Now I Know How Mormon Prophets Work

Jake Frost offers an insightful take on how prophets operate within Mormonism:

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A Confusing Alabama House Bill Will Allow Public Display of the Ten Commandments… Maybe

New legislation filed by Alabama State Rep. Duwayne Bridges (R, of course) will allow for the public display of the Ten Commandments… as long as it’s legal, which is always up in the air.

House Bill 45 amends the state Constitution as follows:

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Atheists’ Lawsuit Against Churches That Deprived Public Schools of $5,600,000 Finally Results in Partial Recovery

Back in August, atheist activist Mitch Kahle, along with his partner Holly Huber, filed a lawsuit against a group of churches in Hawaii.

The problem was not that the five churches rented out worship space at public schools — that’s perfectly legal — but that there was evidence that the churches had not paid fair rental price for about six years, thereby shortchanging those schools up to $5,600,000. (One of the schools that was owed more than $3,000,000 could’ve used that money after it had a roof collapse.)

If all of that wasn’t shady enough, it turned out Hawaii’s Board of Education chair Don Horner was also a pastor in the New Hope church system, one of the churches implicated by Kahle and Huber…

It’s also worth noting that this was a qui tam lawsuit, meaning that Kahle and Huber didn’t have to have standing or prove they were personally affected by the churches’ deception in order to bring about the lawsuit. They (along with their lawyer) did the research, they were helping the government recover lost fees, and a victory meant that they stood to gain anywhere from 15-30% of the money recovered.

There’s finally a little bit of good news to report. One of the churches has decided to settle the case instead of dragging it out in court (you can read the settlement decision here):

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Naturalist Sir David Attenborough Loses His Patience With Bible Literalists

The Daily Beast met up with naturalist and broadcast narrator Sir David Attenborough, 87, and discovered that these days, he turns a tad ornery when the subject turns to superstitious, anti-science stubbornness:

Attenborough has made a career of resisting controversy, often describing himself as “a reporter” with no views of his own. … Once criticized by campaigners for his reticence to address contentious issues, [he] is no longer willing to speak in hushed tones.

Sitting opposite the kangaroo enclosure at London Zoo, he told The Daily Beast he had lost patience with the “ignorance” of creationists, polluters, and climate change deniers. “To simply say that you must accept unquestioningly what you learned at your mother’s knee is not the act of an intelligent person,” he said.

Creation myths are among the things that can exasperate him:

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If Aesop Were an Atheist…

A lot of kids are taught morals at Sunday School or through watered-down biblical stories, but Matthew Brackney thinks there’s a way to elucidate a lot of those values without religion. It’s kind of like Aesop’s stories, but with a non-religious theme. He’s calling it “The Freethinker’s Book of Fables“:

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