Peter Higgs, of the Higgs-Boson, Doesn’t Like Richard Dawkins’ Style

Peter Higgs has been a prominent figure in the world of physics for decades, but since the confirmation of the existence of the particle he postulated in 1963, he has become a household name and is in hot demand for interviews for general audiences. He gave one such interview to the Spanish daily El Mundo (you can see relevant bits in English here).

There is no real reason to ask a world-renowned scientist about religion, but Higgs was game. He gets this a lot, I’m sure, since the popular name of the Higgs-Boson particle is “the God particle.” The fact that Higgs himself did not give it this name, does not approve of it, and admits that the name itself was originally slated to be the “Goddamn particle” doesn’t seem to faze reporters one bit. This is the God particle guy, so questions about religion are automatically relevant! [Read more...]

‘Keep Saturn in Saturnalia’ Banner Rejected; ‘Keep Christ in Christmas’ Banner Allowed

The Knights of Columbus currently have a sign reading “Keep Christ in Christmas” on government property (without a permit) in Pitman, New Jersey.

Ok. We’ve played this game before. All you have to do is make a request for your atheist holiday banner to be displayed on the same property and you can’t be denied.

So that’s what the Freedom From Religion Foundation did. They applied for a permit to display their sign, which read, “Keep Saturn in Saturnalia”:

[Read more...]

FFRF is Suing the IRS, Claiming That It Gives Preferential Treatment to Religious Groups

Today, the Freedom From Religion Foundation along with their Triangle Freethought Society chapter in North Carolina announced that they, too, are suing the IRS in a federal lawsuit because of the government agency’s “preferential treatment of churches in applying for and maintaining tax-exempt status.”

“Why should churches be exempt from basic financial reporting requirements? Equally important, why would churches not wish be accountable?” asks Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “Having tax-exempt status is a great privilege, and in exchange for that privilege, all other groups must file a detailed report annually to the IRS and the public on how we spend donations.”

“The unfairness of this is so overwhelming,” says FFRF President Emerita Anne Nicol Gaylor. “There are different rules favoring churches.”

[Read more...]

Inoffensive Atheist Sign Gets Vandalized in Virginia; It Was Spraypainted and Burned

For seven years now, the Shenandoah Area Secular Humanists in Virginia have put up a display alongside a Nativity scene on the Warren County courthouse lawn.

Their sign reads:

With reason and compassion as our guide, let us work together to produce a world in which peace, prosperity, freedom, and happiness are shared by all.

That’s not only completely inoffensive; it’s something a religious group could have put up and no one would have batted an eye. There’s also a quotation from John F. Kennedy regarding church/state separation and a declaration of the principles of Secular Humanism underneath it.

So guess what happened to it? [Read more...]

Cardinals Use Christmas Sermons to Rail Against Marriage Equality and Abortion

I almost feel bad writing disparaging posts about the religion of my youth because it’s almost too easy. I don’t even need to write, say, or do anything to hasten the end of the Church — they seem quite content to do it themselves.

One would imagine that this time of year is every Christian church’s annual opportunity to spread a message of joy, celebration, and charity in an attempt to claw back punters who only plonk themselves in the pews once a year. Why do that, though, when you can re-enforce your own stereotype and spread a message of hate and bigotry instead? [Read more...]


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