For nearly five years now, a volunteer group of atheists called Austin Atheists Helping the Homeless has gathered each month to hand out care packages to people in their community who need it the most. Their funding comes entirely from donations and there’s no proselytizing involved (unless you include any signs with the group’s name). [Read More…]
Last year, Pope Francis wrote a three-page-long letter that was published in the Italian daily La Repubblica. The letter came in response to two open letters written by the newpaper’s editor, Eugenio Scalfari, a well-known atheist.
At the time, the Pope made headlines because he wrote that God’s mercy was available to atheists, if only they would “obey their conscience.” The media widely reported this as the Pope saying even atheists could go to heaven, though that’s not exactly accurate.
Last April, Crystal Moore (below) was fired as the police chief of Latta, South Carolina. It happened without warning. Mayor Earl Bullard claimed she was dismissed because of “sheer insubordination,” though Moore felt her status as an out lesbian had something to do with it. She had a point: In her nearly 20 years of service to the town, she hadn’t been reprimanded once.
Here’s a religious ritual you may not be familiar with. Under Jewish law, on the Sabbath (Friday night to Saturday night), you’re not supposed to carry any of your possessions between private domains (like your home) and public domains (like outside your home). But what if you want to take your baby to synagogue? What if you want to carry your keys from inside your home to outside where your car is parked? You can’t do it. Jewish law forbids it.
But Orthodox Jews figured out a loophole. All they had to do was turn a “private” domain into a “public” one and the problem would be solved, and they accomplished this by creating an eruv (AY-roov).
You know how preachers sometimes visit college campuses, spew the vilest-sounding biblical word vomit ever, and anger just about everyone who crosses their path?
What you can’t do is physically confront them, or threaten them, or destroy their setup. That seems obvious.