Can Atheists Date Christians?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Can atheists date Christians?

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…]

Washington, D.C. Passes Law to Allow Atheists To Officiate Wedding Ceremonies

It used to be that the only people who could officiate your wedding ceremony in Washington, D.C. were representatives of religious groups:

The officiant is any District of Columbia Judge or anyone who is authorized by a religious organization to officiate marriages, such as a minister, priest, rabbi or imam, so long as he or she is registered with the Marriage Bureau to officiate marriages.

Humanist and Secular Celebrants did not count, so atheists were pretty much left in the dark. They could fake it and get a religious person to solemnize their vows… or they could just have a court wedding.

Back in February, D.C. City Council member (and candidate for Mayor) Tommy Wells tried to change that when he introduced a bill that would create “one-day officiant permit[s]” that didn’t require a religious organization to sponsor you.

Today, Mayor Vincent Gray signed that bill, the Marriage Officiant Amendment Act Of 2013, into law.

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Here’s Another Way the Internet Hurts Churches

A lot of people go to church, not because they believe all the religious nonsense, but because they enjoy the community.

Why do they love the community? Because, among other things, it’s a great place to meet someone to date… and possibly marry.

And what happens when the Internet comes along with JDate and Match and OkCupid and all the other dating sites? You meet a mate online instead.

And what happens when you meet a mate online? All those people who went to church simply to find a spouse stop going to church.

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Forget Purity; Here’s What You Should Really Teach Your Daughters About Sex

Houston Press blogger Jef With One F is sick of all the modesty/abstinence-only/purity culture stuff he keeps reading about and he’s come up with a fantastic list of ten things he plans to tell his daughter about sex (when she’s old enough to handle it):

I’m not looking forward to it, to tell the truth, but if the alternative is fetishizing chastity while giving Oedipus a handie then by God I’m going in full guns blazing.

10. That sex is beautiful and fun as hell, but so is driving a car and a bunch of other things that come with responsibilities. You need to ask yourself if you can handle those. I knew I couldn’t be trusted with a car at 16, so I didn’t ask for one. Same with sex. I waited until I knew I was with someone that wouldn’t use me wrong and knew what they were doing. You shouldn’t be afraid of it, but you should respect its possible consequences, such a pregnancy, disease, and just the general mess that sometimes come from sleeping with someone you shouldn’t have.

6. You cannot be “ruined,” by an act. You can only be ruined if you let shame and self-loathing consume you, and even then there is always a path back into the light. This goes double for someone trying to convince you sex is evil. That person was either hurt badly or seriously misled.

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Non-Religious Weddings Are on the Rise in Ireland

Just weeks after I posted about the rise of godless funerals in Ireland, there’s another trend worth noting in the country:

Demand for the Humanist Association of Ireland’s secular weddings has surged as the moral authority of the once almighty Catholic Church collapsed in recent decades amid sex abuse scandals and Irish society’s rapid secularisation.

But statistics show rising demand for non-Church weddings. In 1996, 90 percent of Irish weddings were performed by the Catholic Church or the Church of Ireland. But by 2010 that percentage had fallen to 69 percent.

The pent-up demand from those who want more than a civil ceremony in a registry office but reject a religious wedding has created a major backlog for the humanist group’s ceremonies director.

More godless weddings and more godless funerals. Let’s hope there’s no connection.

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