Vatican Excommunicates Priest for Supporting Ordination of Women and Gay Marriage

You have to do something really awful to be excommunicated from the Catholic Church these days. In Melbourne, Australia, The Age notes that the only priests in the region who are no longer welcome to receive the Church’s sacraments are those who have been convicted of pedophilia.

But now we can add (former) Father Greg Reynolds to that exile list. What did he do that was so awful?

“I’ve come to this position because I’ve followed my conscience on women’s ordination and gay marriage.”

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‘Geek’ Candidate for Texas House of Representatives Speaks Out Against Intelligent Design in Science Textbooks

Brian Boyko is running for Texas State Representative in a Republican-held district and, while that seems like an uphill climb, there are still good reasons to support him. For one, he’s a self-described geek: Also, if you want to donate to his campaign, you have to give a Fibonacci number dollar amount: But here’s the [Read More...]

Grandmother Demands Resignation of Elementary School Teacher Who (Supposedly) Told Her Grandson That There’s No God

In Anderson County, Tennessee, the grandmother of an elementary school student is furious because she claims a teacher told her grandson’s class that there’s no God:

The incident happened at North Clinton Elementary School last week.

6 News is not identifying the teacher because she is not being reprimanded for what she said.

Lois Sanders says her grandson came home last Wednesday upset about what a teacher had said at school.

“There wasn’t a God,” said Sanders. “They shouldn’t believe in him. It’s just a Greek myth.”

“Whether you believe in, or you don’t believe in it, you know, that’s your own personal belief, but don’t go and try to teach other parents’ children, grandchildren your beliefs,” said Sanders. “That’s no place in school for doing that.”

Let’s get a few things straight.

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YouGov Poll Says Nearly 60% of Americans Believe the Devil is Real

Almost six in ten Americans believe the devil is real, and more than half think people can be possessed by demons.

Those results are from a recent YouGov poll of 1,000 respondents, though it’s not clear how reliable the numbers are — I couldn’t find an explanation of the methodology. YouGov says its poll has a margin of error of three percent.

When you drill down past the headline and summary, you can see which religious adherents are most likely to believe that Satan exists. To no one’s surprise, those who have had a “born-again” experience top the list at 86%. The Lord of Darkness is met with a lot more skepticism in non-Christian circles: only 17% of Jews and 25% of Muslims believe that he’s real, as do 20 percent of Nones.

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It’s Hard for Me to Hate Pope Francis

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses the popularity of Pope Francis, even among some of the harshest critics of the Catholic Church:

As I’ve said before, the one thing holding him back from being truly revolutionary… is his Catholicism.

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! [Read more...]