It Doesn’t Matter Whether Theists Believe in an Actual Devil or a General Force for Evil; It’s All Frightening to Me

Remember when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reminded all of us in an interview that he believes in the devil?

Can we talk about your drafting process–
[Leans in, stage-whispers.] I even believe in the Devil.

You do?
Of course! Yeah, he’s a real person. Hey, c’mon, that’s standard Catholic doctrine! Every Catholic believes that.

Every Catholic believes this? There’s a wide variety of Catholics out there …
If you are faithful to Catholic dogma, that is certainly a large part of it.

[The Devil] just got wilier.
He got wilier.

Isn’t it terribly frightening to believe in the Devil?
You’re looking at me as though I’m weird. My God! Are you so out of touch with most of America, most of which believes in the Devil? I mean, Jesus Christ believed in the Devil! It’s in the Gospels! You travel in circles that are so, so removed from mainstream America that you are appalled that anybody would believe in the Devil! Most of mankind has believed in the Devil, for all of history. Many more intelligent people than you or me have believed in the Devil.

At the time, I wrote that I was appalled that anyone, included conservative Catholics like Scalia, could hold that ridiculous belief:

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In Sacramento, an Astounding 55 Billboards with Atheist Messages Will Go Up

There must be a sale on billboard space in Sacramento, California, because the Sacramento chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation just purchased enough of it to put up 55 billboards over the next month as part of a massive publicity push. I’m almost positive that makes this the largest group of atheist billboards to ever go up at once. Each billboard features a local atheist (or family) along with a quotation of his/her choosing:

“They are going up to let the fellow non-believers know they are not alone,” said FFRF Sacramento President Judy Saint of Roseville.

There are so many billboards to choose from but here’s just a sampling of them:



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After Lawsuit Threat, Proselytizing Police Chief Now Saves Godly Messages for His Personal Facebook Page

Less than a week ago, I posted about how Harlem, Georgia Police Chief Gary Jones was using the police department’s Facebook page to keep citizens informed of not only local crime sprees, safety advice, and upcoming classes, but also how much everyone should love Jesus:

There were many more where those came from and the Freedom From Religion Foundation acted quickly, sending the department a letter warning them about how this was all very, very illegal. A lawsuit could be avoided if Jones simply stuck to using the department’s Facebook page for police-related matters and used his personal page to preach about Jesus.

Looks like Jones had a fun conversation with his superiors, since this is what he posted on the police department’s page earlier today:

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New Atheist Billboards Explain How Disaster Victims Don’t Need Religion, Bibles, or Prayer

The latest billboard campaign from American Atheists goes right to the heart of how we ought to respond to natural disasters: Do you pray and send Bibles? Or do you volunteer or send money?

AA says, over the course of six billboards in central New Jersey going up today, that we should stop asking for supernatural help. It doesn’t do anything of value to help the situation:



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After Coming Out As An Atheist, I Was Shunned by My Mother

This is a guest post by Catherine Dunphy. Dunphy is the Executive Director of the Clergy Project.

I’ve thought quite a bit over the past two years about the concept of shunning in religious families. It’s been in the back of my mind for a long time, a consequence that I knew I’d eventually have to face when my mother discovered the Clergy Project. I knew that the stakes would be high and that my mother’s religious beliefs would ultimately be an obstacle to our relationship.

On many occasions over the past decade, I have spoken briefly with her about my lack of faith. Though I never lied to her, I admit that I attempted to downplay my atheist activism. My efforts were to ensure transparency, but also to limit the details and frequency of these conversations so that we could carve out space where our relationship could thrive. It was, I had thought, a happy but uncomfortable truce.

Unfortunately, this strategy came crashing down a few short weeks ago, just before my birthday.

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