Is There a Connection Between Religion and Ethics?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Is there a connection Between religion and ethics?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Tennessee Newspaper Op-Ed Piece Says Sexual Liberation Leads to ‘Abortion, Broken Homes, and Men’s Contempt’

The Kingsport Times-News (Tennessee) has published some indefensible opinion pieces in the past. There was one defending the Boy Scouts of America’s separate-but-equal theory of allowing gay scouts but not gay scout leaders. Then, there was the one by Mark Atkins claiming homosexuality is a disorder.

And now, Atkins is back to argue against consensual pre-marital sex because… well, you’ll see:

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How to Make Organized Atheism More Accessible to the Poor

It’s no surprise that organized atheism — conferences, Meetup groups, lectures — tends to attract people who aren’t exactly living in poverty. You have to have money to purchase tickets for a conference, meet people at a restaurant or bar (and pay for the food and drinks), or travel to hear a lecture. Campus groups may not charge a membership fee, but they serve those who have the ability to pay for college in the first place. Even writing a blog like this one isn’t really possible without either getting paid for it or having another source of income and free time. (Admittedly, some of the costs I’m talking about are, in large part, required for those sponsoring groups just to break even, but that doesn’t make it any more accessible for those without cash.)

That’s not to say atheists don’t care about the poor, but let’s face it: it’s a lot easier to be religious if you’re poor. We can joke about tithes all we want, but churches don’t charge entry fees to walk through their doors and many of them have the infrastructure necessary to help people who are hungry or homeless.

In a piece for AlterNet, Alex Gabriel suggests a number of sensible ways atheists can reach out to people who may not have a lot of money — because why atheist gatherings shouldn’t be geared only toward the well-off.

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Satanic Groups Are Now Arguing Over the Proposed Oklahoma Monument

Last week, the Satanic Temple unveiled the monument they planned to erect on the Oklahoma Capitol grounds:

(Even though they raised the money to build it, it won’t be going up anytime soon given the state’s moratorium on monuments pending the outcome of an ACLU lawsuit.)

In any case, you know who’s *really* upset about that monument?


Different ones.

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Did This Pastor Hire Homeless People to Firebomb His Ex-Girlfriend’s Home?

On Saturday, Mark Lewis, a suspect in a bizarre case involving stalking, a possible murder conspiracy, and arson, was released on bail of half a million dollars. On Sunday, he was back in the pulpit, giving moral pointers to his unfazed congregants.

Lewis is the pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church in Vacaville, California. Police believe that he asked three homeless people that his church had taken under its wing to firebomb the home of his ex-girlfriend, Sarah Nottingham.

Early last Thursday morning, the three, sans Lewis, allegedly went to the residence, in which six people (including three children) were asleep, and threw a molotov cocktail through a bedroom window. The occupants were able to extinguish the fire before it got out of control.

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