Secular Invocation in DeLand, Florida Includes Charlie Chaplin Line: “In This World There is Room for Everyone”

Last night, during a meeting of the DeLand City Commission in Florida, Jake Lee Smith delivered that city’s first-ever secular invocation:



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New United Arab Emirates Anti-Discrimination Law Will Punish Vocal Atheists Who Criticize Religion

You’ll be happy to know that President Sheikh Khalifa of Abu Dhabi just enacted a new law making it a crime to discriminate on the basis of “religion, caste, creed, doctrine, race, colour or ethnic origin.”

Just one problem with that. They’re not kidding about protecting people on the basis of religion:

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Black Skeptics LA Announce Winners of “First in the Family” College Scholarships

I mentioned back in April that the group Black Skeptics Los Angeles was giving out “First in the Family” scholarships, aimed at helping students who were the first in their family to go to college. This year, the Freedom From Religion Foundation gave the group a $10,000 grant to expand the program:

They just announced the winners, and when you read excepts from their essays, you can tell the scholarships are helping a lot of promising individuals:

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On Friday, An Atheist Officiated the First-Ever Gay Wedding in Puerto Rico

On Friday, writers Yolanda Arroyo Pizarro and Zulma Oliveras Vega joined together in the first-ever gay wedding in Puerto Rico.

And Luis R. Ramos (below), a Humanist celebrant, officiated the historic event.



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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 64: Dr. Paul Offit, Vaccine Expert

Our latest podcast guest is Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert.

Dr. Offit is the director of the Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of Vaccinology and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. He’s written tons of published peer-reviewed papers and received countless awards for his work. His latest book, Bad Faith, is all about how religious belief can undermine modern medicine.

On the day of taping, California had just passed a law making vaccinations all but mandatory, Jim Carrey had gone on a Twitter rant about vaccines, and a woman had died of measles.

We spoke with Dr. Offit about why people still don’t get vaccinated, how he responds to the most common arguments offered by anti-vaxxers, and why Bill Maher is wrong when he says we don’t need to get flu shots.

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