About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard Will No Longer Be Speaking at the Reason Rally

Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the Hollywood stars who were among the headliners at the upcoming Reason Rally, are no longer speaking at the event.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Doesn’t Always Have to Be the Smartest Guy in the Room…

The problem with being smart and letting everyone know about it is that it can always backfire…

Which is why people mock Neil deGrasse Tyson:

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Archdale (NC) Officials End Jersey Sponsorship Program After Businesses Put Bible Verses on Shirts

In Archdale, North Carolina, the city provides jerseys for 74 local sports teams. They pay for it by working out arrangements with local businesses, who cover the costs and are allowed to put their logos or a substitute message on the uniforms. Everybody wins.

The problem is that, lately, a lot of the businesses are putting Bible verses or religious phrases on the uniforms. City officials are well aware this is a lawsuit waiting to happen, so they recently ended the sponsorship program for good.

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As you might guess, not everyone’s happy with that move:

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Christian Wedding Venue Owner in IL Turned Away Couple That Wanted a Non-Religious Ceremony

Well, this is a new one, even by Christian bigot standards.

Dave Anderson, the owner of the Stillman Inn, a wedding venue in Galena, Illinois, told a couple they couldn’t get married there because they were of mixed faiths and wanted a non-religious wedding ceremony. He did this long after they’d paid a deposit, which he cashed, and the wedding was mere months away.

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After Muslim Controversy, Swiss Canton Will Fine Parents Whose Kids Don’t Shake Hands With Teachers

Last month, I posted about a tradition in Switzerland in which students shake hands with their teachers before and after class — it’s a sign of respect, not to mention a way to calm everyone down before the lessons start. But a school in the Basel-Country canton was at the center of controversy after two Muslim students said they didn’t want to participate in the ritual because their religion forbade them from touching women outside of their families.

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Now, they’re turning the dial to 11, issuing a ruling that will fine parents if their kids don’t shake their teachers’ hands.

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