I Love How This Hospital Thanked a Group of Atheists for Donating Gifts to Patients

Last month, as part of their “War on Christmas” campaign, the Minnesota Atheists donated two carloads worth of toys and gifts to patients at the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota.

Group President Eric Jayne just got a thank you note from the hospital. It reads like a typical form letter until you get to the second paragraph…



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Why the French Embrace “Freedom From Religion” and Distrust “Community” — And Why That’s a Problem

In France, laicité, or secularism, is a big deal.

Public Radio International’s Daniel Estrin, an American who has relatives in France and likes to spend time there, observes

… that we [come] from starkly different societies. If the U.S. enshrined freedom of religion, France seemed to be embracing freedom from religion. People’s religious affiliations should not be present at all in the public sphere, my cousins said.

When Estrin (pictured below) joined his cousins for the historic march in Paris on January 11, this difference came to the fore again.

“I am here because I want the religion and the religious people to stay away from the Republic,” Ivan said. “If we want to live together, we have to respect the laws of the Republic and keep the religion at home.”

My cousin Katya mentioned a recent train ride she took. “A lady came with a black dress [presumably, a burka]. Only her face was not covered … and she had black gloves,” she said. “It hurts me. And the same for Jewish people with the [yarmulke] and the hat. I can’t stand that.



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Christian Pastor Says Aborted Fetuses Go to Hell and Wives Should Acquiesce to Sex Even if They Don’t Want To

I first heard about NYCpastor.com when I started seeing an article from the site, detailing what kind of women Christian men should avoid, making its rounds on social media. (Atheist, divorced, career, feminist, and travel-loving women are among those who will doubtless be relieved to know that they didn’t make the cut).

According to the site’s “about” page (no doubt built for the inevitable moment when readers wondered, “who are you, person who is so wise in the ways of women?”), NYC Pastor is the blog of Dr. Stephen Kim, pastor of Mustard Seed Church.

Since writing that illuminating piece, Dr. Kim has addressed a few other burning issues (like, do dead fetuses go to hell?) in a fashion so monstrous that he immediately outs himself as either one of the greatest Internet trolls of all time… or a fairly typical New Calvinist.

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Christian Blogger Swears Off Leggings in Order to Honor God

Christian mom and blogger Veronica Partridge posted an entry to her blog earlier this month, detailing her decision to stop wearing leggings. What’s notable about the post are the reasons she gives for this choice — reasons that we see echoed throughout the “modesty” doctrines of the Christian community, that teach women that their clothing choices and the appearance of their bodies are responsible for the thoughts and actions of other people.

Now, before going further, I do want to be clear that I’m not criticizing Veronica, or calling into question her right to dress however she likes, for whatever reason she wants. I’m also not suggesting that she was hostile or anything of that nature in her post; she actually goes out of her way to stress that these are her thoughts and not a universal moral injunction against yoga pants. My problem isn’t with Veronica at all — but with the religious teachings that can convince her that wearing an item of clothing of which she is very fond is a sin, and can in turn cause other people to sin. My problem is with “modesty culture.” Veronica’s post is simply a good illustration of how women internalize these teachings, and the impact they have on a person’s thoughts.

Veronica writes that she had “been having a conviction weighing heavy on [her] heart” regarding tight pants, but one discussion in particular, with a set of both male and female friends, really struck her:

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Bible Stories Featuring Characters from Pop Culture

Artist Ben Riddlebarger has a series of drawings in which he sticks pop culture icons in various Bible stories… and the results are just awesome.

Like Daniel in the Lions’ Den featuring some lovable lions:

And Sodom and Gomorrah featuring Bert and Ernie:

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