Secretary of State John Kerry: Freedom to ‘Not Believe’ is a ‘Birthright of Every Human Being’

Earlier today, the U.S. State Department released the 2012 International Religious Freedom Report. The annual report sheds light on abuses of religious freedom worldwide and reinforces America’s commitment to make those freedoms “an integral part of our global diplomatic engagement.”

Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at an event marking the release of the report and his speech, too, celebrated the freedom to not believe in God:

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How Can Christians Witness to Atheists? One Pastor Thinks He Knows

In his “Ask a Pastor” column, Pastor R.A. MacDonald answered this question from a reader: “How can I witness to an atheist?”

I understand why someone would want to ask that question, but MacDonald didn’t give him a well-thought-out answer. Instead, he tossed out a series of straw men and stereotypes.

Like when he explained what atheists believe:

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Getting Married without God

Of all the posts I’ve done on this site, the ones that talk about atheist weddings and secular wedding vows still get hits long after they’ve been published. People are always looking for examples of how to have a non-religious ceremony and there just aren’t a lot of great resources out there.

Amanda Greene of Wilmington Faith & Values picked up on that and wrote an article about the rise in secular wedding ceremonies and Secular/Humanist celebrants:

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Another Westboro Baptist Church Defector Tells Her Story

How many members of the Westboro Baptist Church can defect before the whole place crumbles? Rhetorical question, perhaps, but following the stories of Lauren Drain and Megan Phelps-Roper and her sister Grace and atheist Nate Phelps, we have yet another story of a God Hates Fags church member who is no longer with them.

Fred Phelps‘ granddaughter Libby Phelps actually gave interviews about her defection earlier this year, but a Los Angeles Times article tackles the issue in a bit more depth:

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Virginia’s Republican Candidate for Lieutenant Governor Believes the Democratic Party is a ‘Coalition of the Godless’

The Virginia Governor’s race is already shaping up to be incredibly expensive and polarizing, pitting former Democratic National Committee chair Terry McAuliffe against Tea Party darling (and textbook conservative Christian) Ken Cuccinelli.

It’s easy to list off the things Cuccinelli has said/done that should discredit him in the eyes of any rational person:

But the race just got more interesting on Saturday after Bishop E.W. Jackson was nominated as the Republican Party’s pick for Lieutenant Governor.

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