Tacoma Coffeehouse Owners Change Their Mind About Letting Atheist Folk Singer Shelley Segal Perform In Their Shop

The other day, Hemant posted about the difficulties Camp Quest organizers ran into when they tried to put on a fund raiser at Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ. The fundraiser had been cancelled abruptly because  the owner’s “Christian philosophy” didn’t mesh with Camp Quest’s secular beliefs.

On the very same day, crew members of Ask An Atheist received an email regarding an event they had been organizing to host Australian atheist folk-singer/song-writer Shelley Segal. The email was from Anthem Beverage & Bistro, the venue where Shelley’s performance was scheduled to take place this Sunday.

Originally, plans for the event were going great, with Anthem staff saying they’d even be willing to stay open late as long as there were enough people ordering food to keep the kitchen open.

Of course, throughout their email correspondence, the Ask An Atheist folks made it clear that they were the ones who would be hosting this event. They never hid who they were and what kind of event they wanted to host. But Monday’s email made it clear that things had changed:

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Shades of Black Atheism #13: Abused and Ignored by God, Tierra Hammond

Tierra Hammond is a 23-year-old Californian. She describes her mother as “religious” but not “overly so.” She was a seasonal Christian, attending church on Easter and Christmas, but didn’t mind going there… until she was seven and her mother entered the army leaving Tierra with her very devout aunt.

If she deemed a cartoon unacceptable, my younger sister & I were not allowed to watch it. She didn’t let us listen to the radio, unless it was gospel, & had a heart attack at any mention of sex. I went to church 3 times a week until I was 9. Around that time, I began to read the Bible. This was the beginning of my non-belief.

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My Talk at SkepTech

I didn’t think it would be up that fast! My talk from this past weekend’s SkepTech conference is already up! It’s about fact-checking and following up with stories:

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Some Shameless Self-Promotion

I was recently a guest on The Left Hemispheres Podcast and the episode has just gone up! Give it a listen and subscribe to the podcast.

Also, a talk I gave at the Freethought Festival in Madison, Wisconsin was posted as well. It’s about how atheists should fact-check and follow-up on stories a lot better than we do right now. The talk has been revised a few times since I gave it here, and I hope to give it again in the future, but if you’re interested, here you go:

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New California Legislation Would Remove Tax Breaks from the Boy Scouts for Discriminating Against Atheists

The Boy Scouts of America are still considering letting in gay members and leaders — but even if their rules change, they would still forbid atheists from joining their organization. Katherine Stewart said as much in a recent article:

… the questionnaire, like much of the coverage surrounding it, is silent about the role of religion in shaping the Boy Scout’s discriminatory policies in another area, one that is distinct from and yet intimately connected with its bigotry toward gay people.

Adult leaders in the Boy Scouts must sign a Declaration of Religious Principles, and Scouts must take an oath “to do my duty to God”. Both adults and children can and have been excluded from the organization for lack of belief in a supreme being (or beings).

Now, California lawmakers may punish any group that discriminates against LGBT individuals or atheists. Sen. Ricardo Lara recently introduced Senate Bill 323 and it’ll have its first committee hearing tomorrow:

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