Why is the U.S. Becoming Increasingly Secular? A New Book Explains This and More

Phil Zuckerman is a professor of sociology and secular studies at Pitzer College who writes about atheism beyond the issue of God’s existence. His previous books include Society Without God and Faith No More: Why People Reject Religion. (In case you missed it, he was also a recent guest on our podcast.)

His latest book, Living the Secular Life, is all about how atheists get by without God.

In the excerpt below, Zuckerman offers an explanation of why the religious demographics are shifting in our direction:

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Child Abuse Victims File Lawsuit Against Jehovah’s Witnesses Church, Bringing Into View Its “Crisis of Silence”

On December 1, 39-year-old Velicia Alston stepped forward and told the world her “secret” — one that is becoming all too familiar for those like me who follow the Watchtower organization (the entity that controls the affairs of Jehovah’s Witnesses).

Along with another plaintiff, Alston had filed a $10.5 million lawsuit against Watchtower and her childhood congregation in Hillsboro, Oregon, for the abuse she claims to have suffered at the hands of a fellow Witness, Daniel Castellanos, between 1986 and 1987 when she was 11 or 12 years old.

Alston was supposed to be receiving piano lessons from Castellanos, an ordained (baptized) minister in the congregation, when she claims he kissed and fondled her under her clothes multiple times. Local elders are said to have known about the threat posed to her by Castellanos despite doing nothing to prevent it.

Alston’s fellow plaintiff, referred to as “John Roe,” was between 8 and 10 years old at the time that he was also abused by Castellanos, the suit alleges.

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Don’t Kiss This Priest’s Hand!

There’s a custom in some Catholic traditions where you’re supposed to kiss a priest’s hand. It’s a sign of reverence and respect.

But the priest in the video below clearly isn’t a fan of that ritual:

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An Easy Way for Christians to Determine if They’re Being Persecuted

I don’t even understand why there’s a left side to this flow chart:

(via Rachel Held Evans)

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A Second Season of COSMOS?

Seth MacFarlane, the Executive Producer of COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey, just tweeted out some hope for a second season of the Emmy Award-winning series:

Maybe in Season 2, they bring back the Pluto character. Everyone loved him.

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