This VICE News Segment Documents the Difficulties of Escaping Islam

When you decide to leave Islam, bad things can happen, as a number of ex-Muslims can tell you. Apostasy is considered a crime deserving of death in some circles.

In this gripping video, VICE News followed a London-based network that helps rescue former Muslims.


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The Pledge of Allegiance Is Well Past Its Expiration Date

At Salon, the American Humanist Association’s David Niose has a wonderful article about why the Pledge of Allegiance is a bad ritual not only for the “Under God” bit, but also because it’s contrary to the very ideals our country claims to hold so dear:


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9 Basic Bible Facts That Atheists Should Know

Three favorite expressions that saturate the pious language of Christian fundamentalists are “biblical values,” “biblical principles,” and “biblical worldview.” For example, the stridently anti-marriage-equality restaurant chain Chick-fil-A asserts that their operation is based on Biblical values because they condemn birth control, divorce, and same-sex marriage — plus they’re closed on Sundays. Similarly, Dave Ramsey’s franchised Financial Peace University purports to be a “biblically-based curriculum that teaches people how to handle money God’s way.”

Thousands of other so-called Christian businesses derive their values, principles, and world-views from a highly selective and thoroughly misleading reading of scripture, disregarding all of the terrible material that predominates in holy writ. One common theme stresses the “biblical three Rs”: repentance, redemption, and reconciliation. But the true overarching theme is actually punishment, punishment, punishment.

To be effective defenders of the secular perspective, Atheists must be prepared to attack the Christian perspective at its point of greatest vulnerability, which is the Bible itself. Rather than just playing defense against the endless assaults by fundamentalist zealots, it is essential to go on the offense, armed with knowledge about the errors, terrors, and contradictions that permeate “God’s word.”

This article summarizes nine categories of basic facts that should be useful to Atheists who find themselves entangled in Bible discussions. Of course, there is no substitute for actually reading the so-called “good book,” which is exactly what many Christians do not do. “Good book” is a monstrous misnomer for this detestable compilation of holy horrors. These nine categories are roughly ordered chronologically, from the beginning to the end of the scriptural story.

Jeopardy cartoon

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How Some West Virginia Businesses Are Responding to the State’s “Religious Freedom” Bill

On Thursday, the West Virginia House of Representatives passed HB 4012 (introduced as SB 11), which would be the state’s version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The bill, which would offer a way for religious business owners to discriminate against LGBT customers (along with anyone else who offended their faith-based sensibilities), got through the House with a 72-26 vote and is headed for the Senate, where Republicans have an 18-16 advantage.

Many businesses in the state, however, are now making it known that they don’t support the bill and welcome all customers.

This is what tolerance and inclusiveness look like.

Sam’s Uptown Cafe:


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Richard Dawkins Says His Health Prevents Him from Attending NECSS Conference

For the handful of you still interested, Richard Dawkins has declined to attend the NECSS conference after being invited, then disinvited, then reinvited.

He said in a letter to emcee Jamy Ian Swiss, published on his website, that his health prevented him from attending the May conference:


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