Vladimir Putin is The Advocate‘s 2014 Person of the Year

The Advocate, the oldest LGBT magazine in the country, has announced that its 2014 Person of the Year is Vladimir Putin, the horrifically homophobic president of Russia and a committed opponent of all things pro-LGBT.

The yearly recognition is not necessarily meant to highlight someone who has made great strides for LGBT rights (an obvious fact, based on this year’s choice), but rather the person who has had the most profound influence on LGBT people in the previous year. Much like TIME magazine’s Person of the Year has, in the past, gone to anti-justice leaders (including Putin), sometimes the Person of the Year is a really, really influential bad guy. And Putin’s toxic, even deadly influence on LGBT people needs no explanation.

The magazine cover breaking the news even illustrates the Russian president as a new-age Adolf Hitler, with the help of some strategic headline placement:

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Catholic Diocese Hopes to Reach Teens with “Urban Feel” of Hip-Hop Catechism

It might sound like a Stephen Colbert “aging pundit tries to appeal to young viewers with cringe-worthy attempts to prove he gets them” skit, but it’s not.

The West Virginia Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston has a project with the edgy name of VCAT — Video Catechism — aimed at the young ‘uns. The goal is “to effectively reach this generation of teens with the richness and beauty of [the] Catholic faith.” Since teens “consume… a staggering” amount of media each day, much of it video, the messages are video-based.

If the name doesn’t win back the young, erstwhile Catholic demographic, the content is sure to make an impression. Content like one of the latest VCAT productions: a hip-hop video catechism called “Love God/Love Each Other” written by youth icon and Franciscan University Professor Bob Rice.

Explaining the purpose of this and other VCAT productions, he states

What we are doing with these 18 videos is show young people that the commandments of God actually set us free and don’t restrict us.

While that may be their intent, it seems like an overly optimistic goal considering the production in question.

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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 27: A Discussion About the New Left Behind Movie

For our latest podcast, Jessica and I decided to go see the new Left Behind movie starring Nicolas Cage. Because we make sacrifices for you.

Here’s Jessica seeing the movie. I swear we didn’t alter this picture at all…

After several days of keeping our thoughts to ourselves, we finally discussed the movie with the microphones on.

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Bill Maher Speaks About the Berkeley Controversy, Then Gets Berated by Panelist for His Comments About Islam

On last night’s episode of Real Time, Bill Maher addressed the controversy at UC Berkeley in which he was invited as a commencement speaker, only to have students protest his invitation, calling him a “blatant bigot and racist.” (Berkeley officials said they would not rescind his invitation.)

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Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson Tapes “Bibles and Guns” Ad for Congressional Candidate (and Nephew) Zach Dasher

I don’t know what scariest about this new campaign ad for Zach Dasher, running for Congress from Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District: The fact that it features his relative, Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson; that it mentions Bibles; that it mentions guns; or that it combines all of that in less than five seconds:

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