Kentucky Governor asks to have Ark Encounter suit dismissed

Photo: Answers in Genesis

Gov. Beshear has asked a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Answers in Genesis's Noah’s Ark theme park, The Ark Encounter over the state’s rejection of tax incentives the park requested.In their request for dismissal on Friday, Beshear and Bob Stewart. secretary of the state Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet said, “Providing the public funding sought for religious purposes ...would constitute an unlawful establishment of religion” under the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions.The … [Read more...]

Catholic Cardinal says gays, remarried Catholics are just as sinful as murderers

Photo: Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Last year Pope Francis demoted U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burk to a largely ceremonial role as head of a Rome-based Catholic charity it was seen by many as a way for Francis to silence his most vocally conservative critics.The move however has done anything but silence Cardinal Burk who told an interviewer that Catholics who remarry or gay couples who are trying to lead "faithful" lives are like “the person who murders someone and yet is kind to other people.” “If you are living publicly in a sta … [Read more...]

People doing charity better than the Vatican

Photo: Mike Deerkoski

 I made a post a few days ago that appears to have gotten a few Catholics up in arms. So let me see if I can clarify...The article in question stated that, with the several billion dollars that the Vatican is worth, and with the influence it has, why does it perform minuscule tasks that barely do anything for the poor at large? Especially when that is what Jesus told people to do? Even the recent tour of the Sistine Chapel, with 150 homeless, is a rather odd thing.I was … [Read more...]

Liberty University illegally hosted Ted Cruz’s presidential announcement speech

Photo: Jamelle Bouie / Flickr

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State issued a letter to the IRS today claiming that Liberty University violated federal laws in hosting Ted Cruz to announce his candidacy for President of the United States.The letter which is addressed to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen states,Liberty University is a tax-exempt organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. As such, it is prohibited from endorsing or opposing candidates for public office. Yet … [Read more...]

Indiana Governor signs anti-gay ‘religious freedom’ bill into law

Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Secularism is dead. At least it is in Indiana after Governor Mike Pence (R) signed the states new religious freedom bill into law giving business the right to discriminate against and refuse services to same-sex couples if they have religious objections. "The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion, but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action," Pence said in … [Read more...]

Afghan President asks Muslims to speak out against terrorism

Photo: U.S. Department of State

Speaking to Congress today in Washington, DC, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani asks Muslims to speak out against terrorism and declared that "silence is not acceptable." Ghani told congress that groups like the Islamic State pose a "terrible threat" to the region. He also stated their hatred must be challenged from "within the religion of Islam." This is the exact kind of dialogue being pushed by many who want to bring an end to Islamic extremism but know that to do so moderate Muslims and r … [Read more...]

Neil DeGrasse Tyson slams Florida over ban on discussing climate change


Famed TV host and astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson slammed Florida political leaders who banned the use of "climate change" and "global warming" in government communications.The scientist told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida Monday night that he believed "as a nation we were better than this." "Now we have a time where people are cherry picking science," Tyson told the crowd, according to the Herald Tribune of Sarasota. "The science is not political. That's like repealing gravity because you … [Read more...]

Watch & Discuss: Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers here

Photo: Youtube Screenshot / CNN

Below is a full video stream of last nights CNN special, Atheists: Inside the World of Non-Believers.What did you think? Who was over or under represented?I sadly noticed a lack of minority and female atheists and would have liked to have seen less about ex-clergy and more about the average atheist family living in rural parts of the country in which they are outsiders. … [Read more...]

Tribalism is not just a New Atheist (or religious) problem

Photo: David Shankbone / Wiki Commons

I have been questioning how I classify myself, lately, because of things like the "New Atheists are toxic" idea (or at least their Reddit page is) according to the study I talked about yesterday. Among those who talked about it, and the CNN special that aired last night about atheism, the idea of "tribalism" among New Atheists also surfaced.Peter Mosely talked about an article, by another atheist, that used the term, and a Free Thought Blog entry by Jason Thibeault also discussed this idea. … [Read more...]

Reza Aslan and the (non)toxicity of New Atheism

Photo: Roanoke College / WikiMedia

My friend Dan Arel recently got into a little spat with CJ Werleman and author Reza Aslan over anti-theism, or New Atheism. It is interesting to watch people fall victim to name-calling, belittling, and intellectual dishonesty (some of which can be seen in the thread here) rather than having an honest discussion.Arel has been involved in dispelling a lot of the myths thrown at New Atheists, or anti-theists (which seem to be synonymous with one another), by demonstrating the need to call out … [Read more...]