I Know What All Atheists Are Getting for Their Birthdays…

The series isn’t even over yet, but the Blu-ray version of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is already available for pre-order:

Neil deGrasse Tyson in HiDef? Yes, please.

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Despite Living in Another Country, This Bangladeshi Atheist Blogger’s Life is Still in Constant Jeopardy

Last year, Asif Mohiuddin, a 29-year-old from Bangladesh, was violently attacked for being an outspoken atheist blogger in his country.

Asif is living in Germany now (on a scholarship) and, in an English-language interview with Deutsche Welle, his bravery still comes through loud and clear:

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Fitna

Son of “Fitna” Collaborator, Like His Drug-Dealer Dad, Embraces Islam

It was one of the strangest religion stories of 2013. A year ago, Arnoud van Doorn, who came to modest prominence as a Dutch politician for the anti-immigration/anti-Islam PVV party, had a change of heart. After a period of reflection, he finally saw the light, the truth, and the way — and it was Islam. In other words, the Dutchman became a convert to the very religion he justifiably made a career out of criticizing and lampooning.

Formerly a close associate of PVV head honcho Geert Wilders, in whose 16-minute anti-Islamic movie Fitna (below) he participated as a producer or a distributor (depending upon whom you believe), van Doorn disavowed Wilders, the PVV, and Fitna.



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A Play by @TheTweetOfGod is Coming to Broadway Next Season

David Javerbaum, the former head writer of The Daily Show who brilliantly channels God on Twitter as @TheTweetOfGod, will soon be taking that character to Broadway in a play to debut next season.

It’ll be based off of his book The Last Testament.



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“Jesus” Shows Up in Pancake; Bears Uncanny Resemblance to Rasputin, Charles Manson

Pareidolia is alive and well:

A cafe in Norco, Calif., says that the Mickey Mouse pancake it was trying to make on Good Friday ended up looking like Jesus Christ, something they’re taking as a sign from above.

“The night before, she [his wife Karen] decides to pray about something and the next day on Good Friday we get this pancake,” said Gary Henderickson, the co-owner of Cowgirl Café with his wife Karen, said. “To us it looks like a picture of Jesus looking down, like he’s looking down over us.”


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Clemson Football Coach Responds to Complaints About the Religious Nature of His Team… by Not Talking About It

For weeks now, we’ve been talking about the overt religiosity on Clemson University’s football team. They have baptisms after practice and a paid team chaplain. Coach Dabo Swinney has chartered buses to take team members to Fellowship of Christian Athletes breakfasts. It’s over the top and completely unconstitutional at a public school.

Now, Swinney has issued an official response to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s complaint letter:

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Why is This Public School’s Wrestling Team Promoting the Bible at Every Opportunity?

The wrestling team at Parkersburg South High School in West Virginia seems to care more about promoting Jesus than it does providing a welcoming environment for all students.

Specifically, one Bible verse — Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Him who strengthens me — is emblazoned all over the place.

On their t-shirts, which they wore during the season:

Atop their school’s gym doors:

Even on their school’s website, where it was listed as the official team motto as recently as February:

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U.S. Military Finally Approves “Humanism” as an Acceptable Religious Preference for Soldiers

When you join the U.S. military, you can choose to tell them your religious identification. There are more than 100 options — no problem if you’re some type of Christian, as you can see in a snippet of the list below — but the options for non-religious men and women are pretty minimal:

For the non-theists in the military, you can say Atheist, Agnostic, or various degrees of “Other.” If you prefer a label like “Humanist,” because it more appropriately describes what you do believe in rather than what you don’t, you’re out of luck.

Until now, that is.

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I’m Pretty Sure This Child is an Atheist…

I know we like to argue over whether or not babies and toddlers should be considered atheists and I know Richard Dawkins has spoken out against the religious labeling of children, but I think I’ve found a legitimate young atheist:



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A Great Essay: “The Environmental Movement Is Not About Saving the Earth”

I didn’t hear this when it first premiered in 2006, but Lauren Becker‘s audio essay on Earth Day (which is today in case you missed it) is just fantastic:



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A Year After Being Sued for Posting Videos Showing Ergun Caner’s Lies, a Blogger is Vindicated in Court

For several years, Ergun Caner (below), a one-time leader of Liberty University’s theological seminary, told everyone about his tragic background and story of redemption. He said he had grown up in Turkey in a Muslim family, with a polygamist father, and he was trained to do “that which was done on 9/11.” But he later became a Christian and that saved his life!

In truth, he was born in Sweden and immigrated to Ohio when he was two. He was no terrorist-in-training. The crux of his life story was a fiction.

Blogger Jason Smathers has been documenting Caner’s lies for years now… to the point where Caner was removed from his position at Liberty when they were investigating his background.

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New Poll Shows the Effect of Religious Ignorance on Scientific Issues

According to a new survey by GfK Public Affairs for the Associated Press, we’re dumb. Really, really dumb.

While most Americans understand that smoking causes cancer and that a mental illness affects the brain (real stumper, that one), only 53% are confident about childhood vaccines being safe and effective, 31% confidently accept evolution, and even fewer are confident about the age of the Earth and origin of the universe.

There’s actually a striking contradiction on the list. While only 31% of adults accept human evolution, 65% of them accept microevolution (though not in name) in the sense that overusing antibiotics can lead to drug-resistant bacteria. But what is human evolution but a long series of microevolutions?

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Faith-Healing Parents Who Let Their Daughter Die Don’t Want Jurors To Know About Their Religious Motive

Travis and Wenona Rossiter, an Oregon couple, are among a special type of shitty parents: those who let their kids die of a treatable disease, rather than take them to a doctor.

The Rossiters belong to the Church of the First Born, a fundamentalist outfit that holds that prayer is the way to making sick people better.

Does it work? Like hell it does. Their daughter Syble died of complications from diabetes a little over a year ago. She was 12. Prosecutors say the girl would likely be alive today if it wasn’t for the parents’ wishes to deliver her to the care of Jesus, rather than the care of a trained medical team.

Now the Rossiters, accused of manslaughter, claim that it would be “prejudicial” for the jury to learn of the religious beliefs that killed their daughter.

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Louisiana Republican Pulls His Own Bill to Make the King James Bible the State Book

Last month, Louisiana state Rep. Thomas Carmody (below) proposed legislation to make the King James Bible the state book.

It was a controversial proposal, even in committee hearings, but not for the obvious reasons.

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