Can Atheists Marry Christians… and Make It Last?

Christianity Today asked a panel of experts whether interfaith marriage was ever okay, especially given the Biblical dictate about not being “unequally yoked.”

For the most part, the panel accepted interfaith marriages as a natural consequence of our society, but they had some limitations.

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Attorney: My Facebook Friends Said the Ten Commandments Monument on City Property is Okay, So It Should Stay Up

A couple of weeks ago, in Wyoming County, West Virginia, a group of church leaders built a Ten Commandments monument in front of the county courthouse. They did it without permission from county officials, a detail that makes this story all the more disturbing.

(Of course, even if they had received permission, it wouldn’t have made it okay.)

This is a pretty easy fix — either the church group needs to get that monument off the property, or the floodgates have opened and any group that wants to can put up a monument of their own.

County officials aren’t even considering that second option yet because they’re under the impression there’s nothing illegal about this. The best part is how one official is justifying it:

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Does Believing in God Really Lead to Better Psychiatric Treatment Outcomes?

A new study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders and reported on in the New York Times suggests that belief in God can lead to better outcomes for patients with mental health treatment:

Over all, those who rated their spiritual belief as most important to them appeared to be less depressed after treatment than those with little or no belief. They also appeared less likely to engage in self-harming behaviors.

“Patients who had higher levels of belief in God demonstrated more effects of treatment,” said the study’s lead author, David H. Rosmarin, a psychologist at McLean Hospital and director of the Center for Anxiety in New York. “They seemed to get more bang for their buck, so to speak.”

Does that mean God actually helps patients in a hospital?

No, of course not.

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What is Jainism?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series discusses Jainism, the religion in which I was raised and that held its annual convention last week in Detroit, Michigan.

In the video, I reference an old post detailing my problems with Jainism and you can read that post here.

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! [Read more...]

After Pastor’s Wife Lampoons Southern Baptists, His Church Wants Him to Resign

Last month, Angela Thomas wrote a pretty entertaining column for the Madisonville Messenger, a local newspaper in Kentucky. It poked fun at how the Southern Baptist Convention had voiced opposition to the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to allow in gay members:

Well, the Southern Baptist Convention has rejected the Boy Scouts of America. Thank goodness. It’s about time. They’ve already rejected the Democratic Party, Disney, the Teletubbies, and any Baptists that aren’t southern. So, it’s only natural that the Boy Scouts would be next, most likely followed by Betty Crocker (probably a lesbian), baseball (always going to Disneyworld when they win the World Series), and apple pie (eaten by Democrats, Mickey Mouse, Teletubbies…)

[Southern Baptists] are too sanctimonious to participate in Easter egg hunts and trick-or-treating. Santa and the Easter bunny are simply the devil in disguise, and cable television and the Internet are his playground. The Boy Scouts are his evil minions.

She went on to say that the rightward shift of Southern Baptists has turned them into “raging Shiite Baptists” and that they’re now the “crazy old paranoid uncle of evangelical Christians.”

I laughed. She makes good points! Southern Baptists often take their holier-than-thou attitudes too far and they really ought to let some things slide when they’re not big deals.

Her column wasn’t particularly offensive or mean — it was satirical more than anything else — but it’s causing quite the stir because her husband Bill Thomas happens to be an assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Madisonville.

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