The Gospel Isn’t Gospel

NonStampCollector points out that the most sensible explanation for some of the contradictory statements in the Bible is also the one that tend to be rejected by believers:

If only that last column were an acceptable option for most Christians…

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An Atheist’s Guide to Mortality

Kirk Israel has written what he calls the “Skeptical Nerd’s Guide to Your Own Mortality.” The entire thing is online (with illustrations by UK artist James Harvey) at the chuckle-worthy website SoYoureGoingToDie.com:

I’d love to see this turned into a physical book!

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A Discussion Between Atheists and Mormons: Exposing Myths and Dispelling Stereotypes

As a prelude to the American Atheists National Convention taking place this weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, a panel discussion was held Wednesday night between atheists Dave Silverman and author Joanne Hanks and Mormon authors Drs. J. B. Haws and Richard Holzapfel:



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Someone’s Been Messing with Westboro Baptist Church on Google Maps…

I don’t know which one of you is messing with Google Maps, but I have to admit these labels in Topeka, Kansas are pretty accurate:

(Thanks to @JakeBe5 for the link!)

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Ellery Schempp, Who Helped Put a Stop to Bible Readings in Public Schools, Applauds Ayaan Hirsi Ali for Her Courage

This is a guest post by Ellery Schempp. Ellery’s protest against mandatory Bible readings at his public school played a pivotal role leading to the Supreme Court’s 1963 decision to end the practice.

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Last week, Brandeis University offered an honorary doctorate to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and then quickly rescinded it when Muslim groups complained. Among other responses, I particularly enjoyed American Atheists’ President David Silverman‘s open letter to the school’s president, in which he stated he was “ashamed of [his] association with Brandeis University.”

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There Will Be Blood: Filipino Christians Whip Themselves Silly for the Lord

‘Tis the season for bloodletting in the Philippines:

Many Filipino devotees perform religious penance during the week leading up to Easter Sunday as a form of worship and supplication, a practice discouraged by Catholic bishops, but widely believed by devotees to cleanse sins, cure illness and even grant wishes.

And so they carry their 60-pound crosses while inviting bystanders to beat and kick them. Others whip themselves for hours until their backs are raw and bloody.



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In Downtown Chicago, a Catholic Group’s Easter Display Has Some Godless Company

If were to walk around Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago, you might see a giant 14-foot cross and image of Jesus put up by a Christian group:

It’s legal. They requested and received permission to do it.

But that means everyone else gets to join in the fun! Which is why the Metropolitan Chicago chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation put up its own display yesterday:



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It’s Not Heresy for a Christian Publisher to Promote a Gay Christian’s Book

Two years ago, Matthew Vines stepped into a Wichita, Kansas church and spoke at length about why Christianity was perfectly compatible with homosexuality, if only people would give it a chance. He came to this conclusion after taking a two-year leave of absence from college and educating himself on what biblical scholars had to say about the issue:



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After Being Denied “8THEIST” License Plate, New Jersey Woman is Suing State’s Motor Vehicle Commission

New Jersey does not have a good track record when it comes to handling vanity license plates requests from atheists.

In August, American Atheists’ President David Silverman requested a plate reading “ATHE1ST” (with a 1) only to have it rejected for being “offensive.” He appealed that decision and the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission quickly reversed course. (Or, as they called it, fixed a “clerical error.”)

In November, New Jersey resident Shannon Morgan, unaware of what Silverman had been through, attempted to get her own vanity plate reading “8theist.” Again, it was rejected on grounds of being “objectionable.”

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American Atheists Will Hold Regional Conference in Puerto Rico

We talk a lot about the need for more diversity in the movement and here’s a good way to make it happen: Go to the people you want to reach out to instead of waiting for them to come to you.

American Atheists just announced (via email) that they will hold a conference in Puerto Rico in August of 2015:



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Fox News Analyst Repeatedly Sides with Atheist During Church/State Separation Discussion

Last night, when Sean Hannity‘s guest host Eric Bolling wanted to talk about Clemson University’s preaching football coach and crosses on an Ohio municipal building, maybe he thought he’d have an ally in Fox News analyst and evangelical Christian Kirsten Powers. They would gang up on American Atheists’ Nick Fish, right?

That’s not at all what happened.

Powers repeatedly sided with Fish, maintaining the idea that there needed to be a separation between church and state.



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A Center for Atheism Opens Up in Turkey: “No Atheists Will Be Alone Anymore”

Good Friday, indeed. Tolga İnci and Ahmet Balyemez have opened the first physical building dedicated to atheism in Turkey:



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Generation Atheist is Free on Amazon Through Easter Sunday

My friend Dan Riley wrote a book a while back called Generation Atheist. It’s a collection of true stories about people who transitioned from godly to godless.

For the rest of the week (through Easter Sunday), the book is free on Kindle! I urge you to get your copy now if you haven’t already!

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Actress Alicia Silverstone Joins the “Vaccinate Your Kids Only if You Feel Like It” Club

Following the leads of Jenny McCarthy, Mayim Bialik, and Kristin Cavallari, actress Alicia Silverstone (you remember her from Clueless) is jumping onboard the train of ignorant mothers who eschew vaccinations for their kids because they think they know better than the scientists.

In her new book The Kind Mama, Silverstone writes that vaccines are not necessary:



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