After 2,800 Entries, Here’s a Secular Version of the Ten Commandments

To promote their new book Atheist Mind, Humanist Heart: Rewriting the Ten Commandments for the Twenty-first Century, authors Lex Bayer (a Silicon Valley entrepreneur) and John Figdor (the Humanist chaplain at Stanford University) held a contest in which atheists could suggest their own Commandments. Each winner would receive $1,000. (Disclosure: I was one of the judges.)

After 2,800 entries, the final list of Commandments is now out. What do you think?

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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 34: Rabia Chaudry, Catalyst for the Serial Podcast

***We’re relaunching our podcast today with a brand new website and an early release of our next episode!***

Our latest podcast guest is Rabia Chaudry, the catalyst for the Serial podcast.

Rabia is an attorney who specializes in immigration law, a National Security Fellow at the New America Foundation, and President of the Safe Nation Collaborative, an organization that, among other things, consults with federal agencies about how to counter violent extremism. She also writes at SplitTheMoon.com.

But you may know her best because she’s the person who brought the story of Adnan Syed to reporter Sarah Koenig, resulting in the Serial podcast phenomenon. Rabia’s little brother was Adnan’s best friend and their families were also close.

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This Promotional Video for the Christian Movie Do You Believe? Raises Multiple Red Flags

This is a guest post by Andrew Spitznas, M.D.. Andrew is a board-certified psychiatrist and member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association. He has contributed to the Tinsel blog in the past and is currently a regular contributor to 1 More Film Blog, both on Patheos. During the past decade or so, he’s progressively [Read More…]

New York Fire Department is Now Selling “Happy Birthday Jesus” T-Shirts

Earlier this week, we saw New York’s Utica Fire Department Station 4 promoting Christianity with a sign outside the firehouse reading “Happy Birthday Jesus.”

Besides the sign just looking and sounding childish, you could make the argument that it’s an illegal promotion of a single faith. That’s what the Freedom From Religion Foundation said in a letter.

The sign at Fire Station 4 explicitly invokes the name Jesus, an exclusively Christian god, and makes a direct statement in support of that deity… This is precisely the sort of religious endorsement prohibited by the Establishment Clause.

The department could, in theory, put up displays of other groups to remain neutral, but they were better off just removing the sign or handing it off to a church.

So what did the department choose to do?

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A Day After the Nebraska State Capitol Gets a Nativity Scene, an Atheist Sign Becomes Its Neighbor… Temporarily

Late last night, I heard that the Nebraska State Capitol building was home to a Nativity scene:

The small display, a cedar manger about 6 feet across and 4 feet high, was made possible by a Catholic-associated attorneys association that is seeking to place Nativity scenes in state capitols and other public places across the country.

“We want to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas,” said Omaha attorney Christine Delgado, who heads the Omaha branch of the Thomas More Society.

Nebraska State Capitol Administrator Bob Ripley said Thursday that he has not fielded any requests for competing displays, but he added that some people have asked if other religions could erect displays.

“Believe me, if we allow a Christian religion to come in, we’d allow any other religion to come in,” Ripley said. “Short of something in poor taste or illegal.”

Great! Because atheists know how to play this game by now. And wouldn’t you know it, just hours later, Scott Braley, a member of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, had put up an atheist sign:

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