Candy Crush Saga is Like Religion Because…

After getting stuck on another level of Candy Crush Saga, I prompted people on Twitter…


… and you all responded brilliantly:

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Washington, D.C. Passes Law to Allow Atheists To Officiate Wedding Ceremonies

It used to be that the only people who could officiate your wedding ceremony in Washington, D.C. were representatives of religious groups:

The officiant is any District of Columbia Judge or anyone who is authorized by a religious organization to officiate marriages, such as a minister, priest, rabbi or imam, so long as he or she is registered with the Marriage Bureau to officiate marriages.

Humanist and Secular Celebrants did not count, so atheists were pretty much left in the dark. They could fake it and get a religious person to solemnize their vows… or they could just have a court wedding.

Back in February, D.C. City Council member (and candidate for Mayor) Tommy Wells tried to change that when he introduced a bill that would create “one-day officiant permit[s]” that didn’t require a religious organization to sponsor you.

Today, Mayor Vincent Gray signed that bill, the Marriage Officiant Amendment Act Of 2013, into law.

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In College Town Where Students Observe the Sabbath, Same-Sex Partners of Government Employees Will Receive Benefits

Collegedale, Tennessee was founded as the home for Southern Adventist University and has a huge Seventh-day Adventist population.

The school is so religious, in fact, that it actually observes the Sabbath (as Adventists do). This is from the student handbook (PDF):

That’s why it’s a bit surprising (and amazing) that Collegedale just became the first city in Tennessee to extend benefits to same-sex partners of its government employees:

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Christian Apologist Robin Schumacher Is Back for Round Two

Yesterday, I posted a rebuttal to Part 1 of Robin Schumacher‘s article at the Christian Post trying to take down my argument that atheists are helping draw people away from the Christian church (as a whole).

Schumacher is now back with Part 2.

Here’s his first issue:

Mr. Mehta says, “The myth surrounding Jesus is part of the problem with Christianity… To believe in Jesus means believing that he was born of a virgin, rose from the dead and performed a number of miracles. There’s no proof of any of that ever happened”.

Says who?

Let’s just stop there. Says who? Says anyone who doesn’t believe in magical fairydust and unicorns. Says anyone who has never seen these things happen in the modern day. Says anyone who needs some damn good evidence to believe in the supernatural.

But Schumacher says he has evidence of those things!

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He Shouldn’t Have to Say ‘So Help Me God’ At His Graduation Today

***Update***: Jason Torpy of the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers tells me that the situation has been resolved and Bise will receive both a secular written form and take a secular oath. More information on “So Help Me God” oath issues can be found here.

The American Humanist Association responds:

Air Force officials have agreed to administer a secular oath and to allow a revision of the written oath the Officer Trainee was required to sign to remove the “so help me God” reference. Maj. Stewart L. Rountree has written attorneys for the American Humanist Association and the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers that the entire graduating class will be informed of the option to take a secular oath and apologized for the error. “Our previous legal advisors were mistaken in advising us that it was required,” Maj. Roundtree wrote. “Our current legal advisors made me aware and we will ensure it reaches all corners of our program.”

Today, Jonathan Bise will become an officer in the United States Air Force. However, he’s been told he will have to say an oath with the phrase “so help me God” in order to graduate — no substitutions allowed. As a non-religious person, the government can’t make anyone take a pledge like that, and the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center is trying to put a stop to it before it’s too late:

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