Shades of Black Atheism #5: Baptist-Turned-Atheist, Nicome Taylor

Nicome Taylor is a California native, with a religious background rooted in the Baptist Church. Now 30, she admits that this type of upbringing had a great impact on her worldviews especially during times of hardship. Her grandmother’s principles and values were heavily influenced by the Bible and her southern roots laid the Christian foundation that would be adhered to by her children as well as her grandchildren.

Nicome’s mother battled with kidney failure, so having faith in “God’s promise” of an afterlife played a significant role in her life. Knowing that her mother’s condition was temporary, that in the next life she would be pain-free, she had peace of mind. When Nicome was only 17 and her mother passed away, this is what she clung to. Still, like so many theists, she struggled to understand why God would allow her mother to die instead of healing her illness. [Read more...]

Dan Barker to Debate Whether There’s Life After Death

Damn, this looks like fun. Wish I could be there!

On March 7th, Dan Barker will be debating Reverend Joe Boot on the topic: Is There Life After Death? [Read more...]

The Secular Therapist Project Reaches a Milestone: 100 Therapists

Mental disorders, emotional problems, and relationship problems are experienced by theists and atheists alike. I have received many letters to the “Ask Richard” column from atheists who have sought counseling for such difficulties, but the counselors they went to started telling them to “get right with God,” or similar religious nonsense. They had not advertised [Read More...]

Writer Tries (and Fails) to Find Analogous Situation to Christian Woman Who Claimed Her Rights Were Violated

Two weeks ago, I wrote about a EU court decision, upholding rulings against three Christians who had been sacked for basically choosing their faith over what was expected of them by their employer. The specifics of each case are a little more barbed than that, but you can read the original piece to get a fuller picture. 

Since then Mike Judge, the Head of Communications at The Christian Institute, has written two articles for the Huffington Post UK defending each victim and attacking the court’s ruling as well as the media and public response to it. [Read more...]

Proposed Boy Scouts of America Policy That Could Allow Gay Members Would Still Exclude Atheists

This sounds like exciting news from the Boy Scouts of America:

Currently, the BSA is discussing potentially removing the national membership restriction regarding sexual orientation. This would mean there would no longer be any national policy regarding sexual orientation, and the chartered organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting would accept membership and select leaders consistent with each organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs. BSA members and parents would be able to choose a local unit that best meets the needs of their families.

“The policy change under discussion would allow the religious, civic, or educational organizations that oversee and deliver Scouting to determine how to address this issue. The Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members, or parents. Under this proposed policy, the BSA would not require any chartered organization to act in ways inconsistent with that organization’s mission, principles, or religious beliefs.

In some ways, it’s about damn time. For too long, the BSA has kicked out excellent scouts and troop leaders because of their sexual orientation, an issue that had no bearing on anything.

But… [Read more...]