Weekly Link Roundup

If I had the time, I’d write a whole post about each of these. As it is, you can probably guess what I would say:

• There are atheists in the military!

And in high schools!

• And for why this matters, see this post on Friendly Atheist, about a study finding that anti-atheist prejudice goes down as atheists become more numerous and visible.

• I wrote a post a few months ago asking about atheist apps for the Android platform. I’m happy to point out that a developer has answered the call.

• On Salon, an account of life with an Objectivist father. It’s about time those lazy, mooching 16-year-olds stopped getting a free ride from their parents! (I can’t reread that sentence without hearing it in Stephen Colbert’s voice.)

• William Lane Craig, Christian apologist extraordinaire, defends the Bible’s genocides. But don’t worry, he’s not completely heartless, as he explains:

So whom does God wrong in commanding the destruction of the Canaanites? Not the Canaanite adults, for they were corrupt and deserving of judgement. Not the children, for they inherit eternal life. So who is wronged? Ironically, I think the most difficult part of this whole debate is the apparent wrong done to the Israeli soldiers themselves. Can you imagine what it would be like to have to break into some house and kill a terrified woman and her children? The brutalizing effect on these Israeli soldiers is disturbing.

Feel that Christian love!

• Americans United reports on atheists who want to be legally ordained to perform weddings, and have had to file a lawsuit to demand that right – one of the most visible examples of the way anti-atheist prejudice is still enshrined in law.

• On another down note, the Supreme Court issues another horrendous decision further stripping atheists of the legal power to claim our rights when governments unconstitutionally hand out money to churches. Horrendous, but not surprising – this decision has been in the wings since the Hein case. As long as conservatives have a majority on the court, our power to fight encroaching theocracy will continue to erode away. (See also NFQ‘s excellent, detailed take.)

• But rather than close on that down note, let me leave you with something that’s surely worth a few grins: an article on the secret sex lives of students at Seattle Pacific University, a private Christian college. Just try to keep a straight face when you read what the prayer rooms were used for! (HT: Violet Blue, definitely NSFW).

About Adam Lee

Adam Lee is an atheist writer and speaker living in New York City. His new novel, Broken Ring, is available in paperback and e-book. Read his full bio, or follow him on Twitter.

  • Miss Phoebe

    Does Craig actually say “Israeli”?

  • Jormungund

    Americans United reports on atheists who want to be legally ordained to perform weddings

    I am an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church. It is free for anyone to be ordained in it regardless of their theological views. I can legally marry people in my state if I want to. And there are non-religious legally recognized ministries if I remember correctly.
    This is a stupid system, but it is easy to game it.

  • OverlapingMagisteria

    ….. I think I’m gonna go kill some babies and send them straight to heaven. Please feel pity on me since I will have to put up with their terrified cries as they die. My job is so difficult!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Not the children, for they inherit eternal life.

    That reminds me of the stories of Spanish priests baptising Aztec children, following which conquistadors would kill them by bashing their heads on rocks.
    (I don’t know if these stories are true, and it doesn’t matter to the extent of making my point)

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    I’m not sure if “Israeli” was Craig’s phrasing or a paraphrase by the post author.

    @Reginald: And to think, these are the people who call themselves “pro-life”!

  • assclown

    “There are atheists in the military!”

    When the story first came out last week, the secular student alliance pointed this out on Yahoo! News and then it showed a link to the same story on Fox News, but Fox News had their take (no surprise) and they only had about 3-4 paragraphs talking about “Atheists in the foxholes” but they did not explain why the group MASH was formed or any contextual basis. I checked back a few days later, and their report mirrored that of the Associated Press. I’m guessing they got called out?

  • Brian M

    Where does the apologist get the idea that the Canaanite children receive eternal life? Isn’t that a very modern interpretation? The Hebrew religion doesn’t emphasize eternal life very much, anyway.

  • Brian M

    Plus…I would note that the Old Testament is largely a litany of how corrupt and undeserving the Hebrews are. The Canaanites may be corrupt in the eyes of the anal retentive tyrant god, but how worthy are the Hebrews.

  • Leum

    I note without comment that, by Craig’s logic, abortion is among the highest goods, for it guarantees those who are aborted eternal life.

  • Emily

    It’s nice to see atheism being an accepted presence in high schools, though I can’t vouch that it’s a ubiquitous theme. I have a good friend who is teaching biology in East LA and some of the conversations he has are… interesting?

    examples:

    http://twoyearsattheblackboard.blogspot.com/2011/04/teach-controversy-part-1.html

  • http://www.daylightatheism.org Ebonmuse

    FYI, the quote from Craig that was questioned also appears verbatim in this post of his.

  • http://eternalbookshelf.wordpress.com Sharmin

    It’s good to see that the existence of atheists is being acknowledged, both in high school and in the military.

    This line from the article from The New York Times stood out to me: “’Some of our students didn’t understand that there are people who don’t believe in God,’” Mrs. Harrell said. The same article also mentioned that both religious and nonreligious students were in the Junior R.O.T.C. Maybe that will go some way towards breaking the “no atheists in foxholes” misconception as well.

    I feel badly for the lady with the Objectivist father. He sounds horrible. This line really sums it up: “Meanwhile, my mother quietly packed my lunch every day.” We don’t always realize how much others help us.


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