Bill Nye/Neil deGrasse Tyson 2016

On a recent episode of Star Talk Radio, guest hosted by comedian Eugene Mirman, Bill Nye was asked if he’d ever consider running for higher office.

To which he responded: “Neil deGrasse Tyson and I are working on our cabinet.”



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With Germany Changing How It Collects the Church Tax, Many Are Leaving Their Churches Altogether

If you live in Germany, then you’re aware of something called a Church Tax.

As far as I can understand it — forgive me if I screw this up — here’s how this works: When you pay your income taxes, a portion of it (8 or 9%, depending on where you live) is set aside by the government for your place of worship if you’re Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish. (If you’re a theist, you almost certainly fall into one of those categories.) This amounts to several billion Euros for the Roman Catholic Church and various Protestant (Lutheran) churches.

What if you’re not religious? No problem. That money won’t go to a church. In fact, you won’t have to pay the amount at all! But in order to be exempt, you have to officially declare that you’re not a member of those religious groups.

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Secular Invocation Delivered in Lake County, Florida: Prayer Could Make Some Residents “Feel Like Outsiders”

Earlier this week, Paul Tjaden delivered a secular invocation at a meeting of the Lake County Board of County Commissioners (in Florida). It begins at the 1:53 mark of the video below:



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There’s Even More Religion Than We Thought in Fort Gordon’s Army Substance Abuse Program

Yesterday, I posted about how military personnel at Fort Gordon in Georgia who were struggling with drugs or alcohol may be directed by their superiors to go into the “Army Substance Abuse Program” (ASAP):

The problem was that one of the recovery “tools” they were given was a copy of Pastor Rick Warren‘s book The Purpose Driven Life, all about how Christianity gives you purpose in life.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation‘s Mikey Weinstein has already written two letters to Major General LaWarren Patterson demanding the distribution be stopped.

Today, I received an email from a graduate of the ASAP program. Not only did he confirm the giveaway of Warren’s book, he told me that his “certificate of completion” included the Serenity Prayer:

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This Chart Shows How Every Major U.S. Religious Group Feels About Government Involvement in Moral & Economic Issues

How do your religious beliefs affect your views on the government? Should the government play a role in regulating morality? How about the economy, in terms of having a bigger, more involved government or a small, less involved one?

Tobin Grant at Religion News Services offers a conversation started with this very dense, highly informative chart tracking all of the major religions in the U.S. and where they typically stand on this issues based on their responses in the Pew Forum’s Religious Landscape survey. (The bigger the circle, the more members of that religious denomination.)

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