In Anticipation of the Next Natural Disaster…

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Girl Slaves of Catholic Magdalene Asylums to Receive Compensation, but Not from the Church

Twenty years ago, shock washed over Ireland. After the Catholic Church sold a parcel of a North Dublin convent’s grounds to a commercial developer, and the construction dig began, 155 bodies were discovered in unmarked graves. The place had been a Magdalene asylum for “wayward girls.” Apparently, inmates who met an early end had been buried in secret — many without a death certificate, without notification of parents or other family, and all without the dignity of even the simplest grave marker.

Initially conceived as rehabilitation centers for prostitutes, the Magdalene asylums — also known as the Magdalene Laundries for the “women’s work” slave labor expected of the inhabitants — eventually grew into houses of horror. The girls, some not even teens, were forced to work seven days a week, without pay. The short-term treatment intended by the founders eventually gave way to long-term incarceration. Though conditions varied from one asylum to the next, a strict code of silence was in place for most of the day throughout the Magdalene system. Long prayer sessions were mandatory.

Worse, for over a hundred years, beatings and sexual abuse are thought to have been endemic.

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TIME Magazine Just Doubled-Down on Joe Klein’s Inaccurate, Anti-Atheist Statements

Last week, the cover story Time magazine, written by Joe Klein, included an unfair and untrue jab at Secular Humanists.

This week, TIME had a chance to acknowledge and correct the mistake.

They failed.

Here’s what they said:

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After Basketball Coach Gets Fired, a Former Player Speaks Out About the Coach’s Excessive Proselytizing

When Jenna Bachrouche was recruited to play basketball at Oakland University (in Rochester, Michigan) in 2010, her parents asked coach Beckie Francis an important question: “Is Jenna being Muslim going to be an issue?”

Francis said no, so Bachrouche enrolled at Oakland. And you’d think that would be the end of the story since Oakland is a public school and religion shouldn’t matter when you’re playing basketball.

But as things stand right now, Bachrouche is at Western Michigan University, and Francis has been fired for reasons that aren’t fully clear.

What the hell happened?

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Atheist Church Comes to America This Week

Being faithless opens us up to a whole range of human experiences free of theistic baggage. But once you’ve shrugged off religion and any semblance of a belief in the supernatural, what comes next?  For many, it’s not enough to just not believe in any gods; many want something more.

And now, for some atheists, many of the biggest pieces missing from their lives (and from the larger atheist movement) are being filled by the Sunday Assembly, the godless gathering out of London nicknamed “the Atheist Church.”

Right this instant, Jones is here in the US to help local groups start their own Sunday Assemblies. He just visited us here in Seattle and will be in Chicago today (to plan an Assembly) and New York later this weekend (to conduct one). 

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