New Survey Shows Millennials Are Losing Faith, but Americans Still Think Atheism is Bad for Society

The Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institution recently released the results of a survey on “Citizenship, Values, & Cultural Concerns” (PDF) and a couple of the findings are very notable for what they say about atheists.

First: This is no surprise to anyone, but the percentage of young people (18-29) who have no religious affiliation is just leaps and bounds bigger than any other age group (31%).

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North Carolina Republican Equates Praying to Allah with Terrorism

North Carolina is back in the news for more religion-related idiocy.

You might remember how the Rowan County Board of Commissioners have pretty much had only Christians delivering their invocations at meetings for a long time — specifically, “97% of Board meetings in the past five-and-a-half years have featured sectarian prayer,” according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU.

Then, a week ago, Republican lawmakers filed a bill (since tabled) that would allow them to establish a state religion.

Rep. Michele Presnell was one of the co-sponsors of that bill.

Recently she wrote a letter to her constituents explaining why she supported this awful legislation: [Read more...]

My Talk at SkepTech

I didn’t think it would be up that fast! My talk from this past weekend’s SkepTech conference is already up! It’s about fact-checking and following up with stories:

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Some Shameless Self-Promotion

I was recently a guest on The Left Hemispheres Podcast and the episode has just gone up! Give it a listen and subscribe to the podcast.

Also, a talk I gave at the Freethought Festival in Madison, Wisconsin was posted as well. It’s about how atheists should fact-check and follow-up on stories a lot better than we do right now. The talk has been revised a few times since I gave it here, and I hope to give it again in the future, but if you’re interested, here you go:

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New California Legislation Would Remove Tax Breaks from the Boy Scouts for Discriminating Against Atheists

The Boy Scouts of America are still considering letting in gay members and leaders — but even if their rules change, they would still forbid atheists from joining their organization. Katherine Stewart said as much in a recent article:

… the questionnaire, like much of the coverage surrounding it, is silent about the role of religion in shaping the Boy Scout’s discriminatory policies in another area, one that is distinct from and yet intimately connected with its bigotry toward gay people.

Adult leaders in the Boy Scouts must sign a Declaration of Religious Principles, and Scouts must take an oath “to do my duty to God”. Both adults and children can and have been excluded from the organization for lack of belief in a supreme being (or beings).

Now, California lawmakers may punish any group that discriminates against LGBT individuals or atheists. Sen. Ricardo Lara recently introduced Senate Bill 323 and it’ll have its first committee hearing tomorrow:

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