10 Facts That Make Religion Interesting For Anyone

I’m an atheist who loves religion. By that, I don’t mean that I believe in the supernatural or that I enjoy terrible acts committed in the name of faith; I mean I love learning about different religions and their histories, from the ancient Greek “mythologies” to the stories present in religions embraced widely today, I genuinely enjoy learning about the cultures that created them. I majored in Religious Studies in college so that I could look at these traditions from an academic and phenomenological approach and found that they are more interesting than many people realize. Here’s what you may not know about some major world religions (or otherwise popular supernatural beliefs):

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Kids in Ireland Now Taught That an “Afraid and Confused” Mary Said “Yes” to God Impregnating Her

The virgin birth has always been a point of contention for atheists. Not just because it’s implausible, but also because Mary didn’t consent to being impregnated by God and isn’t that pretty messed up?

Apparently not. In many schools in Ireland, six-year-olds are now being taught that Mary gave an enthusiastic “Yes” to God.

According to a new religious education class called “Grow in Love,” used in primary schools throughout the country, one lesson notes that an “afraid and confused” Mary who “did not understand what God was asking of her” consented to getting knocked up by the Lord.

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Teenager Beaten to Death Was Being Counseled by Church Members for His Supposed “Sins”

We now know a little more about the teenager who was beaten to death by his parents and four other members of their church. And it only makes the story worse.

The big question people have had is why six adults (members of the same church) beat two teenagers, killing one of them. Here’s what apparently happened:

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Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz Discuss Islam with Lawrence O’Donnell

On last night’s episode of The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz about their new book about Islam. So if you like interviews where people aren’t shouting at each other, have at it:

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Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office (TX) Puts Bible Verse Sticker on All Vehicles

One of the complains I often hear about atheist groups is that they complain about the smallest things. Does it really matter if, say, the government gives money to a faith-based charity or if a principal acknowledges a God at graduation?

The answer is always the same: You have to point out those small violations, even if the courts won’t act on them, because once Christians realize they can get away with it, those actions become “tradition” and form the basis for even more egregious violations down the road.

Case in point: check out what’s happening at the Hemphill County Sheriff’s Office in Texas. We’ve seen “In God We Trust” decals all over the state, so they’re taking it a step further, explicitly putting a Bible verse on their vehicles:

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