Indian Atheists Celebrate ‘Hug An Atheist Day’

Nirmukta, an organization promoting freethought in India, is celebratingHug an Atheist Day” today with all of the other atheist groups in the country:

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I Love the Changes to Reddit Atheism

If you visited Reddit Atheism in the past year or two, you undoubtedly came across a lot of memes like this:

But new changes to the site have virtually removed those items in favor of articles and discussions with more substance to them.

It’s a welcome change.

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Calling All Atheist Medical School Students

I’m working on a project and I’d like to bounce some ideas off of medical school students who are currently in (or finishing) their M1 year or anyone starting med school in the fall.

I guarantee anonymity. I won’t spam you or give your emails to anyone else. This is purely for me, so I can ask you all some questions.

If you wouldn’t mind being my sounding board, just send me an email with your name, year in med school, and where you go (or will go).

Thanks in advance! [Read more…]

Pennsylvania Could Finally Repeal Mandatory Bible-Reading Law… 50 Years After the Supreme Court Declared it Unconstitutional

June 17th will mark the 50th anniversary of Abington School District v. Schempp, the Supreme Court case that finally ended mandatory Bible readings in public schools.

Abington Senior High School, where a young Ellery Schempp took a stand against reading the Bible, is in Pennsylvania, which is why it might strike you as a little strange that the Public School Code of 1949 — the document explaining how the state’s public schools must operate and which gets amended when needed — still includes Section 1516, laying out how “at least ten verses from the Holy Bible shall be read, without comment, at the opening of each public school on each school day”:

Yes, it’s completely unenforceable. Yes, the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. But it’s still in the books.

But if Rep. Mark Cohen gets his way, Section 1516 will soon be eliminated.

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House Republicans Denigrate Atheist Chaplains in Military, Saying They Would Make a ‘Mockery of the Chaplaincy’

In 2012, there were no chaplains for atheists in the military while Christians had all they needed and then some:

It’s long overdue, but non-religious chaplains had a chance to be included in the Army Chaplains Corps thanks to Rep. Rob Andrews (D-NJ).

Yesterday, Andrews (an Episcopalian) suggested an amendment (PDF) to the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act that would bring Humanist, ethical culturist, or atheist chaplains to the military:

The Secretary of Defense shall provide for the appointment, as officers in the Chaplain Corps of the Armed Forces, of persons who are certified or ordained by non-theistic organizations and institutions, such as humanist, ethical culturalist, or atheist.

That’s an amendment that no reasonable person would object to.

So, of course, Republicans objected to it:

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