This Major Interfaith Organization Now Includes More Non-Theists Than Ever Before

The Interfaith Youth Core, a group that supports religious pluralism and promotes dialogue about faith and service projects on college campuses, has long had a reputation for being antagonistic to atheists. While their staff and membership always included some people without religious faith and there’s nothing wrong with promoting cooperation and dialogue and service, IFYC would ignore the simple fact that many religious beliefs are simply harmful — in addition to being just plain wrong. While everyone supports respecting religious people, many atheists cannot, for good reason, get behind respecting certain religious ideas. IFYC prefers singing “Kumbaya” than face the reality of what religion has wrought.

It didn’t help that IFYC’s founder, Eboo Patel, compared drawing stick figures of Muhammad (an act of free speech) to screaming “Nigger” in the middle of Harlem, or strawmanned the New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris by suggesting they were incapable of performing an “intimate act of mercy” for a dying religious person, or argued that Christopher Hitchens and Dawkins were primarily interested in “offending religious people” and not pointing out that religious beliefs often have no basis in evidence-based truth.

Despite the tone-deaf Patel’s obvious ignorance of the intentions of the atheist authors and his desire to slam notable atheists whenever he gets a chance (with the exception of the few he’s worked with on a regular basis, myself included), IFYC as an organization has done better in recent years with including atheists in their projects. They’ve even partnered with the Secular Student Alliance on occasion.

In a recent survey of its alumni — not a scientific poll, by any means, but a reflection of the people who graduated from their programs — IFYC revealed something astonishing: Nearly a quarter of the respondents were non-religious:

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If You Support Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson, This is What You’re Really Defending

To all those Christians who are planning to rally behind Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson on “Chick-Phil-A” Day and beyond, let’s remind everybody what exactly you’re supporting so that we have a(nother) record of how truly awful you are.

We already know about Robertson’s homophobia and how he believes it’s on par with bestiality when it comes to sin:

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VeggieTales Creator Says Christians Fear Teaching Critical Thinking Skills Because ‘Our Kids Will Actually Use Them’

A couple of months ago, Philosophy professor Peter Boghossian released a book with a very blunt title: A Manual for Creating Atheists.

Phil Vischer, the Christian creator of the popular VeggieTales series, discussed the book (with his faith-filled colleagues) on his podcast recently and the discussion around the 40:15 mark is striking for how honest it is regarding the intersection of Christianity and critical thinking:

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The 10 Most Popular Posts on This Site: 2013 Edition

Here’s the yearly countdown of the most popular posts on this site:

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At the Last Second, Supreme Court Blocks Affordable Care Act Contraception Mandate

When you consider that the Supreme Court has six Catholics on the bench, maybe this news isn’t too surprising: Justice Sonia Sotomayor, just before heading to Times Square to help drop the ball and ring in the new year, blocked the part of the Affordable Care Act that would have mandated certain religiously-affiliated organizations provide comprehensive health care to their employees.

Her ruling means that, for now, certain religiously-affiliated businesses will not have to provide health insurance that includes birth control to their workers. The government has until Friday to respond.

Here’s a little more information about what’s going on:

[This post is still being updated]

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