Pope Francis, in his first Christmas address since becoming head of the Catholic Church, specifically called on atheists to join with believers of all stripes to work toward a global “homemade peace.” [Read more…]
Yesterday, UK supermarket Marks & Spencer made headlines with a policy that allowed Muslim employees to refuse to handle things like alcohol and pork that are against their religion, and even refuse to sell them to customers. Terry Firma began a discussion on that general topic on this site yesterday. It may be however, that this was misunderstood. [Read more…]
My organization, the Center for Inquiry, is capping off its Living without Religion campaign with one last ad in Times Square this week, with good wishes for the the New Year. It’s a 15-second electronic billboard ad, which you can see below, with two “slides” saying, “Millions express joy & goodwill without religion,” and ending with, “Wishing you peace & enlightenment in the New Year.” (Our press release is perhaps the warm-and-fuzziest one we’ve ever put out.)
So what is going on with blogs these days? If you’re like me, and you keep abreast of news and opinion on technology and media, you’ve already probably been told many, many times that the blog is dead, a medium that served its purpose in the twenty-aughts, but has now been rendered mostly irrelevant by Tweetbooksnaptumblegram.
Apparently Hemant is a little bit like me too (poor guy), and he pointed me to this post at Neiman Journalism Lab by blog pioneer Jason Kottke that, despite Kottke’s entrenchment in the form, prophesies its demise, and in its place are the ephemeral and the institutional:
The Motor Vehicles Commission of the state of New Jersey continues its war on nonbelievers!
Well, not so much a “war” as a kind of backward, archaic prejudice. You’ll of course recall the great saga of American Atheists’ Dave Silverman and his battle to exercise his right to wear his atheism on his license plate. After initial refusals to produce his plate, the New Jersey MVC relented, and there was much rejoicing.
But a new gauntlet has been thrown by the Garden State’s regulatory machine. This time, the aggrieved party is one Shannon Morgan, who attempted to get her own godless license plate as such: “8THEIST”
However, as you can see in the screen grab below, Shannon was thwarted.
The decree from the MVC? “Requested plate text is considered objectionable.” That’s right, folks, indicating your atheism on your car is still “objectionable” to the state of New Jersey.