Gay Christian Teen Takes Her Own Life, Fearing Her Parents Wouldn’t Accept Her If She Came Out

A 14-year-old girl in Manchester, England has taken her own life because she couldn’t bear to come out to her devout Christian parents as gay — though they say they would have welcomed her with open arms.

Elizabeth “Lizzie” Lowe (below) was recently found hanged at a local park, according to the U.K. news site The Telegraph. Her friends say that she was questioning whether she might be a lesbian and was having trouble reconciling her sexuality with her strong Christian upbringing and her own faith.

Her parents, however, have said that her coming out would not have been a surprise, and that she would have been met with “a wealth of love and acceptance.”

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Forget North Korean Threats; Center For Inquiry Tells Sony Pictures It’ll Gladly Screen The Interview

Yesterday, as Sony Pictures announced that it would not release the Seth Rogan/James Franco movie The Interview because of threats from North Korea, the Center for Inquiry stepped up and said it would be glad to host screenings of the film:

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Male Shame, the Root of Female Shame

This is an article by Darrel Ray. It appears in the current issue of American Atheist magazine. American Atheist magazine is available at Barnes & Noble and Book World bookstores in the U.S. and at Chapters/Indigo bookstores in Canada. Go to to subscribe or to join American Atheists. Members receive free digital subscription. It’s also available from iTunes.

For thousands of years, religions have used shame as a method of control. It is easy to see how shame is detrimental to females in patriarchal religions, but it has grave consequences for males as well. We hear a good deal today about the shaming of women and girls, but we don’t hear as much about male shame. Male shame is all around us and starts at infancy. Its message is strong and consistent: males must act a certain way or they are not really male. Males must always be seen as distinctly different and superior to females. From male shame comes a wide range of behaviors designed to oppress women and ensure male dominance. Understanding the interplay and dynamics of shame makes it possible to explain much of the misogynistic behavior we see in the religious and non-religious alike.

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“America’s Doctor” Doesn’t Seem to Care About the Scientific Merits of His Claims, Says New Study on Dr. Oz

This past June, Dr. Mehmet Oz was called to testify before Congress at the request of Senator Claire McCaskill because of one particularly egregious scam that he, among others, promoted.

Now, the British Medical Journal has weighed in with more substantive charges against the sell-out doctor. A study published on Wednesday shows that his recommendations are far from scientifically sound:

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If Religion is a Regrettable Waste of Time, As I’ve Argued, What About Other Pastimes?

Yesterday, I wrote a controversial post that explained why I’ve gradually crossed over from atheism to anti-theism. I partly hung my case on the fact that religion is a huge time-suck, and calculated that in the history of humankind, roughly 600 trillion hours have been wasted on all manner of faith-based activities and observances.

Among the more than 500 comments was a recurring question: What about time-wasting activities that I didn’t criticize? What about, for instance, going to the movies or watching TV or reading fiction or playing video games? Why would I care how people spend their free time as long as they’re not hurting anyone?

That’s a good point that I perhaps can’t wholly refute, but I can at least shed some more light on what I was going for.

Like all people, I do plenty of things that aren’t productive (except in the indirect sense of “recharging” myself mentally and physically). In recent weeks, I’ve binge-watched Peaky Blinders; read The Satanic Verses cover to cover; and played Stick Hero on my iPhone in a still-ongoing digital duel with my 12-year-old daughter.

It seems to me that enjoying these activities is different from observing religion in two crucial ways.

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