You Might Want To Get a Second Opinion on That Painting…

When you want to decorate your church wall with a painting that reads “ARISE,” I suggest doing it very carefully

(via Slacktivist)

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The Starke Reality: Atheist is No Longer a Dirty Word

This is an article by Edwin Kagin. It appears in the 4th Quarter 2013 issue of American Atheist magazine. American Atheist magazine is available at Barnes & Noble and Book World bookstores in the U.S. and at Chapters Indigo bookstores in Canada. Go to to see a map of store locations, to subscribe, or to join American Atheists. Members receive free digital subscription.

[Endnotes have been omitted from this article.]

On June 29, 2013, American Atheists accomplished a victory unprecedented in American jurisprudence. With the consent and cooperation of the Commissioners of Bradford County, Florida, we dedicated a monument to Atheism on the county courthouse lawn in the City of Starke. This historic event was made possible by the earlier placement of a six-and-a-half-ton monument emblazoned with the Protestant version of the Ten Commandments in that same courtyard.

In May 2012, when the monument was first erected, a peaceful demonstration was organized by Ken Loukinen, American Atheists’ Director of Regional Operations. One of the participants was Dan Cooney, a resident of Starke and an Atheist. Cooney is hardly the demonstrating type. He is reserved, unassuming, and uninterested in the limelight. But, as he told the crowd at our unveiling a little over a year later, this religious monument on this government property was something he could not ignore.

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Kate Smurthwaite Responds to a Nun Who Claims Atheists Have ‘Faith’

The BBC recently held a televised conference in which 100 women from different backgrounds and faiths were invited to discuss pertinent issues.

Atheists were represented by the excellent Kate Smurthwaite, who had to respond to the age-old charge that she, too, had “faith”:

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A Novel About a Young Celebrity Who Becomes an Outspoken Atheist

What would happen if a young Justin-Bieber-like superstar was also an outspoken atheist? That’s the combination we find in Julian Monk, the main character in Marcus Herzig‘s novel And a Child Will Lead Them. Monk’s celebrity gives him plenty of opportunities to speak out against faith and superstition, but it also rattles his bandmates, who have to deal with the backlash.

In the exclusive excerpt below, Monk appears on Bill O’Reilly‘s show and goes head-to-head with the Bloviator-in-Chief:

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New Study Shows That Catholic Primary Schools Are No Better (and Arguably Worse) Than Public Primary Schools

A new study shows that Catholic primary schools are no better — and arguably worse — than public primary schools, contrary to popular belief.

The study, published in the Journal of Urban Economics, was done by Michigan State University’s Todd Elder and University College Dublin’s Christopher Jepsen.

Catholic school children actually do better at an early age, like in kindergarten, but that’s likely because they come from the kinds of families that can afford to pay private school tuition, giving them a bit of a head start in life. As they get older, however, the advantages fade:

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