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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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“Post-Catholic” Ireland Sees Rise in Non-Religious Funerals

Details:  Patricia Wojnar left a 32-year career in interior design to pursue a degree that wasn’t in demand: a master’s in bereavement studies. Having seen four family members die early, she wanted to understand how to adapt. As it turned out, the degree perfectly prepared her to enter one of Ireland’s emerging professions. Wojnar is [Read More…]

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Praying “under the covers” in an atheist country

What’s it like to live and pray in an officially atheist state?  CNS has a fascinating interview with Maria Dhimitri, who lived that way in Albania: “They said God didn’t exist. I couldn’t come to church or pray or speak of God at all,” she said of the communist regime that came to power in [Read More…]

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What’s it like going to an atheist church?

The BBC went so we don’t have to. Details:  An “atheist church” in North London is proving a big hit with non-believers. Does it feel a bit like a new religion? Not many sermons include the message that we are all going to die and there is no afterlife. But the Sunday Assembly is no [Read More…]

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Atheists erect anti-Christian billboard in Times Square

The Catholic League notes: Hanukkah is currently being celebrated, but fortunately for Jews they are not being attacked by David Silverman. No, like other haters in the atheist community, the president of American Atheists saves his vitriol for Christians. Silverman’s latest assault is a huge billboard in New York’s Times Square. The decision by Silverman [Read More…]

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‘Tis the season: atheists stage “alternative” Nativity scene

Details:  Atheists, clearly agitated that Christians purportedly “stole” various holiday traditions from pagans, have come up with a solution: A potentially-offensive “natural nativity scene” that removes baby Jesus and replaces traditional Bible characters with some eyebrow-raising alternatives. The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is behind the spectacle, which emerged this week as part of a diorama inside the Wisconsin state capitol. [Read More…]

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