Linda Stephens, Plaintiff in Recent Supreme Case Legalizing Religious Invocations, Speaks Out

Tom Beasley of the podcast An American Atheist recently interviewed Linda Stephens, one of the plaintiffs (along with Susan Galloway) in the recent Supreme Court case that ended with religious invocations at government meetings being declared legal:

My favorite bit has to be this one:

[Read more...]

Seven Ways to Answer When the Religious Tell You That Atheists Are Only Defined By What We’re Against

Sometimes it’s a honest expression of puzzlement. Often, it’s a deliberate provocation, a cheap way to try to rile a non-believer.

I’m talking about a line I’ve heard from believers (and some apatheists) at least a dozen times:

For an atheist, you sure care a lot about religion.”

Sometimes that’s followed by the grizzled canard that atheism is itself a religion (to which the best answer probably is “Yeah, just like ‘off’ is a TV channel”); or there’s some premature Schadenfreude and nose-thumbing about how atheists are unable to ban religion from their lives because we are defined by our opposition to it.

Over at Camels With Hammers, philosopher/blogger Daniel Fincke carefully unpacks that criticism and shows it to be lazy and illogical. His essay runs to almost 3,800 words, but I’ll give you the Cliff Notes version in seven quotes that stood out for me.

[Read more...]

Pastor Featured in the Movie “Fight Church” Accused of Sexual Abuse

Last month, I posted a trailer about an upcoming movie called Fight Church about a church that incorporates mixed martial arts into its ministry:

It turns out the pastor at the center of the film, Paul Burress of Victory Church, has been accused multiple times of sexual abuse. Brent Brookhouse of Bloody Elbow has been looking into this story for weeks now and has posted emails and conversations with most of the key players:

[Read more...]

Any Law May Be Broken With Impunity By People of Faith, Implies GOP Senate Candidate

On Tuesday night, Republican Ben Sasse of Nebraska won his party’s nomination to the Senate, in part on the strength of his (you’ll never guess…) religious convictions. It doesn’t take more than ten seconds to assess what kind of candidate Sasse is. His website says, about religious freedom,

We live in a country where the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Catholic nuns, must sue the government in order to continue caring for the sick and elderly poor. That’s outrageous.

[Read more...]

Biblical Language Taken Out of Bill to Make the Wooly Mammoth South Carolina’s Official State Fossil

It’s the story that never seems to end. But there may finally be a happy ending.

Earlier this year, third-grader Olivia McConnell wrote to her state representatives asking them to make the Wooly Mammoth South Carolina’s official state fossil.

[Read more...]