Would You Want to Live in a World Where Everyone Was an Atheist?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Would I want to live in a world where everyone was an atheist?:

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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If a Scientist Wrote the Book of Genesis, It Would Look Like This

Tom Carver has written the first five books of the Bible from the perspective of someone who cares far more about science than faith. His Pentateuch is called The Newer, More English Version:

In the excerpt below, we go right back to the beginning:

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The Pastor Who Started the Whole Costco/Bible Controversy Is Ashamed at How Christians Have Reacted

You may have heard that Costco believes the Bible is a book of fiction.

I think readers sent me more links to this week’s Costco controversy than any other story they’ve sent me in a long time. I ignored it at first, telling them it was probably just someone moving labels around, not some Costco conspiracy. But the story pressed on…

It all started with this tweet by Pastor Caleb Kaltenbach:


As amusing as that might be for atheists, my suspicions held up: Costco never approved the “mislabeling” of the Bible. Turns out it was just a contained mistake:

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New Jersey Rejects Another Atheist License Plate, But Allows a Baptist One

The Motor Vehicles Commission of the state of New Jersey continues its war on nonbelievers!

Well, not so much a “war” as a kind of backward, archaic prejudice. You’ll of course recall the great saga of American Atheists’ Dave Silverman and his battle to exercise his right to wear his atheism on his license plate. After initial refusals to produce his plate, the New Jersey MVC relented, and there was much rejoicing.

But a new gauntlet has been thrown by the Garden State’s regulatory machine. This time, the aggrieved party is one Shannon Morgan, who attempted to get her own godless license plate as such: “8THEIST”

However, as you can see in the screen grab below, Shannon was thwarted.

The decree from the MVC? “Requested plate text is considered objectionable.” That’s right, folks, indicating your atheism on your car is still “objectionable” to the state of New Jersey.

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Major FFRF Legal Victory Eliminates Tax-Free Housing for Pastors

For years now, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has been in a legal battle to end the “parish exemption” that allows ministers to deduct the cost of rent for their church-owned houses from their taxable income. FFRF believes that this shows preferential treatment for religious leaders.

FFRF’s own board has even paid its co-presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor $15,000 each as part of their housing allowance, but because they don’t qualify as “ministers of the gospel,” the law doesn’t apply to them. That’s one of the ways they’ve tried to prove the law is illegal.

A few months ago, the U.S. Department of Justice ridiculously argued that the exemption was legal and that FFRF’s leaders were eligible for the tax breaks… because atheism, they said, was a religion:

Non-theistic beliefs, including atheism, may qualify as “religious” beliefs in various contexts because they pertain to religion and fulfill a similar role in a person’s life:

Because [FFRF] can show no facts to suggest that the IRS will apply terms like “minister” and “religious organization” as if they turn on adherence to some theistic belief or other content, this Court should not presume that the IRS would act inconsistently with the governing law regarding whether atheism a religion for purposes of an atheist’s claim…

No thanks, says Gaylor.

“We are not ministers,” she said. “We are having to tell the government the obvious — we are not a church.”

Yesterday, in a very surprising (but legally sound) decision, U.S. District Judge Barbara B. Crabb ruled in favor of the FFRF, writing that the “parish exemption” was indeed unconstitutional:



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