Atheists May Soon Be Able to Officiate Wedding Ceremonies in Minnesota

Last month, Minnesota State Representative Phyllis Kahn introduced a bill (HF 2966) that would allow atheists and Humanists to officiate wedding ceremonies, something currently reserved only for religious leaders:

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Does Religion Deserve Respect?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Does religion deserve respect?:

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!

And if you like what you’re seeing, please consider supporting this site on Patreon.

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If You’d Like to Hear Me Speak…

Over the next few weekends, I’ll be giving some talks in the midwest. All the details are below!

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South Carolina’s Official State Fossil Represents an Animal ‘Created on the Sixth Day,’ Says Amendment to the Bill

I thought this story was over. It’s clearly not.

A quick recap: Earlier this year, a third grader wrote to her state representatives asking them to make the Wooly Mammoth South Carolina’s official state fossil.

After a couple of holdups, it looked like there were no objections and the bill would go through… but the version of the bill that looks like it’ll be signed into law contains a ridiculous amendment:

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New Policy in Italy: Catholic Bishops Are Not Obligated to Report Child Sexual Abuse

With the Vatican’s blessing — pun intended — Italy’s bishops have adopted a new policy pertaining to their obligations to report child molestation to the police.

Specifically, the policy advises that bishops have no official obligation to report the sexual abuse of children to any legal authorities outside of the Catholic Church.

According to the Italian Bishops’ Conference, these new guidelines reflect directives from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — the very same Vatican office responsible for investigating cases of sexual abuse (allegedly) perpetrated by priests. Rather than requiring all abusers to confront the criminal justice system, these guidelines call on bishops to consider their “moral duty to contribute to the common good,” as they understand it, in deciding how to approach a given case. This allows plenty of leeway for bishops to make the exact same moral calculation that inspired sex-abuse cover-ups in the first place: better to see a few abusers go unpunished than to blemish the reputation of Holy Mother Church.

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