The Los Angeles County Seal Will Soon Have a Cross on It

For almost a decade now, this has been the seal of Los Angeles County in California:

There’s a lot going on there, but check out the center right image. That’s supposed to represent the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel, a Catholic mission dating back hundreds of years. It’s conspicuously missing a cross because, from 1987-2009, the actual building didn’t have one (due to it being destroyed in an earthquake, then stolen). It wasn’t until 2009 that the cross was restored on the building.

So now, some members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors want to change the seal to reflect that. Which is verrrrry convenient considering how often Christians try to get crosses on government seals…

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Why the Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate May Not Be Such a Bad Thing

You may have heard that Bill Nye the Science Guy will be debating Creationist Ken Ham at the Creation Museum on February 4. The topic is “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” and the tickets were sold out almost immediately.

I’ve made it clear that I’m not a fan of the debate, and in the latest Humanist Network News, Brian Magee also explains why Nye is making a big mistake:

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This is How You Pray Correctly

Mrs. Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian, gives us the DOs and DON’Ts of prayer:



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A Few Thoughts About Fundraising

Heina Dadabhoy at Skepchick asks a good question about why so many atheists have been eager to donate to the fundraiser about Ryan Bell, the pastor giving atheism a try, yet not nearly as enthusiastic to donate to the Women’s Leadership Project (WLP), a “feminist humanist mentoring and civic engagement program in South L.A. serving young women of color.”

When I re-posted the link to the WLP project last night, I got responses that attempted to explain why it didn’t garner as much attention and raise as much money as the fundraiser for Ryan J. Bell. There were the “well, what did you expect?/Welcome to reality where page views and click-bait rule” type; these express a sense of capitulation and resignation to the status quo that I do not share. However, most of them were more along the lines of “Oh, I never heard of this so it must not have been promoted enough.

One of my friends is a Christian minister and he jokes that every atheist in America must have at least 3 websites apiece. He is on-point in that we godless types tend to have strong Internet presences. It’s about time that we take a good, hard look at which causes and individuals we choose to follow, talk about, and promote using these platforms.

A few thoughts on all of this:

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A Dangerously Incurious Pope

This is a guest post written by Herb Silverman.

I can’t say I’m surprised that Pope Francis (above) was Time magazine’s Person of the Year. And as an atheist, I’m not particularly disappointed by the decision. While Pope Francis hasn’t changed Church doctrine, he has at least changed its emphasis. I prefer a pope like Francis who focuses more on poverty and economic inequality than on birth control and gay marriage. I would have been more enthusiastic about Time’s choice had the Pope also acknowledged that birth control can help reduce poverty and that loving couples should not be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. In such an anachronistic and powerful institution, I would welcome small but significant reforms to Catholic Church doctrines that affect many outside the institution.

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