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I'm an Ex-Westboro Church Member Who Has Renounced the Group My Grandfather Founded

I'm an Ex-Westboro Church Member Who Has Renounced the Group My Grandfather Founded | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

"I was involved in a group so inflammatory that their website is namedwww.godhatesfags.com People sometimes ask why it took me so long to leave. I seem so well-adjusted and, well, normal, so they don’t understand how I could have ever thought my family and their beliefs were anything but hateful."


"But, for almost 26 years, I was more than just sheltered. I was warned against the outside world: again and again, in sermons and private conversations, I was told that people outside of WBC were sinners, alcoholics, drug addicts, lost souls with no moral compass.  So I was terrified of what lurked beyond the protective walls my family had carefully erected around me -– especially of gay people, because according to the WBC, homosexuals were the absolute worst group of people in the world."

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The Atheism News Magazine aims to be your most comprehensive and dependable source of atheist news.
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New Poll Finds “Growing Appetite” for Mixing Religion and Politics

New Poll Finds “Growing Appetite” for Mixing Religion and Politics | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

A new poll out today from the Pew Research Center finds an increasing number of Americans in favor of injecting religion into electoral politics, a growing perception that the Obama administration is “unfriendly” to religion, and discontent among white evangelicals with how the Republican Party represents their interests.

Heading into the mid-term elections, and looking ahead to the 2016 presidential campaign, these results should prove unsettling for advocates of untangling religion from electoral politics, as they could signal to candidates that a growing number of voters are interested in hearing them talk about their faith. While the number of Americans who believe it is important for members of Congress to have strong religious beliefs has remained steady since 2010–about 6-in-10, with even more significant majorities among Protestants and Catholics–this poll shows a growing number of Americans who want to hear candidates talk about their religion.

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Interview: Atheist running for congress, James Woods

Interview: Atheist running for congress, James Woods | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Candidates for political office generally brag about how religious they are, but that isn’t the case for James Woods, the Democratic candidate for Arizona’s 5th
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Pope Francis adviser hints at rethink on contraception ban

Pope Francis adviser hints at rethink on contraception ban | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Cardinal Walter Kasper, a close influence on Pope Francis, says it is up to parents to decide how many children to have ahead of global gathering of Roman Catholic bishops to discuss the family
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British Muslims shouldn’t feel obliged to speak out against Isis atrocities

British Muslims shouldn’t feel obliged to speak out against Isis atrocities | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Horrific crimes carried out in the name of religion are as much of an anathema to the average Muslim Briton as they are to any Briton. An additional burden for us, however, is the warped assumption that British Muslims are somehow to blame for the actions of murderers. The notion that Muslims should feel some form of collective guilt and be collectively punished is a reprehensible one, but it seems to be evident into an increasing number of people’s attitudes.
Ben C. O. Grimm's insight:

What do you think?

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Cocaine and cannabis haul hidden in Vatican car seized by French police

Cocaine and cannabis haul hidden in Vatican car seized by French police | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Two men are being detained by French police after four kilos of cocaine and cannabis were discovered hidden inside an official Vatican car with diplomatic number plates.
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Irreverence is Not a Crime! #OccupyEffigies

Irreverence is Not a Crime! #OccupyEffigies | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist." - Salman Rushdie As many of you have already recently read, a Pennsylvania teenager is facing up to two years beh...
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One In Three Americans Want 'Under God' Removed From Pledge Of Allegiance

One In Three Americans Want 'Under God' Removed From Pledge Of Allegiance | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

"One nation under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 to respond to Communism. Now, more than a third of Americans want it removed. A poll finds that more than one in three Americans think "one nation under God" should be removed from the official version of the Pledge of Allegiance. The phrase was not in the original pledge -- it was added in 60 years ago when the nation feared the threat of communism. But most Americans are completely unaware the phrase isn't part of the original -- just as many Americans wrongly believe that America was founded as a Christian nation.

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30 more religious state schools open their doors in the UK

30 more religious state schools open their doors in the UK | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

22 more religious Free Schools are opening for the first time this week, along with a number of new sponsored Academies and existing schools converting to gain a religious character. The British Humanist Association (BHA) has voiced concern about the continuing expansion in the number of state-funded ‘faith’ schools.

 

The newly opening religious Free Schools, which make up over a third of all the new mainstream Free Schools, include five Church of England schools, two Roman Catholic schools, ten other Christian schools (including two sponsored by Chapel St, one sponsored by Oasisand one sponsored by United Learning), three Muslim schools sponsored by Tauheedul, one Sikh school, and one Steiner school.

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Florida youth pastor busted for child porn

Florida youth pastor busted for child porn | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

Last year Lucas Dillon Brandenburg delivered a sermon slamming a ‘depraved culture’. Yesterday he was arrested for sharing child pornography. According to this report, the 30-year was taken into custody after investigators said that they found a computer at his home “sharing” indecent images. A statement from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said that the St Gabriel Episcopal Church youth pastor was arrested on 10 charges of possession of child pornography.

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Violent, religious bigotry -- How not to react when your child tells you that he's gay

A perfect example of how much hate and intolerance still exists today. This family gave a young man two options: attend a pray the gay away intervention, or ...
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Human altruism traces back to the origins of humanity

Human altruism traces back to the origins of humanity | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

Humans are generally highly cooperative and often impressively altruistic, quicker than any other animal species to help out strangers in need. A new study suggests that our lineage got that way by adopting so-called cooperative breeding: the caring for infants not just by the mother, but also by other members of the family and sometimes even unrelated adults. In addition to helping us get along with others, the advance led to the development of language and complex civilizations, the authors say.

