He Shouldn’t Have to Say ‘So Help Me God’ At His Graduation Today

***Update***: Jason Torpy of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers tells me that the situation has been resolved and Bise will receive both a secular written form and take a secular oath. More information on “So Help Me God” oath issues can be found here.

The American Humanist Association responds:

Air Force officials have agreed to administer a secular oath and to allow a revision of the written oath the Officer Trainee was required to sign to remove the “so help me God” reference. Maj. Stewart L. Rountree has written attorneys for the American Humanist Association and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers that the entire graduating class will be informed of the option to take a secular oath and apologized for the error. “Our previous legal advisors were mistaken in advising us that it was required,” Maj. Roundtree wrote. “Our current legal advisors made me aware and we will ensure it reaches all corners of our program.”

Today, Jonathan Bise will become an officer in the United States Air Force. However, he’s been told he will have to say an oath with the phrase “so help me God” in order to graduate — no substitutions allowed. As a non-religious person, the government can’t make anyone take a pledge like that, and the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center is trying to put a stop to it before it’s too late:

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Popular Atheist Facebook Page Removed After Image of a Billboard Criticizing Mormonism Offends People

***Update***: Unrelated to the billboard image below and Facebook’s claim that it violated community standards, I’m hearing from a lot of you about how this particular Facebook page was notorious for posting images/memes without giving proper credit to their creators and claiming them as their own creations. If that’s true, I apologize for giving them any publicity. I’ll do my best to find out more information and speak to the moderators of the page.

***Update 2***: Well, I fucked this one up. I apologize to everyone for publicizing a group that posts images from other sites without giving them credit. Even if Facebook pulled them for the billboard, they should have been pulled for content-stealing a long time ago. Thanks to everyone who sent me emails with evidence of their malfeasance. You can read more about this issue here.

I’ll try to do better next time.

The Atheists and Rational Thinkers group on Facebook had more than 113,000 members (which is pretty damn impressive) and served up a frequent dose of funny memes/screenshots pertaining to religion, but Facebook just removed the group from the site for violating its terms of service.

Specifically, they said one particular image went against the site’s community standards and that’s why the page was taken down.

Which image? This billboard from American Atheists:

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Why Would Anyone Want to Speak at This Church…?

Darrell at Stuff Fundies Like came across an old questionnaire that Fairwinds Independent Bible Church used to send out to potential guest ministers (the church has since changed its name)

That’s about as fundie as you can get… believe in our specific brand of Christianity or to hell with you.

It reminds me of the classic Emo Philips joke, too.

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Switzerland Will Soon Replace Its Religious National Anthem with a Godless One

The text of the Swiss Psalm, written in 1841 and adopted as the National Anthem in 1981, includes lyrics like this (when translated into English):

When the morning skies grow red,
and over us their radiance shed
Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light
when the alps glow bright with splendor,
pray to God, to Him surrender
for you feel and understand
that He dwelleth in this land.

In the sunset Thou art night
and beyond the starry sky
Thou, O loving father, ever near,

when to Heaven we are departing
joy and bliss Thou’lt be imparting
for we feel and understand
that Thou dwellest in this land.

That’s a nice… psalm… but, outside of church, it’s really out of place.

The Swiss government has finally recognized this and they’re ready to chuck their current, religious anthem in favor of a new, secular one:

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I Still Say the Christian Church is Anti-Gay, Anti-Women, Anti-Science, Anti-Sex-Education, and Anti-Doubt

Last week, CNN posted a column I wrote on how atheists are helping drive young people away from the church.

Christian apologist Robin Schumacher took issue with it and has started to respond at the Christian Post.

Here’s the statement he appears to be most frustrated with:

Articles and books about why millennials are leaving Christianity often focus on what churches are doing “wrong.”

They’re anti-gay, anti-women, anti-science, anti-sex-education and anti-doubt, 
to name a few of the most common criticisms.

Schumacher doesn’t buy that at all:

In today’s culture, to be anti-anything is bad so we see Mehta employ the typical paint-your-opponent-against-something-rather-than-for-something technique right out of the chute. But that aside, the question is, are the claims true? Let’s look at just a couple of them.

This should be fun… especially since I can back up what I wrote:

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