Gimme That Old-Time Religion: A Growing Number of Greeks Bow To Zeus, Apollo, and Hera

Talk about nostalgia! Public Radio International has a pretty entertaining piece from Greece about the Return of the Hellenes,

… a movement trying to bring back the religion, values, philosophy and way of life of ancient Greece, more than 16 centuries after it was replaced by Christianity.

Remember the good old days? Neither do they, but that doesn’t prevent them from worshiping the dodecatheon, including the long-moribund deities Zeus, Apollo, and Hera. The New Hellenes don’t pray to the old gods, they say, but they do hold them worthy of veneration (as representations of things like beauty, health, and wisdom), and some revivalists offer them sacrifices such as flowers, fruit, milk, and honey.

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TIME Cover Story Wrongly Attacks Atheists for Not Helping Out Victims of Oklahoma Tornadoes

The cover story in this week’s Time magazine, written by Joe Klein, is all about how volunteering and doing service projects may help curb the effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on our veterans:

As part of his reporting, Klein joined one of the disaster relief groups and worked at a site damaged by the Oklahoma tornadoes… and that’s when he wrote this:

… there was an occupying army of relief workers, led by local first responders, exhausted but still humping it a week after the storm, church groups from all over the country — funny how you don’t see organized groups of secular humanists giving out hot meals — and there in the middle of it all, with a purposeful military swagger, were the volunteers from Team Rubicon.

Wow. My jaw dropped while reading that because it’s absolutely not true.

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Is Atheism a Religion?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Is atheism a religion?

I can’t believe I left out my favorite response: If atheism is a religion, then bald is a hair color, “off” is a TV channel, and health is a disease :)

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! [Read more…]

City of Evansville Approves Downtown Public ‘Art Exhibit’ of 30 Decorated Crosses

In Evansville, Indiana, 30 decorated crosses will soon be erected in public spaces, right on the city’s downtown riverfront. But don’t worry, they’re really sculptures, so it’s all in the name of art, as well as for the good of the people:

We’re doing it on behalf of the community. We will feel like it will bring people to the riverfront who wouldn’t otherwise come.”

That comment is courtesy of Roger Lehman, the West Side Christian Church member who successfully requested permission from Evansville’s Board of Public Works.

The polyethylene crosses — which will be temporary, going up this August 4th for about two weeks — are going to be decorated by children attending a Bible camp at the church.

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The 10 Things to Remember When Lobbying a Government Official

Since working as legal counsel for the Iowa legislature, Amanda Knief has held positions of tremendous responsibility within our movement. She worked as the lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America and currently serves as the Managing Director for American Atheists.

She is the perfect person, really, to write a book about how regular citizens can become effective lobbyists because she’s been doing it herself for years, with and without an official title.

Amanda’s new book on the subject is called The Citizen Lobbyist: A How-to Manual for Making Your Voice Heard in Government (Pitchstone Publishing, 2013). It’s all about what lobbying actually is and why you should do it — a great blueprint for grassroots activism that’s ideal for casual reading and high school libraries. The Kindle version of the book will be available on July 1st, but the paperback is available right now.

In the exclusive excerpt below, Amanda explains the 10 things to remember when lobbying an elected official:

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