10 Facts That Make Religion Interesting For Anyone

I’m an atheist who loves religion. By that, I don’t mean that I believe in the supernatural or that I enjoy terrible acts committed in the name of faith; I mean I love learning about different religions and their histories, from the ancient Greek “mythologies” to the stories present in religions embraced widely today, I genuinely enjoy learning about the cultures that created them. I majored in Religious Studies in college so that I could look at these traditions from an academic and phenomenological approach and found that they are more interesting than many people realize. Here’s what you may not know about some major world religions (or otherwise popular supernatural beliefs):

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Kids in Ireland Now Taught That an “Afraid and Confused” Mary Said “Yes” to God Impregnating Her

The virgin birth has always been a point of contention for atheists. Not just because it’s implausible, but also because Mary didn’t consent to being impregnated by God and isn’t that pretty messed up?

Apparently not. In many schools in Ireland, six-year-olds are now being taught that Mary gave an enthusiastic “Yes” to God.

According to a new religious education class called “Grow in Love,” used in primary schools throughout the country, one lesson notes that an “afraid and confused” Mary who “did not understand what God was asking of her” consented to getting knocked up by the Lord.

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Teenager Beaten to Death Was Being Counseled by Church Members for His Supposed “Sins”

We now know a little more about the teenager who was beaten to death by his parents and four other members of their church. And it only makes the story worse.

The big question people have had is why six adults (members of the same church) beat two teenagers, killing one of them. Here’s what apparently happened:

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Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz Discuss Islam with Lawrence O’Donnell

On last night’s episode of The Last Word, Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Sam Harris and Maajid Nawaz about their new book about Islam. So if you like interviews where people aren’t shouting at each other, have at it:

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Want To Make Locker Rooms More Private? Banning Trans Students Is Not The Answer

Close your eyes and think back for a minute. When was the last time you used a public restroom? How many other people were in the restroom? What did their genitals look like?

I’m certain you can’t answer that last question and that you’re horrified by it. (As you should be!) But Laurie Higgins of the Illinois Family Institute seems to think of public restrooms and changing facilities as much more communal than they actually are. And she’s using this non-logic to defame transgender children.

In a school district in Chicago, a high school trans girl has sued her school for the right to use the women’s locker room. Superintendent Daniel Cates is refusing to abide by Title IX guidelines on this matter, instead offering the girl a separate private facility to use as an alternative. Put another way, Cates will go so far as to disqualify his district from getting federal funding in order to break the law and continue demeaning the trans girl:

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