Pastafarian Wins Election to Town Board and Takes Oath with a Colander on His Head

Back in October, Christopher Schaeffer announced his candidacy for election to the Pomfret Town Board in New York. He was elected the following month and was sworn in Thursday.

Why is any of that relevant to the rest of you?

Because of how Schaeffer took his oath of office: With a strainer on his head as a representative of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster:

When the OBSERVER asked afterward why he wore a colander on his head, Schaeffer said he was a minister with an even more unique organization – the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

“It’s just a statement about religious freedom,” he said. “It’s a religion without any dogma.”

Fantastic :)

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Margaret Doughty, Who Was Almost Denied U.S. Citizenship Because of Her Atheism, Tells Her Story

You may recall the story of Margaret Doughty, the 64-year-old who was denied citizenship in America because she was an atheist.

When asked if she would “take up arms in defense of the United States,” she told them she would not because her moral convictions as an atheist prevented her from fighting in a war. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) initially told her that if she had a “conscientious objection,” it had to be on religious grounds and not moral ones. But they eventually caved in after an internet uproar and some help from a Republican representative from Tennessee.

The Humanists of Houston invited Doughty to speak about her life and the controversy at an event in November and her speech is now up online:

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James Dobson’s Ministry is Struggling Because of ‘Economic Uncertainty and the Utter Foolishness of Obamacare’

James Dobson, the one-time poster-boy for evangelical bigotry, now lives in what I can only assume is the sealed-off basement of the Focus on the Family headquarters where he runs his new Family Talk ministry in between rounds of coming up for sunlight. In an end-of-the-year letter to supporters, he asks them to send him money and explains why donations have been pretty stagnant this year:



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Bryan Fischer Thinks People Who Accept Evolution Should Be ‘Disqualified From Holding Political Office’

Ah, Bryan Fischer, we meet again.

In the past, we’ve sparred (rather one-sidedly, I must admit) about gay people, NBA players, abortion rights and tax law, and I think it can be agreed upon that at least a couple of those topics are ones that neither of us are actually qualified to discuss.

And yet here we are to discuss another area of mutual expertise: Politics.

Today, Sir Fischer decided that those of us who believe in evolution should be “disqualified from holding public office in the United States of America.”



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Yep, I Read Sarah Palin’s Christmas Book. Yep, It’s Even Worse Than You Thought

I tried to read Sarah Palin‘s new book Good Tidings and Great Joy. Really. I tried.

Hell, her people even sent me an autographed copy of the book. (The inscription reads “God Bless You,” as if she needed one more way to stick it to atheists…) The whole book is a lesson in patience. You have to find a way to flip the pages without knocking out everyone around you since every chapter just makes you progressively angrier. Ever read a Creationist textbook that you know others read in complete earnest? This is just like that.

It’s not that she holds different opinions from me; I deal with that all the time and it’s never a problem. At first, I thought what upset me the most was just how uninformed she was. She spent chapters writing about atheists and clearly didn’t even bother to talk to any to make sure she was on the right track. But then I realized I had it completely flipped. It wasn’t that she was willfully ignorant. It’s that she knew damn well what we’re all about and she was deliberately misrepresenting us just to rile her base.

Once that hit me, I saw the book in a completely different way. Here: Just look at some of the things she said (by way of a ghostwriter, of course):

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