Prague spring: Catholic churches sprout up in Europe’s “most atheist country”

Some promising news from the land of my forebears: the Czech Republic, e once described as the “most atheist country” in Europe, is showing new signs of faith:   Some 50 new Catholic churches have been built in the Czech Republic since the 1989 collapse of the communist regime, mainly in Moravian regions with a higher [Read More...]

Atheist “church” reports split

Seems the world’s hottest atheist “church” is now in schism. Details:  The Sunday Assembly was riding high. The world’s most voguish – though not its only – atheist church opened last year in London, to global attention and abundant acclaim. So popular was the premise, so bright the promise, that soon the Sunday Assembly was [Read More...]

“The people who challenged my atheism most were drug addicts and prostitutes…”

A man who made a nice living on Wall Street, and prided himself on his cynical atheism, finds his belief in unbelief sorely tested—and in ways he never expected. Here’s writer/photographer Chris Arnade:  I eventually left my Wall Street job and started working with and photographing homeless addicts in the South Bronx. When I first walked into [Read More...]

Coexist: Nativity scene and atheist sign share space in public park

From the Arlington Heights Daily Herald in Illinois: A year after controversy in Arlington Heights about whether to allow a Nativity scene on public property, both the Nativity and a sign with views against religion are coexisting — mainly peacefully — in North School Park this holiday season. The Nativity scene, paid for by Jim [Read More...]

“Atheist church” attracting followers—and detractors

From Religion News Service:  Perhaps the Elephant & Castle pub here was a fitting locale for a visiting Brit to meet some mates. But other stereotypes were left at the bar as about 100 people trod down a flight of stairs — pints of beer and wine glasses in hand — and into the pub’s [Read More...]

The Christmas billboard war begins early

It looks like everybody is getting a jump on the season this year. From the New York Times:  If the evangelical organization Answers in Genesis was looking to take its message to a secular audience, it would be hard to do better than the heart of Times Square at noon on Monday. Wedged amid an advertisement urging [Read More...]

Benedict writes to atheist, says he never tried to hide abuse cases

From CNS:  In a letter to an atheist Italian mathematician, retired Pope Benedict XVI defended his own handling of allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and politely criticized the logician’s total reliance on scientific facts for meaning. “I never sought to conceal these things,” the pope said of cases of clerical abuse, [Read More...]

Pope Francis writes personal letter to atheist

From John Allen at NCR: Although the big Vatican story in the English-speaking media today is based on comments by Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the new Secretary of State, on celibacy and democracy, attention in Italy is focused instead on the latest sensation from Pope Francis himself: a personal letter to a renowned journalist and nonbeliever, splashed across the front [Read More...]

Esquire magazine: “Pope Francis is Kind of Awesome”

The author, an atheist, is discovering what many of us already know:  There is serious upheaval in the Vatican, with outsiders brought into major positions of power, and Francis speaking openly of “a current of corruption” in the Curia, but, as an atheist, I don’t really care about any of that. I’m sure it takes [Read More...]

Behold, America’s First Monument to Atheism

From TIME magazine: Following a lawsuit and more than a year of controversy, at noon on Saturday a group called the American Atheists will unveil the United States’ first public monument to atheism in a square outside the Bradford County courthouse in Starke, Florida, near Jacksonville. The five-foot-long, grey granite bench and connecting pillar, which were built and [Read More...]