton Gregory recently moved into a nearly 6,400-square-foot (595-square-meter) residence. Its construction was made possible by a large donation from the estate of Joseph Mitchell, nephew of Margaret Mitchell, author of "Gone With The Wind," the Civil War epic that made his family wealthy. When Mitchell died in 2011, he left an estate worth more than $15 million to the archdiocese on the condition it be used for "general religious and charitable purposes." Gregory said that he has received criticism over the spending in letters, emails and telephone messages.
After the first night of legal Gay marriage ceremonies in England and Wales, Christians are today desperately leafing through the Bible to identify another basic human right to rail against. Followers of the faith who have long opposed the right of homosexual couples to commit themselves to a life of petty bickering and sex-withholding, now find themselves with little to do, concerned that the devil himself finds work for idle hands.