After Appeal, Massachusetts Pastafarian Gets to Wear Colander in Drivers License Picture

You can argue that people who want to wear a colander on their heads for driver’s license pictures are just trolling the government, but followers of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster do raise some interesting questions: When should the government be allowed to say your religion doesn’t count? What separates a parody religion from a real religion? And if someone says she’s an adherent of a particular religion, why should government officials be allowed to say otherwise?

When Lindsay Miller, a Pastafarian, wanted to wear the colander for her driver’s license picture in Massachusetts, she was rejected at first. It wasn’t until the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center and other cooperating attorneys stepped in that the situation was resolved:



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Bryan Fischer, Who Regularly Says Absurd Things, Claims Atheists “Will Believe in Anything”

During Bryan Fischer‘s radio show today, a caller complained about higher education in the country because only “stupid” people go to college. Which is something you’d expect one of his listeners to say.

But that’s not what this post is about. In his response to the caller, Fischer made a side comment about atheists. The segments begins at the 4:55 mark:



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Utah Judge Backtracks After Ordering Lesbian Couple to Give Up Child

Well, that was quick.

Juvenile Court Judge Scott Johansen is trying to turn back time after he told foster parents Beckie Peirce and April Hoagland that their new daughter would be taken away from them and placed with a heterosexual couple because it was in the best interest of the child.



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Why Do Christians Believe Murder is Wrong?

DarkMatters2525 tackles the question of why Christians believe murder is wrong: Is it because it’s inherently evil or only because God says it is?



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Can the Mormon Church Be Changed From the Inside?

The Mormon Church has been in the news a lot lately, due to a controversial new policy doubling down on homophobia: Those in same-sex relationships are now considered “apostates,” affecting not only them, but also their children, who will not be allowed to be baptized or confirmed unless they disavow their parents’ “sin.” They cannot perform missionary service (without super-special permission) and certainly cannot join the priesthood.

While this is a drastic step, the LDS has a history of being fraught with homophobia (along with rampant racism and sexism). Those of us who are outside observers of religion have seen this time after time in church after church. Personally, I’ve always thought that the longer these institutions dig their heels into their outdated ways, the quicker people will see the light and leave.

But it’s understandable for someone whose life is wrapped up in a church like the LDS — one that touches on just about every part of its parishioner’s lives — would want to make systemic changes from within. That’s what Chelsea Shields has been doing.

In a recent TED Talk, she spoke of her life in the LDS Church where, as a young girl, she accepted that her role as a woman would be to not have sex outside marriage, follow the rules, and be good.

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