A Reminder That the Original Gettysburg Address Did Not Include the Words ‘Under God’

Today marks the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and you’ll undoubtedly hear revisionist Christian historians talk about how even Lincoln’s address featured the words “Under God”:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting-place for those who here gave their lives, that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate – we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have, thus far, so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Just one problem with that. It’s not the original version of the speech.

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Slate Mischaracterizes Non-Religious Billionaires in Its ‘Exclusive Circles’ Animation

Ben Blatt and Nicholas Duchesne of Slate put together an animation showing the various characteristics of the world’s richest people — their ages, genders, sources of wealth, etc.

So you know I had to click on the “Religion” tab:

Only two Agnostics? Really?

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How Atheists Can Help Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses How atheists can help victims of Typhoon Haiyan:

A quick note: After Foundation Beyond Belief quickly raised $50,000 for Citizens’ Disaster Response Center, we realized there was also a strong need for medical and search-and-rescue missions in the area, so we decided to send all additional donations to Team Rubicon, “an outstanding organization of military veterans repurposing their skills for disaster relief.” Therefore, all crisis donations through FBB will be sent to them.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Ask An Atheist Panel at Elmhurst College

The Secular Student Alliance of Elmhurst College (in Illinois) is hosting an open-to-the-public Ask An Atheist panel this Thursday evening at 5:00p and I’ll be joining them to answer questions. If you can make it, all the info is right here!



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A One-Time Catholic Priest Argues That the Celibacy Requirement is ‘Destructive’

Thomas Groome was an ordained Catholic priest in the late 1960s — the kind who preached about marriage without ever being married himself — but it wasn’t long before he began thinking seriously about the whole “priests can’t get married” and “you must remain celibate” things… it wasn’t just out of selfishness. He now believes a change to those outdated and unnecessary rules could help the Catholic faith:

I’ve worked at Boston College for 37 years, and I couldn’t count the number of young men across the years — I would literally say hundreds — who have said to me they’d love to be a priest but they don’t want to accept the celibacy requirement. They want to get married, have a family, which is a perfectly natural desire built into us by almighty God. And to be turning away such high-quality young people or to be sending away some of our finest priests because they wanted to marry seemed, at least, problematic.

This, to me, just speaks to the higher problems within the Church — the same ones Pope Francis is fighting against right now. As relatively progressive as he might be, it’s his Catholicism that holds him back from being even more of a force for good.

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