Young Adult Novels Strengthened Her Faith. But the Bible Soon Put a Stop to That

It’s interesting to me what keeps people in Christianity and what they believe keeps them in it. There were a few things, as I was growing up in the Sovereign Grace Ministries cult, that were “approved” for my media consumption but were directly counterproductive to keeping me in step with the cult’s ideology. I am grateful they slipped under the wire — these are the things that broadened my thinking and kept me from getting stuck in that world.

The Guardian recently ran a piece about young adult (YA) literature and how the author’s exposure to a certain “Christy” book (a perennially popular Christian YA series when I was a kid) was a breath of fresh air when her mom refused to answer hard life questions for her.

It was much more influential to her faith, she says, than the Bible:

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Arkansas State Officials Now Say Football Players Can Wear Crosses on Their Helmets If They Want To

Two weeks ago, Arkansas State’s football players were seen on TV with Christian crosses on their helmets:

The crosses were there, we learned later, to honor a former player and manager, both of whom died earlier this year. But sentiment doesn’t mean you’re allowed to break the law. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to athletic department officials warning them against using school-sponsored religious symbols on helmets, and Arkansas State quickly issued a press release saying those crosses would soon disappear:

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Michigan State House Candidate Responds to Bigoted Survey Questions with Incredible Letter Defending LGBT Rights

Josh Derke (below) is running to become State Representative of Michigan’s 93rd House District. He happens to be an “agnostic atheist.” He also happens to be a decent human being.

How do I know that?

It starts with a despicable survey he received from the conservative group Public Advocate. While some of the questions asked him to affirm his stance against marriage equality — hardly a surprise — the others went waaaaay overboard:

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Religious Group’s Posters in London Tell Women To Walk on One Side of Street Only

In Stamford Hill, North London, a district known for having the largest ultra-Orthodox Haredi community in Europe, posters went up the other day advising women to walk on one side of the street.

The notices read: “Women should please walk along this side of the road only,” in English and Yiddish.



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After All the Controversy, Here’s Video of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s Speech at Yale

Last week, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the author of Infidel and Nomad and a critic of Islam, spoke at Yale University. It didn’t happen without conflict, though. More than 35 groups, including the Yale Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics signed an open letter expressing their disappointment in the invitation.

The letter asked that Hirsi Ali’s speech be restricted to only her personal experiences (as if Hirsi Ali wasn’t qualified to speak about Islam as a whole) and called for another speaker with “academic credentials” to also be invited (as if Hirsi Ali’s lack of a Ph.D. had any bearing on her message).

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