A Mobile Nativity Scene is Illegally Parked Outside City Property and Officials Are Letting It Slide

The Ellwood City Municipal Building in Pennsylvania has played host to a couple big church/state controversies since last year. In 2010, officials allowed a Nativity Scene — and nothing else — to be displayed inside the building. The Freedom From Religion Foundation rightfully argued that was illegal and were allowed to put up their own display in 2011. That led to this banner going up alongside displays from other religious faiths:

They weren’t expecting that. [Read more…]

Choose the 2012 Atheist Billboard of the Year!

What were the best atheist billboards/signs of 2012?

I selected 18 nominees using the following criteria:

  1. It had to go up in 2012.
  2. I wouldn’t use any particular definition of “best” (meaning the billboard could be the best designed, most controversial, most effective, etc).
  3. I selected the final list. (Otherwise, there were just too many billboards from which to choose.)

The finalists are below (after the jump) and the poll to vote is immediately after that!

The group that ultimately put up the 2012 Atheist Billboard of the Year will receive a $100 donation. Good luck! [Read more…]

Heathen Holiday Card of the Day! (12/25)

A bit of a back story:

Hemant and I have been discussing a way to cap off the last couple weeks’ worth of cards and coming up empty-handed.

Then, last night at a family Christmas Eve party, I discreetly checked my email, and then burst out laughing at the tweet Hemant sent to me from M. Anton Mikicic.

Not only is this card magical, I am reasonably certain that it is going to be my personal holiday card next year: [Read more…]

Why I’m Against Christmas Cheer

Taken at face value, who could argue against “Christmas cheer?” Everyone looks forward to the Holiday Season, so the lore goes. Christmas is a national reprieve from the mundanity of everyday life, a time to set aside our troubles, kick back, and revel in festivity.

When “cheer” is experienced genuinely, it can have great salutary effect. But when cheer is effectively enforced — by cultural and/or familial custom — it can do just the opposite. I don’t feel particularly compelled to adopt a cheerful demeanor simply because tomorrow happens to be the 25th day of December, and the expectation that I must sours my mood further. Ritualistic expressions of saccharine cheer are almost always pretty depressing, in fact, on Christmas or any other day. [Read more…]

That’s Why He Shows Up in Toast


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