It’s Worth Taking a Full Minute to Learn How to Add 9 and 6: A Response to the “Common Core” Critics

Quick: What’s 99 + 47?

No calculators.

It’s 146. Of course it’s 146. You know how I know that?

Because I rounded the 99 to 100… and then subtracted one from 47 to make up the difference.

I sure as hell won’t do this:

That would be a waste of time when rearranging the numbers in your head is a lot faster. That’s what’s the math teacher in the video below is trying to explain to a news reporter using the numbers 9 and 6:

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I’m a Presbyterian Minister Who Doesn’t Believe in God

This is a guest post by John Shuck, a Presbyterian minister.

“How can you call yourself a Christian, let alone a minister?!”

I get asked that question frequently and the questioner is hostile more often than not. Still, I like to answer it if I believe the questioner is sincere.

Though I self-identify as a Christian and I am an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), I raised eyebrows a few years ago when I posted an article on my website about how my personal beliefs don’t align with those of most Presbyterians.

For example, I believe that:

  • religion is a human construct
  • the symbols of faith are products of human cultural evolution
  • Jesus may have been an historical figure, but most of what we know about him is in the form of legend
  • God is a symbol of myth-making and not credible as a supernatural being or force
  • The Bible is a human product as opposed to special revelation from a divine being
  • Human consciousness is the result of natural selection, so there’s no afterlife

In short, I regard the symbols of Christianity from a non-supernatural point of view.

And yet, even though I hold those beliefs, I am still a proud minister. But I don’t appreciate being told that I’m not truly a Christian.

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Arabic Billboard Goes Up in Memphis to Promote Atheist Conference

American Atheists has its annual convention this Easter weekend in Memphis, Tennessee. They’ve already purchased a couple of billboards to advertise the gathering, leading to controversy after the initial billboards were rejected for including the words “Easter” and “church.”

But their latest billboard, aimed at ex-Muslims (who can read Arabic), should receive a whole different kind of reaction:



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Rick Santorum Wants the Bible Back in Public Schools (Not That Anyone Removed It in the First Place)

Over the weekend, ever-hopeful presidential candidate Rick Santorum told a conservative audience at Liberty Counsel’s The Awakening conference that the Supreme Court could be ignored; if they wanted Bibles in public schools, dammit, they could have them!



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A Free Online Course About Religious Conflicts

This sounds neat: The University of Groningen (in the Netherlands) is going to run a free online course called “Religion and Conflict“:



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