Sacrilege! London’s South Bank University Bans Student Posters Honoring the Flying Spaghetti Monster

Last week, jittery representatives of the student’s union at London’s South Bank University removed atheist posters featuring the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM) — and initially lied about the reason, according to the British website politics.co.uk.

The posters had been put up at a Freshers’ Fair (a new-student orientation event) by a secular student group, the South Bank Atheist Society.

Union officials at the London South Bank University removed the posters from the society’s stall overnight and then barred representatives from printing off more, citing the visibility of Adam’s genitals as offensive.

Right. Because we all know that Leonardo da Vinci, whose depiction of Adam (taken from his Sistine Chapel masterpiece) we’re talking about here, was an infamous pornographer who gave Adam a massive erection (topped only by the holy boner of Jesus).

Oh, wait.

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Secular Student Alliance Looking for Conference Speakers

If you’re a college student, recent graduate, or faculty advisor who’d like the opportunity to speak at a Secular Student Alliance conference this summer (there are two, one in Arizona and the other in Ohio), they’re looking for anyone who has something interesting to talk about for 20-TED-like-minutes. If your group does an amazing event or you’ve been doing some personal activism that we should know about, let us know! It’s a blast and a wonderful way to spread great ideas. (It’s also my favorite part of the conferences.)



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Yesterday, Another Arizona Legislator Delivered a Godless Invocation on the House Floor

Remember last year, when Arizona State Rep. Juan Mendez delivered a secular invocation on the House floor?

Carl Sagan once wrote, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.” There is, in the political process, much to bear. In this room, let us cherish and celebrate our shared humanness, our shared capacity for reason and compassion, our shared love for the people of our state, for our Constitution, for our democracy — and let us root our policymaking process in these values that are relevant to all Arizonans regardless of religious belief or nonbelief. In gratitude and in love, in reason and in compassion, let us work together for a better Arizona.

It was that awesome.

Well, yesterday, on a day when representatives from the Secular Student Alliance and the Secular Coalition for Arizona were visiting the state capitol, another politician delivered a godless prayer. This time, Rep. Ruben Gallego (below) did the honors:

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The Secular Student Alliance is Hiring a Communications Director

It’s an important job, it’s a wonderful organization, and all the details about the position can be found here. The deadline for applications is January 26. [Read more...]

This Major Interfaith Organization Now Includes More Non-Theists Than Ever Before

The Interfaith Youth Core, a group that supports religious pluralism and promotes dialogue about faith and service projects on college campuses, has long had a reputation for being antagonistic to atheists. While their staff and membership always included some people without religious faith and there’s nothing wrong with promoting cooperation and dialogue and service, IFYC would ignore the simple fact that many religious beliefs are simply harmful — in addition to being just plain wrong. While everyone supports respecting religious people, many atheists cannot, for good reason, get behind respecting certain religious ideas. IFYC prefers singing “Kumbaya” than face the reality of what religion has wrought.

It didn’t help that IFYC’s founder, Eboo Patel, compared drawing stick figures of Muhammad (an act of free speech) to screaming “Nigger” in the middle of Harlem, or strawmanned the New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris by suggesting they were incapable of performing an “intimate act of mercy” for a dying religious person, or argued that Christopher Hitchens and Dawkins were primarily interested in “offending religious people” and not pointing out that religious beliefs often have no basis in evidence-based truth.

Despite the tone-deaf Patel’s obvious ignorance of the intentions of the atheist authors and his desire to slam notable atheists whenever he gets a chance (with the exception of the few he’s worked with on a regular basis, myself included), IFYC as an organization has done better in recent years with including atheists in their projects. They’ve even partnered with the Secular Student Alliance on occasion.

In a recent survey of its alumni — not a scientific poll, by any means, but a reflection of the people who graduated from their programs — IFYC revealed something astonishing: Nearly a quarter of the respondents were non-religious:



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