Sex Offender Pastor, Supposedly Forgiven by God, Rapes Another Child

There’s a reason we need secular laws in this country; because religious groups don’t know how to police themselves. And the latest example involves Roy Neal Yoakem, pastor of New Gospel Outreach Church in Kentucky. He was arrested on Monday on statutory rape charges:

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Evangelicals Pose As Gay Pride Volunteers To Trick People Into Converting

It’s not unusual anymore to see Christian groups at gay pride parades. Members of the Mormon Church have freely marched at Pride in Salt Lake City. Members of the Chicago-based Marin Foundation attend pride festivals every year with signs reading “I’m sorry” to apologize for Christians’ hateful actions against LGBT people. Gay-affirming churches attend by the dozens.

That’s why it wasn’t shocking for passersby at Twin Cities Pride in Minnesota last month to see a Christian group called Trinity Works talking with people at the parade. Most thought it was a sanctioned Pride activity.

Not so much.

Trinity Works is an Evangelical group that claims it can heal HIV/AIDS through Jesus. And when it set up a “corn feed” at Pride to offer people corn, water and conversation, they were actually setting up a bait-and-switch operation to try to shame LGBT people into “surrendering” to Jesus.

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Did I Win Your Contest, Ken Ham?

Creationist Ken Ham has announced a contest: All you have to do is cut out this image of him and “take him on an adventure”!

Winners receive a prize package (estimated value: $1,000) of Answers in Genesis propaganda and Creation Museum admission passes.

I’m pretty sure I won’t win the contest — nor do I really want to — but I couldn’t help but document our adventures together as we visited places I’m positive he’s never been to before!

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The Woman Saudi Arabia Tried to Shut Up: An Interview with Josephine Macintosh

Last month, I wrote about the remarkable events at the UN Human Rights Council, where Saudi Arabia attempted to shout down Josephine Macintosh, a representative of my employer the Center for Inquiry, as she delivered a forceful statement condemning Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses, specifically the persecution and imprisonment of Raif Badawi and Waleed Abu al-Khair (who just this week was sentenced to 15 years in prison).

The Saudi representative was desperate to quiet her, demanding that the council president “shut that woman up!”, but delegations from the U.S., Ireland, Canada, and France stood up for Josephine’s right to deliver her statement. (You can read my full writeup here.)

I finally managed to actually make contact with the hero of the whole story, Josephine herself, who’s been busy traveling and without regular Internet access. I took the opportunity to ask her about the whole episode and to learn a little about what motivates her, too. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation. I’ve emphasized some key portions.

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Mother and Daughter Claim Christian Sex Ed Classes in Edmonton Public School District Infringe Upon Their Rights

Usually, when we discuss sex education classes in public schools, controversy arises because it’s either not taught at all or it’s taught very poorly. Think abstinence-only sex education — which is hardly educational at all.

It’s not very different in Canada. Emily Dawson, a recent graduate from Edmonton, Alberta, took mandatory sex education classes at her high school and was shocked by what she heard:

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