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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Hospital Apologizes For Telling Patient That Atheists Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Procreate, But Stonewalls Inquiry

Last week, an Oklahoma resident named Scott accompanied his wife to the Catholic Mercy Memorial Hospital in Ardmore. As I reported on Thursday, the two of them made their way to one of the registration rooms to check in Scott’s spouse for some tests. After the receptionist asked them about their religious affiliation and was told “no preference,” the following happened, Scott says:

[S]he went on to say in all her time doing this, she’s had two people claim [to be an] atheist. One was a typical punk teenager with black eye-liner, and just didn’t know any better. The other really surprised her though because she was a sweet lady and had two cute kids with her. “How can she say atheist in front of these kids?! You shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce if that’s how you feel. That’s just my opinion.



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Did Christians Really Win a Gold Medal in the Oppression Olympics?

A couple of weeks ago, the Pew Research Center came out an extensive and confusing-as-hell report on religious hostilities around the world and found that Christians, more than any other religious group, were the most persecuted:

(Atheists are in there, too, lumped in with “others”)

One conservative website even uses the headline: “Pew Study: Christians Are The World’s Most Oppressed Religious Group.”

But there are two points worth noting.

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The Telegraph Covers Atheism in a Virginia Town

Given that I write about American atheism all the time, it’s always interesting to read how other publications from outside the country cover the same topic. So I’m grateful that The Telegraph (UK) shined a spotlight on atheists in one Virginia town and the difficulties of being non-religious in a religious environment no matter how the demographics are shifting:



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Archeologists’ Camel-Bones Discovery Challenges Bible’s Historicity; Christian Blogger Challenges Them Right Back

Archeologists, long a thorn in the side of those who believe in the accuracy of the Bible, are again posing a challenge to the Scripture. This time, Dr. Erez Ben-Yosef and Dr. Lidar Sapir-Hen, of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Archaeology and Near Eastern Cultures, carbon-dated the earliest known bones of domesticated camels. It turns out that, according to Science Daily,

… camels were not domesticated in the Land of Israel until centuries after the Age of the Patriarchs (2000-1500 BCE). In addition to challenging the Bible’s historicity, this anachronism is direct proof that the text was compiled well after the events it describes.

In all the digs, [the archeologists] found that camel bones were unearthed almost exclusively in archaeological layers dating from the last third of the 10th century BCE or later — centuries after the patriarchs lived and decades after the Kingdom of David, according to the Bible.



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