Women in Lebanon Are No Longer Forced To Marry Their Rapists

The Lebanese Republic has, in 2017, finally repealed a law that allowed alleged rapists to escape punishment by marrying their accusers. To put that another way, before now, men accused or convicted of rape could be exonerated by marrying their victims. They were able to rape women and then further torture them by forcing them into unwanted marriages, all while evading punishment. How’s that for justice? Lebanon is the most recent country to make such a move under pressure from... Read more

Thousands of Religious Leaders Want Congress To Protect the Johnson Amendment

Back in May, Donald Trump signed an executive order that supposedly weakened the Johnson Amendment. While it told the IRS to look the other way in cases where pastors were endorsing candidates from the pulpit in violation of non-profit rules, it really had no teeth to it (since the IRS was barely taking action already). However, a budget bill being considered by the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations included an amendment forbidding the IRS from devoting a single penny to... Read more

Malaysian Police Official: Atheists Have To Stop Causing Anxiety Among Muslims

Earlier this month, a picture of an Atheist Republic gathering in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia went viral, leading to a government crackdown. This is a nation that, in theory, celebrates the freedom of religion, but those rules don’t apply to Muslims who leave their faith — and certainly not to Muslims who become atheists. Government officials wanted to know if there were any ex-Muslims in that picture because they could be fined or prosecuted. Shahidan Kassim, a minister in President Najib... Read more

Catholics Priests Have Fathered Countless Children, Only To Abandon Them

The Catholic Church has always required celibacy for its priests. It’s an absurd rule to deprive people of sex in exchange for admission into the brotherhood, and it’s one argument for why the number of priests isn’t as high as it could be. Other religions allow leaders to have families and a life outside church walls. The Catholic Church doesn’t. But even priests break the vow of celibacy. Michael Rezendes of The Boston Globe‘s Spotlight Team (yeah, that one) just... Read more

Every Single State Constitution Includes At Least One Reference to God

How many states make references to God (or variations of that word) in their constitutions? I figured it’d be a handful. I had no idea the correct answer was every single one of them. Analysis by the Pew Research Center notes that only four states reference God once. North Carolina, however, does it 10 times. And Massachusetts of all places beats everyone with 12 references to the Divine. In addition to the 116 mentions of God, there are also 14... Read more

The Atlanta Falcons’ New Stadium Has a Chick-fil-A… That’s Closed on Sundays

The Atlanta Falcons will open the NFL season playing in the brand-new, $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Everything about the place looks amazing. But the detail making a lot of headlines is that the stadium will have a Chick-fil-A inside. That’s not a surprise. It’s a popular place and the company’s headquarters are located in Atlanta. But it is a little unusual since Chick-fil-A, at the behest of its Christian founder, is closed on Sundays. That’s fun to laugh about… but... Read more

Atheists Sponsor Charity Food Drive During St. Paul Saints Baseball Game

For the sixth consecutive year, the Minnesota Atheists and Freedom From Religion Foundation joined forces with a local minor league baseball team to have some fun and do some charity work. Normally, the St. Paul Saints become the “Mr. Paul Aints” for a day. Things were a little simpler this year. The name stayed the same but the “A” in sAints got an atheist flourish: The group also asked fans to donate food for the needy: This night at the... Read more

CEOs Are Abandoning Donald Trump, But His Evangelical Advisors Are Staying Put

Earlier today, in response to Donald Trump‘s support of white nationalist groups and his bizarre Nazi-approved press conference, the Council on Strategic and Policy Forum chose to disband. This came after several members of Trump’s Council on Manufacturing left independently and put pressure on other members to do the same. Trump later announced he was ending both councils anyway… even though one was already disbanded. It’s heartening to know that CEOs are either listening to the Americans who denounce Trump’s... Read more

Michele Bachmann Is Now “Pastor to the United Nations” for a CA Megachurch

Here’s a question none of you have been asking lately: What is former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann up to these days? Unfortunately, there’s an answer that involves politics and religion. (Mostly religion.) Jim Garlow runs Skyline Church in California. The church runs projects such as the Jefferson Gathering, in which preachers come together with Christian politicians to pray for things like getting Satan out of the Capitol. Garlow’s latest project is a ministry specifically focused on the United Nations. Because what... Read more

Secretary of State Says Atheists, Too, Are Victims of Religious Persecution

The State Department just released its International Religious Freedom Report for 2016 and Secretary Rex Tillerson marked the occasion with a speech that mentioned atheism as a reason people are persecuted in certain nations: In Iran, Baha’is, Christians, and other minorities are persecuted for their faith. Iran continues to sentence individuals to death under vague apostasy laws — 20 individuals were executed in 2016 on charges that included, quote, “waging war against God.” Members of the Baha’i community are in... Read more