Manitoba Atheist Group Will Run Bus Ads in September

The Humanists, Atheists and Agnostics of Manitoba are going all out this September.

It starts with this ad which will appear on several city buses over the course of the month:

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Another Set of Faith-Healing Parents Arrested After Allowing Their Daughter to Die of a Treatable Disease

In 2012, Greg and JaLea Swezey were sentenced to five years of probation after they allowed their 17 year-old son Zachery to die of appendicitis… even though it was completely preventable:

The Swezeys were not practitioners of Christian Science, but they were members of the Church of the First Born, a church that also endorses “faith-healing.” Why see a doctor when God will cure all?! (Except when He doesn’t.)

Now, it’s happened again — to another family from the same church.

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Why Is There More Depression Among Clergy Members Than in the General Population?

Recently, researchers from the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School decided to look into the mental health of members of the clergy. Using phone surveys and written questionnaires, they interviewed over 1,700 United Methodist pastors, and found that depression is about 1.6 times higher in that group compared to the general population (8.7% versus 5.5%).

Other estimates of the prevalence of poor mental health among clergy are wildly higher, with some sources claiming that 70% of U.S. pastors are depressed.

The results of the Duke Divinity team were published in the Journal of Primary Prevention and summarized in the Huffington Post, which quoted Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, the Clergy Health Initiative’s research director:

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Kentucky Department of Education Reminds Public School Superintendents That Teachers Should Not Proselytize During Work

Earlier this week, the Kentucky Department of Education did something every state’s education department should do: They sent an email to every public school district superintendent in the state (173 of them in all) reminding them what the law says about church/state separation:

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Indians Fight for Recognition of ‘No Religion’ Category in National Census

More than 80% of Indians identify as Hindus. Islam is the second largest group, and it’s six times the size of the third largest category, Christianity. There are a plethora of other religious identities in India, including Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs. When it comes to the national census, though, the rest are all lumped into a single category: “Other.” That includes animists, Baha’is, Jews, Zoroastrians and… atheists. As it stands, there’s no category for “No religion.”

For the 2001 Census, the “Other” category added up to 0.6 percent. Which sounds small, until you realize that it amounts to around 4,500,000 people in a nation the size of India.

What’s the breakdown of that group? We have no idea. But we do know that the size of the “Other” category doubled between the 1991 and 2001 Census. If global trends are anything to go on, they may have doubled again between 2001 and 2011, which could mean we’re talking about 1.2 percent of the population or 9,000,000 people.

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