The Subtitle of This Song Must Be ‘A Cry for Help’

I don’t know what’s worse: That this guy is pretending to be someone (I sincerely hope) he’s not, or that he’s doing it on behalf of Jesus:

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My Atheist Husband and I Have Seven Kids, Four of Whom Were Adopted, and We’re Raising Them As Happy Freethinkers

This is a guest post by Veronica Chenik Gilmore.

“You are so blessed”

“You’re an angel”

“Are you Catholic?”

“Are they all yours?”

“God Bless you”

These statements are just a sampling of what people say to my husband and me when they find out we have seven children.

We have a blended family — three biological children and four who came to us from Tennessee through an interstate adoption program. Strangers and casual acquaintances step into our circle to celebrate our “good deed” as if we’re doing something to please God. These well-intentioned people have no clue that we are hiding something very important from them: our identity as atheists.

Most people assume it was our faith that led us to adopt. But after hearing all sorts of mischaracterizations and faulty conclusions about who we are, it’s time for me to speak up. We’re not religious and we’re adoptive parents.

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Mormon Church Officially Admits It Used to Be Racist

Just before the final presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney last year, American Atheists paid for this ad to be driven around Boca Raton, Florida, where the debate was being held:

The ad referenced two doctrines of the Mormon faith — one, that black people were forbidden from entering the priesthood until 1978, and second, that sexually-active gay people are still banned from the church altogether.

Let me repeat that first part: Black people were forbidden from entering the priesthood until 1978. 1978!

It’s a fact echoed in the lyrics to “I Believe” in the musical “The Book of Mormon”:

I Believe; that Satan has a hold of you
I Believe; that the Lord, God, has sent me here
And I Believe; that in 1978 God changed his mind about black people!
You can be a Mormon
A Mormon who just believes!

It’s one of those things you can’t sweep under the rug. It was blatant racism and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has never really owned up to it.

Until now, anyway.

On Friday, the Mormon church’s website released a statement admitting that the reason for the black priest ban was racism, pure and simple:

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Pope Francis Named Time’s Person of the Year, Despite Not Changing the Direction of the Church

Time magazine announced this morning that its Person of the Year was Pope Francis:

But what makes this Pope so important is the speed with which he has captured the imaginations of millions who had given up on hoping for the church at all. People weary of the endless parsing of sexual ethics, the buck-passing infighting over lines of authority when all the while (to borrow from Milton), “the hungry Sheep look up, and are not fed.” In a matter of months, Francis has elevated the healing mission of the church — the church as servant and comforter of hurting people in an often harsh world — above the doctrinal police work so important to his recent predecessors. John Paul II and Benedict XVI were professors of theology. Francis is a former janitor, nightclub bouncer, chemical technician and literature teacher.

The Church finally found a way to shine a shit. But is Pope Francis deserving of the title?

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Jennifer Michael Hecht: An Atheist President is ‘The Last Taboo’

Jennifer Michael Hecht, writing for Politico Magazine, wonders whether electing an atheist president is “the last taboo” — and she brings up Barney Frank‘s subtle summertime revelation:

… while few seemed to care about Frank’s pot-smoking admission, atheists across the country — myself included — were disappointed that he hadn’t acknowledged his lack of religious belief sooner, when it could have made a real difference. We were left wondering why a man who served 16 terms in Congress and who bravely came out as gay all the way back in 1987 felt the need to hide his atheism until he was out of office. Was it really harder to come out as an atheist politician in 2013 than as a gay one 25 years ago?

Yes, it was. Polls have repeatedly shown that atheists are the least electable minority group (at least of the ones significant enough to ask about):

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