Why “Prayer Shaming” is Justified After the San Bernardino Shootings

As usual, the Right found a way to take a tragedy and make it all about them.

It really took hold after the New York Daily News published this fantastic — and fair — cover yesterday:

Why is that a fair cover? Because it’s criticizing politicians who love to toss out prayers and platitudes after a shooting tragedy but do nothing substantive to fix the problem. They’re using prayer as a substitute for producing and passing meaningful legislation that could prevent these massacres in the future.

Emma Green at The Atlantic called this criticism “prayer shaming,” and I thought that made sense, until I saw conservatives using the phrase as evidence of Christian Persecution. Nancy French, writing on her Patheos blog, took it a step further by calling it a “war on prayer.”

[Read more…]

Superstition Wins Out as Hawaii Supreme Court Suspends Massive Telescope Construction

Yesterday, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled against construction of one of the largest telescopes in the world, in part because it conflicted with native traditions, many of which were based entirely on superstition.

Construction on Hawaii’s Thirty Meter Telescope, which would have the ability to see 13 billion light-years away, was already postponed earlier this year because protesters believed it was being built on “sacred” land. Last month, the state’s Supreme Court temporarily suspended the permit allowing construction to continue. That suspension has now been made permanent with the Court’s decision.

[Read more…]

How Atheists Can More Effectively Communicate with Believers

I’ve posted a number of videos by Anthony Magnabosco on this site, in which he speaks to strangers about their religious beliefs for just few minutes and then deconstructs the whole conversation afterwards.

He recently gave a talk to Atheists United in California all about his work and how we can more effectively communicate with believers:

[Read more…]

Why Can’t We Question God?

In the latest video for his Atheist Debates project, Matt Dillahunty responds to a question he’s often asked: “Who are you to question God?”

[Read more…]

This is Why We Must Get Rid of Theological Weeds

Many atheists have no need to keep arguing about God’s existence. We don’t believe any Gods exist, and we’ve moved beyond that conversation. But author James Lindsay believes that religious people have psychological and social needs that faith helps them meet. Unless atheists address those concerns, we won’t get anywhere. In other words, the way we talk about God right now isn’t working.

His new book expanding on this idea is called Everybody Is Wrong About God (Pitchstone Publishing, 2015):

In the excerpt below, Lindsay discusses why its imperative we help “uproot” people out of their faith:

[Read more…]