Canadian Politician (Sort of) Apologizes for Offering Holiday Greetings to ‘Infidel Atheists’

Brian Pallister is the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Manitoba, and you may recall his recent impromptu holiday greeting to blogger Natalie Pollock:

… I wanted to wish everyone a really really Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, all the holiday… all you infidel atheists out there, I want to wish you the very best, also. I don’t know what you celebrate during the holiday season — I myself celebrate the birth of Christ — but it’s your choice, and I respect your choice. If you wish to celebrate nothing and just get together with friends, that’s good, too. All the best.

I wrote the other day that it struck me as “sincere-though-somewhat-sarcastic.” Pallister would have been better off avoiding the word “infidel” and not suggesting that atheists “celebrate nothing” — but I didn’t sense any malice. (Though commenters on YouTube and other websites found reason to criticize him.)

Yesterday, Pallister half-heartedly apologized for his comments, though he was mostly upset that anyone took him out of context:

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Does It Make Sense to Be a Pro-Life Atheist?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Does it make sense to be a pro-life atheist?:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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These Are the Victims of Male Circumcision

For anyone who thinks male circumcision is harmless (or even a health benefit), watch these stories of boys and men who suffered because of theirs before you continue defending it:



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Sunday Marks the Opening of The Humanist Hub, a Central Gathering Spot for Atheists in Boston

The Humanist Community at Harvard is about to move into what may be the largest space for atheist gatherings on any college campus in the country. They’re calling it the Humanist Hub:

With a professional staff of 10 or more, this beautiful 3,200 square foot space will be a Hub for building “Godless Congregations,” or Humanist communities, locally and nationwide. It is the new headquarters of the Humanist Community at Harvard. It will provide space and support for numerous local secular | nontheistic organizations. And it will house a national think tank working with the American Humanist Association and others to build, educate, and nurture diverse, inclusive, and inspiring multi-generational secular congregations, across the US.

This Sunday marks the Hub’s grand opening and there will be a celebration featuring philosopher Daniel Dennett, attorney David Niose, Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein, and founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement Facebook page Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar.

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The Best Atheist Books of 2013

For the past several years, we’ve seen a large number of atheism-related books hit the market. Unlike the books written by the New Atheists, however, the recent releases aren’t just about why you should stop believing in God. They cover different aspects of faith, cater to a variety of audiences, and (most shocking to me) were put out by several different publishers.

Below are my picks for the best atheism-related books of the year. They’re the ones I’ll be referencing for years to come and the ones I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to explore faith with a critical eye.

#9) Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions edited by Cami Ostman and Susan Tive (Seal Press, 2013):

We already know religious extremism is bad, but it poses a host of unique obstacles for women. The message is clear: If you’re female, God has a special, shitty role for you. In this powerful book, Ostman and Tive share the gut-wrenching stories of women who belonged to those harmful faiths and managed to break free.

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