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BoD Boards the Ice Bucket Bandwagon

BoD Boards the Ice Bucket Bandwagon | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
A couple of us guys from Better Off Damned took on the Ice Bucket Challenge... because why not? Dusty Smith, Peter Thurston, & Andre Oliver, we're calling on you to perform the next round. For ...
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Atheist politicians may run the UK, but they remain closeted in the US

Atheist politicians may run the UK, but they remain closeted in the US | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

ust because they’re not out does not mean there are no atheists in the halls of Congress. “We already know of 24 members of Congress who have told us privately that they don’t believe in God, but they won’t come out, of course, and if we tried to out them they would deny it.” [.] That’s not the case in England. When former Prime Minister Tony Blair asked staffers whether he should add “God bless Great Britain” to the end of a speech they told him, “This isn’t America.”

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Cut it out, atheists! Why it’s time to stop behaving like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

Cut it out, atheists! Why it’s time to stop behaving like Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
If you’re at all familiar with atheism in America, then the following two scenes should probably come as no surprise: Biologist Richard Dawkins exhorting his followers to mock and ridicule believers with contempt, Bill Maher telling MSNBC host Joe Scarborough that “religion is a neurological disorder.” As an atheist who grew up in a fundamentalist Christian milieu, I admit that this rhetoric is not without its appeal. But the atmosphere this kind of animus creates has become as pungent and disagreeable as the stale bread and cheap wine of the church I grew up in.
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Anti-Islam Ad Campaign To Run On New York City Buses, Subway

Anti-Islam Ad Campaign To Run On New York City Buses, Subway | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
An anti-Islam ad campaign is coming to MTA buses in New York City thanks to political activist blogger Pamela Geller.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative, of which Geller is a co-founder, has purchased the MTA ad space at a reported cost of $100,000.
Ben C. O. Grimm's insight:

It is basically a pro-Israel campaign, of course.

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The root cause of extremism among British Muslims is alienation

The root cause of extremism among British Muslims is alienation | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Britain has a problem with terrorism. Nothing focuses the mind more than the image of an apparently British man addressing the world in high definition as he brutally beheads a fellow Brit. But while the numbers of violent extremists are, by all accounts, relatively small, the issues underlying their reasons for turning towards terrorism are widespread.

I’ve been talking to young Muslims for a documentary on the root causes of extremism, and it’s clear there are a series of common complaints.
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Vatican Takes Credit For Ice Bucket Challenge; Goal Was To Baptize All Non-Believers

Vatican Takes Credit For Ice Bucket Challenge; Goal Was To Baptize All Non-Believers | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Paul Horner, director of public relations for the Vatican, told CNN why the Ice Bucket Challenge was created.

“The idea was borne in a time of grand disarray for the Catholic Church, a time in which many shepherds and lambs had lost their way in the righteous and just path of the Lord. Attendance at mass was at an all-time low and we needed a way to gather new members. We prayed and held council for many months, deciding upon the ethical and moral repercussions of such an action, and in the end, it was the Holy Spirit that compelled us. Working hand in hand with the directors of the ALS Association, we figured out a way to benefit both of our causes, and thus, the Ice Bucket Challenge came to be.”

According to a statement from the director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., explained how millions of individuals became baptized because of the challenge.
Ben C. O. Grimm's insight:

(it's satire, folks)

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Christopher Hitchens makes a shocking confession

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The Unbelievers (full version)

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Changes to Germany’s ‘church tax’ prompts exodus

Changes to Germany’s ‘church tax’ prompts exodus | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Hundreds of thousands of German tax-payers are leaving their officially designated religions to avoid paying a 'church tax' levy on capital gains.
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Supernatural believers see minds at work behind random patterns

Supernatural believers see minds at work behind random patterns | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

“Theory of Mind” is the term used to describe the mental ability to put yourself inside the mind of someone else – to imagine what it is that they are thinking. Recently, there’s been some evidence that people who do not have a strong theory of mind are more likely to be atheists.

For example, studies have found that autistic-spectrum people are more likely to be non-believers, and maybe also atheists' preferences for video games could be connected. The basic suggestion is that belief is a natural extension of our ability to recreate minds in our own head.

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Rick Santorum plans to take movies out of the cinema – to show them in church

Rick Santorum plans to take movies out of the cinema – to show them in church | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Former US senator unveils distribution system for faith-orientated films aimed at 'persecuted' Christians
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School District Removes Two Plaques That Contain Religious Content

School District Removes Two Plaques That Contain Religious Content | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it
Two plaques that feature the words “God” and “Holy Christian Church” were covered at two elementary schools in Midlothian, Texas and will eventually be replaced after their religious content has angered some folks who believe they violate people’s Constitutional rights, reports Fox News. The plaques, which have stood in front of Mt.
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Ohio lawmakers want to ban schools from teaching scientific process

Ohio lawmakers want to ban schools from teaching scientific process | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

Science educators have recognized that teaching science as a large compendium of facts, without reference to the scientific process and theories that bind them together, simply leads to uninterested and uninformed students. So it's a bit mind-boggling to discover that an Ohio state legislator is attempting to ban educators for teaching anything about the scientific process. And for good measure, the bill's sponsor threw politics and creationism into the mix.

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Are conservative atheists really 'better'?

Are conservative atheists really 'better'? | The Atheism News Magazine | Scoop.it

Conservative atheist and television pundit S.E. Cupp has come out swinging against progressive atheists. In a clip (see above) for CNN’s “Crossfire,” she argues that conservative atheists are “better” than liberal nonbelievers. What’s more, Cupp says, those on the right respect and tolerate atheists more than liberals do. She’s wrong, and here are three reasons why.

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