Sunday Marks the Opening of The Humanist Hub, a Central Gathering Spot for Atheists in Boston

The Humanist Community at Harvard is about to move into what may be the largest space for atheist gatherings on any college campus in the country. They’re calling it the Humanist Hub:

With a professional staff of 10 or more, this beautiful 3,200 square foot space will be a Hub for building “Godless Congregations,” or Humanist communities, locally and nationwide. It is the new headquarters of the Humanist Community at Harvard. It will provide space and support for numerous local secular | nontheistic organizations. And it will house a national think tank working with the American Humanist Association and others to build, educate, and nurture diverse, inclusive, and inspiring multi-generational secular congregations, across the US.

This Sunday marks the Hub’s grand opening and there will be a celebration featuring philosopher Daniel Dennett, attorney David Niose, Humanist Chaplain Greg Epstein, and founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement Facebook page Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar.

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‘Pro-Respect’ Religious Video Depicts Atheist Professor Using a Laser Pointer to Commit Battery on a Hindu Student

I don’t know much about the origin of this video that I just came across. Boasting unusually high production value, it’s a slick propaganda piece that was (re?)posted a year ago by YouTube user IndiaEternal under the title “Pakistan MUST watch this video to respect HINDUISM.” But the content is much broader than the old India-Pakistan conflict, addressing the need for religious tolerance across the world.

In the end, oddly, the video doesn’t place the blame for religious strife on believers and their never-ending wars over whose God is better, but instead focuses on godless people like you and me, who stubbornly stand in the way of world peace. And it does so by impugning secular higher education with an increasingly popular religious trope: that of an atheist college professor whose God-loving students end up teaching him a lesson.

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Xmas or Christmas? One Preacher Sounds Off, and It’s Not What You Think

Seven years ago, when I became fast friends with Benjamin Corey — a preacher, theologian, and blogger — he was a Christian fundamentalist. And back then, he cringed when he saw the word “Christmas” rendered as “Xmas.”

He would fume (though mercifully not within my earshot),

How dare those godless atheists try to take the baby Jesus out of my manger, and block out the word Christ with a big, black, X?

Since then, Corey (many of his friends call him by his last name) has had a change of heart. A student of ancient Greek, he’s discovered that (drum roll…) there is no secular conspiracy to remove Christ from Christmas.

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The Best Atheist Books of 2013

For the past several years, we’ve seen a large number of atheism-related books hit the market. Unlike the books written by the New Atheists, however, the recent releases aren’t just about why you should stop believing in God. They cover different aspects of faith, cater to a variety of audiences, and (most shocking to me) were put out by several different publishers.

Below are my picks for the best atheism-related books of the year. They’re the ones I’ll be referencing for years to come and the ones I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to explore faith with a critical eye.

#9) Beyond Belief: The Secret Lives of Women in Extreme Religions edited by Cami Ostman and Susan Tive (Seal Press, 2013):

We already know religious extremism is bad, but it poses a host of unique obstacles for women. The message is clear: If you’re female, God has a special, shitty role for you. In this powerful book, Ostman and Tive share the gut-wrenching stories of women who belonged to those harmful faiths and managed to break free.

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Why Doesn’t Evangelical Financial Guru Dave Ramsey Understand the Plight of the Poor?

Dave Ramsey is the Suze Orman for the evangelical Christian crowd, a financial expert who’ll help you get out of debt. (Though Ramsey’s advice also includes giving the church some of your money.)

Turning away from the pros and cons of his typical advice for a moment, he’s been under fire recently after posting an article on his website (written by Tom Corley) about the 20 things rich people do every day — suggesting that if we start those habits, then we, too, can be rich like them. Items include:

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