Forget the Pale Blue Dot; Check Out the Tiny Little Sliver

The team at Wait But Why put together this amazing snapshot of our lives right now… and then keeps pulling back to reveal where our lives are with respect to the past week, the past year, the past century, the past millennium, etc.

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Americans United Files Brief Against Sectarian Prayers at City Council Meetings with Supreme Court

On November 6, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Town of Greece v. Galloway, a case that could decide the fate of invocation prayers at city council meetings. (My summary of the case, the people involved, and the arguments they’ll likely make can be read here.)

Earlier today, Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed its official brief with the Court — all 78 pages of it — and they responded to the right-wing talking points right up front:

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Project Reason Will Match All Donations to the Secular Student Alliance Over the Next Month, Up to $30,000

I’ve written a couple of times about the need for the Secular Safe Zone and why we need to make sure young atheists feel safe and comfortable in their non-religious identities:

Just a day after the Atlantic published a story on how some students were bullied for not believing in God, Sam Harris came through with a very exciting announcement: Project Reason, the non-profit group run by Harris and his wife, will be matching all donations to the Secular Student Alliance over the next month, up to $30,000.

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After Her Teacher Compared Atheism to Smoking (Saying Humans Naturally Rejected Both), a Young Atheist Took Action

The summer before Sara Sheppard began her senior year of high school in Katy, Texas, she took an Economics class. Her teacher was well-liked by the students but Sara noticed that he spent a lot of time talking about Christianity in the classroom:

As the semester went by I realized that his passion for passing on his knowledge was not focused on economics but focused on religion, prayer, and spirituality. Instead of teaching economics he would teach us that certain historical people were among the greatest because of their spiritual enlightenment. He also expressed to the students that it was human nature to have a spiritual and religious component, therefore making atheists unnatural and against human nature. This teacher went so far with this idea to even compare atheism to smoking and how the body originally rejects smoking just like “the mind rejects the concept of atheism.”

Even though she called him out on that last statement, explaining that he shouldn’t say things like that in the classroom, it didn’t change anything.

Reporting his conduct didn’t seem like a safe option — it could have made her a target of students and other teachers. So Sara did the next best thing.

She recorded the lectures with her iPhone.

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College Atheist Group Advertises New Service for Religious Doubters with Unique Campaign

Have you ever driven down the highway and seen a series of Christian signs just lodged into the ground on the side of the road, one after another, telling you to repent or you’re go to hell?

I’d never seen an atheist version of that until now — but the Atheists, Humanists, & Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin – Madison did something very similar to that on the side of Bascom Hill, a popular thoroughfare on campus. It was all part of a service they’re offering called “Faith Questioning,” the goal of which is not to create new atheists, but to help anyone unsure of where they stand come to a stronger understanding of their own beliefs:

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