Teenager Dies from Blunt Force Trauma at the Hands of His Christian Parents and Other Church Members

There was a story making the rounds yesterday about a New York teenager who was beaten to death by his parents and four other members of their church… for reasons that we still don’t understand. But the mystery is part of the problem.

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Let’s Embrace the AFHSQ

AFHSQ is an acronym that stands for Atheist, Freethinker, Humanist, Secularist, and Questioning.

Even in my household, where we can all agree on most things and find acceptance, we still differ on our label to express a version of our “non-belief.” For us, “atheism” seems to attract the strong renegade type while “Humanist” applies to the more amiable thoughtful one.

Many articles have expressed the same frustration, within the scope of atheism itself. Valerie Tarico raised the issue a few years ago:

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In Short Film, Baptist Preacher Has to Choose Between Church and His Lesbian Daughter

Apple Ng grew up in a Christian family in Hong Kong. She knows how hard it is to come out as LGBT in the religious world, but knows that the tension is even worse in Asian cultures.

She’s working on a short film to highlight that conflict:

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Indian Officials Ask Astrologers to Prevent Tragedies During Major Hindu Pilgrimage

Following the stampede at Mecca last month, officials in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh are determined to make sure nothing like that happens at next April’s Simhastha (a Hindu pilgrimage). That’s why they’re spending money on the best kind of security:

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I’m an Atheist and I Attend Umpqua Community College

My name is Alex and I attend Umpqua Community College.

I was not there on the day of the shooting, though I was scheduled to attend an afternoon class later that day. My contribution in the chaos was making and constantly updating an extensive list of survivors, which was passed around Facebook from my personal page and from a separate page which I made especially for it. From the comments I saw, that gesture seemed to help a lot of people, so I’m grateful I could help out in some small way.

I did not know the shooter or any of the victims, though I know people who knew the shooter well, and they are very shaken up about it. I also was cast in a play in which the shooter was supposed to be a production assistant. When my mother found that out last week, she had to go lie down for a while.

In the past few days, I have seen a lot of people online passing around this cartoon claiming that God can’t prevent school shootings because he’s not allowed in school:

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