New Atheist Billboards Explain How Disaster Victims Don’t Need Religion, Bibles, or Prayer

The latest billboard campaign from American Atheists goes right to the heart of how we ought to respond to natural disasters: Do you pray and send Bibles? Or do you volunteer or send money?

AA says, over the course of six billboards in central New Jersey going up today, that we should stop asking for supernatural help. It doesn’t do anything of value to help the situation:



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After Coming Out As An Atheist, I Was Shunned by My Mother

This is a guest post by Catherine Dunphy. Dunphy is the Executive Director of the Clergy Project.

I’ve thought quite a bit over the past two years about the concept of shunning in religious families. It’s been in the back of my mind for a long time, a consequence that I knew I’d eventually have to face when my mother discovered the Clergy Project. I knew that the stakes would be high and that my mother’s religious beliefs would ultimately be an obstacle to our relationship.

On many occasions over the past decade, I have spoken briefly with her about my lack of faith. Though I never lied to her, I admit that I attempted to downplay my atheist activism. My efforts were to ensure transparency, but also to limit the details and frequency of these conversations so that we could carve out space where our relationship could thrive. It was, I had thought, a happy but uncomfortable truce.

Unfortunately, this strategy came crashing down a few short weeks ago, just before my birthday.

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Painted Into a Corner, Catholic Bishops May Have Found a Way to Comply with the HHS Contraception Mandate

Earlier in November, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) held its annual fall meeting, after which it released a Special Message that has raised some a few eyebrows. Why? Well, it just might hold the key to letting the bishops make a graceful exit from the issue of reproductive health-care coverage.

The message focuses specifically on the HHS Mandate that would require all employers — even Catholic ones, such as hospitals and universities — to provide health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and other examples of reproductive care the Church calls sinful. It’s not even surprising anymore to hear the bishops double down on what awesome work Catholic charities do, and how unfair it all is.

But some commenters have picked up on a slight change in tone, so subtle it’s invisible unless you’re very, very good at picking out the nuances of the Church hierarchy’s political double-speak:

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Catholic Church Has a Problem with Its Painting of Jesus on the Cross Because… um… the Resurrection

There’s a famous image of Jesus on the crucifix called the “San Damiano Cross” that was painted in the 12th century.

In 2001, the Shrine of St. Bernadette church in Albuquerque, New Mexico commissioned a version of the painting and the artist’s rendition was pretty true to the original. Turns out the parishioners weren’t pleased about that.

See if you can guess why:



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What Should an Atheist Do If Asked to Say Grace During Thanksgiving Dinner?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: What should an atheist do if asked to say grace during Thanksgiving dinner?:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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