Former Australian PM’s Decision to Address Anti-Gay American Group Sparks Concern and Confusion

When people learned that former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott would be addressing the right-wing American Christian group Alliance Defending Freedom, there was plenty of criticism to go around. This prompted author and rector at St Mark’s Anglican Church Michael Jensen to write that such pushback demonstrated a threat to religious liberty.

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Ted Cruz Didn’t Beat Donald Trump With the Religious Right in Iowa

It was hard not to do a little knee-jerk reaction cheering when Donald Trump lost in Iowa last night, especially with that ramble of a concession speech that sounded a lot like a drunken “I love you, man” frat boy rant than a political address. The Donald had been taken down a peg, and it was a glorious thing to behold.

Until it hit you that Senator Ted Cruz — easily the most radically conservative and religious viable candidate on the right — was the one who’d taken first prize. As he took a 30-minute victory lap that could have just as easily been mistaken for a backwater revival church sermon, glee gave way to dread. What did Iowa’s exaltation of this fire-and-brimstone evangelical over the favored business mogul mean? Was the Religious Right about to strike back with a vengeance?

I wouldn’t count on it.

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This November, Arizona Atheist Will Challenge State Rep. Organizing Prayer Rally Against Satanists

We’re still waiting to find out if the Phoenix City Council in Arizona will allow members of The Satanic Temple to deliver an invocation prayer at a meeting on February 17.

I posted the other day about how State Rep. Kelly Townsend doesn’t want to wait for the answer. She already announced a prayer rally to counteract whatever damage the Satanists may cause.

It’s in part because of stunts like this that Townsend is being challenged in her upcoming re-election bid for Arizona State Representative.

And that challenger, Democrat Cara Prior, is openly atheist (and a courteous one at that).

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Our God is a Jealous God… and It Only Gets Worse From There

One of the most quoted lines in Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion is the passage that opens up Chapter 2:

The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Dawkins point was that, despite all those qualities, a lot of people had become immune to God’s awfulness, preferring to worship a loving, caring deity instead. But critics were no doubt furious that he had blasphemed God in such a way.

Who knew that Dawkins was being too kind in his assessment?

Dan Barker, the co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation and a former Christian preacher himself, says that the God of the Bible is much, much worse than Dawkins gave Him credit for. And in his new book, Barker explains why that is.

It’s called, appropriately, God: The Most Unpleasant Character in All Fiction (Sterling, 2016):

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The book goes into detail for each quality Dawkins listed, quoting chapter and verse from the Bible to justify the description. And then it continues, rattling off even more unpleasant traits for God that Dawkins left out.

In the excerpt below, Barker explains why God is indeed “jealous and proud of it”:

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In Caucus Night Speech, Dr. Ben Carson Says Church/State Separation Advocates Have “Schizophrenia”

It’s always a bad sign when a medical doctor decides to diagnose people he’s never met, much less people he doesn’t understand.

But when you’re the former Republican frontrunner yet you have to settle for a fourth place finish in Iowa, what do you have to lose?

At a speech last night, Dr. Ben Carson used his final plea to voters to bash advocates of church/state separation, saying they suffered from “schizophrenia” since God is everywhere in our politics.

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