In Memory of Eric

A couple of weeks ago, we lost a really fantastic atheist activist, Eric Broze. One of the co-founders of the Coming Out Godless project, Eric’s work was always meaningful and helpful, yet he never gave up his sense of humor in the process. (See: The United Church of Bacon, which he also helped create.)

I was looking back at my email exchanges with Eric over the past several years and what stands out is how committed he was to the work he was doing, even when his name wasn’t going to be the one in the spotlight. When he had an idea, he would pursue it wholeheartedly. Ed Clint has a beautiful writeup about Eric here.)

I had a chance to meet Eric and his wonderful wife Rose a few years ago in Las Vegas and they were as fun to be around as their online personas would suggest:

Appropriately, his memorial service was a celebration of his life, just as he would have liked. It took place at a bar, with his closest friends sharing their favorite memories of Eric:

You can read more about Eric here. Rose is accepting donations at the Paypal address

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About That ‘Common Core’ Math Problem Making the Rounds on Facebook…

Over the past week, I’ve seen this image multiple times on Facebook and elsewhere, a supposed denunciation of the Common Core version of math that kids are now learning:

That picture is especially popular on conservatives’ Facebook walls… and I’m sure one of your relatives has said something about it, too.

On the surface, it seems ridiculous. The top makes sense; the bottom is silly; screw you, Common Core!

Except that the top doesn’t make sense, the bottom does, and the connection to Common Core is completely misunderstood. (Says this math teacher.)

Here’s what’s going on:

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Mother Who Put Up Roadside Cross to Honor Son’s Memory Will Finally Take It Down

A couple of days ago, I posted about a large cross that has been sitting on the side of a road in Lake Elsinore, California in honor of a young man who died there a few years ago. The City Council repeatedly said they would remove the cross from public property… but they never did, leading the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center to send a letter warning them about the possible legal consequences for “selective enforcement of its signage ordinance”:

Yesterday, the young man’s mother Ann Marie Devaney told city officials she would take down the cross she put up nearly two years ago:

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Cuyahoga Falls City Council Prays ‘In Jesus’ Name’ At Meetings

If you’re a member of a City Council, how do you not understand this by now? If you’re giving an invocation prayer, it must be non-denominational; you can’t pray to Jesus when you’re supposed to represent everybody. Hell, the Supreme Court is about to rule on this exact matter very soon.

I guess no one on the Cuyahoga Falls City Council in Ohio got the memo. Ever since Councilman Terry Mader became the council’s chaplain in January, his invocation prayers have all ended with the words, “In Jesus’ name, we pray.”

On Monday, local residents did their best to protect their city from a lawsuit:

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The Problem with ‘Spontaneous Baptisms’

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses how Elevation Church in North Carolina performs “spontaneous baptisms” with a dose of deceit: You can read more about this practice here. We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions [Read More…]