What Should Atheists Parents Do When Their Child Wants to Get Baptized?

In a piece for the Guardian, James Harrington writes about he and his wife — both atheists — send their daughter to a local (French) Catholic school known for its high-quality education. They don’t mind the once-a-week catechism classes because, to them, the benefits of the school far outweigh the time their girl spends getting indoctrinated, but now there’s a slight problem: the daughter wants to get baptized.

Here’s what I appreciate. They may be a bit taken aback by that, but they’re not going to stop her. In fact, they’re proud that she made such an important decision like that for herself:

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I’ll Be Closing the Fundraiser for the Pastor ‘Trying Out’ Atheism in a Few Days

Just a heads up: I plan to close the fundraiser for Pastor Ryan Bell Friday night. You’ve already raised $27,000, which is just incredible. I’ll mail him the check next week. Bell has assured me he’ll be transparent with how he uses it and he’s deeply appreciative of the support he’s received from our community.

In the meantime, CNN’s Daniel Burke asked several prominent atheists what they thought of Bell’s experiment to explore atheism for a year… and got a wide variety of responses about whether or not that was even possible:

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Teacher Who Raped One of Her Students Says, Before Heading to Jail, That Jesus Has Saved Her

Last Friday, 28-year-old former Mobile, Alabama high school math teacher Alicia Gray was sentenced to five years of probation (after serving several months in prison) after being convicted of sleeping with one of her (allegedly) 14-year-old students:

As a condition of the probation, Gray will no longer be allowed to be employed with minors, and was required to surrender her teaching certificate to the Alabama Department of Education at once.

The former math teacher at Mary G. Montgomery [High School] surrendered to the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 25, 2013, and was charged with second-degree sodomy, second-degree sexual abuse and being a school employee who has had sexual contact with a student younger than 19. It was alleged that her victim was 14 years old at the time of the incident.

I’m sure there will be a lot of discussion about the light sentence and the double-standard at work here (would the sentence have been the same if it were a male teacher and a female student?), but what really stands out is her apology.

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Is There a Connection Between Religion and Ethics?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Is there a connection Between religion and ethics?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Tennessee Newspaper Op-Ed Piece Says Sexual Liberation Leads to ‘Abortion, Broken Homes, and Men’s Contempt’

The Kingsport Times-News (Tennessee) has published some indefensible opinion pieces in the past. There was one defending the Boy Scouts of America’s separate-but-equal theory of allowing gay scouts but not gay scout leaders. Then, there was the one by Mark Atkins claiming homosexuality is a disorder.

And now, Atkins is back to argue against consensual pre-marital sex because… well, you’ll see:

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