Secular Groups Send Money to Charlie Hebdo in a Show of Solidarity

In response to the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, the Freedom From Religion Foundation just sent the staff a donation of $20,000:



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Mormon Church Threatens to Excommunicate Podcaster Who Voiced Support for Marriage Equality & Ordination of Women

***Edit***: A version of this post went up earlier this afternoon, but it disappeared from the site. Might have been a tech glitch on our end. Sorry for the confusion.

It seems like every time the Mormon Church has the opportunity to take a lead on social or cultural issues, they shoot themselves in the foot. Just last year, when they had the chance to reach out to women, Mormon leaders excommunicated Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly.

And now they’ve done it again with a progressive Mormon podcaster. Laurie Goodstein of the New York Times has the story:

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Ellen DeGeneres Responds to Christian Bigot Accusing Her of Promoting a Gay Agenda

Pastor Larry Tomczak wrote a piece for the Christian Post last week in which he accused Ellen DeGeneres — along with the rest of Hollywood — of promoting a gay agenda:

“Ellen DeGeneres” celebrates her lesbianism and “marriage” in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls.

Sure…

(By the way, I’m used to seeing conservative Christians put “marriage” in quotation marks when referring to gay marriages… but why is Ellen’s name in quotation marks?)

Anyway, DeGeneres responded yesterday by picking apart Tomczak’s ridiculous statement:



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Christian Author of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven Recants Story, Saying “I Thought It Would Get Me Attention”

We’re used to hearing stories about children with Christian parents who, facing some tragedy, “go to Heaven” and then come back to tell us all about it. Colton Burpo, the subject of the late-2010 book Heaven is For Real, is perhaps the most famous example. (Dr. Eben Alexander wrote a similar sort of book, Proof of Heaven, in 2012.)

But before both of those books went viral, there was the story of Alex Malarkey, the subject of the mid-2010 book The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven:

Here’s the description of the book, published by Tyndale House:

In 2004, Kevin Malarkey and his six-year-old son, Alex, suffered an horrific car accident. The impact from the crash paralyzed Alex—and medically speaking, it was unlikely that he could survive. “I think Alex has gone to be with Jesus,” a friend told the stricken dad.

But two months later, Alex awoke from a coma with an incredible story to share. Of events at the accident scene and in the hospital while he was unconscious. Of the angels that took him through the gates of heaven itself. Of the unearthly music that sounded just terrible to a six-year-old. And, most amazing of all… Of meeting and talking to Jesus.

Last year, something weird happened. Alex’s mother Beth wrote on her blog that she basically disowned the book. It wasn’t just wrong on the theology; it was exaggerated:

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Watch These Christian Men Apologize for Allowing Women They Slept With to Have Abortions

In a video put out by anti-abortion group HeroicMedia, a bunch of male pastors explain how sorry they are for letting women have abortions.

They even say to the camera, “I had an abortion,” because abortions are really all about them. And then they apologize to everyone who’s ever had an abortion, since that’s what you all really wanted from them.



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