Atheist offers “invocation” at town council meeting in Alabama

Details:  Here’s what happens when an atheist offered Alabama’s first non-theist invocation to open a public meeting: 90 seconds of thoughtful statements that began with “Dearly Beloved” and ended with “Let it be so,” and no reaction from a packed City Council chamber. As the invocation ended, everyone swung automatically to face the flag to [Read More...]

Atheists mock “Hail Mary” in Super Bowl billboard

There they go again. From The Christian Post:  American Atheists is putting up a new billboard making fun of prayer outside Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, where the Super Bowl is scheduled to take place on Sunday. The 14 feet by 48 feet billboard features a man in a priest uniform with the text “A [Read More...]

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...]

“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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]