Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 36: Marshall Brain, Author of How “God” Works

Our latest podcast guest is Marshall Brain, best known as the founder of the website HowStuffWorks.com. In 2007, Discovery Communications bought the site for a whopping $250 million.



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Tampa Newspaper Journalist Twice Buried St. Joseph In Her Yard In Order To Sell Her House

Got a house for sale? The Bible’s most famous cuckold, Jesus’ adoptive father, can help you move it quickly.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

All over the Tampa Bay area, little plastic Josephs lie buried in lawns large and small, lush and scraggly. They are interred there by people who are trying to sell their homes and hope that St. Joseph will find them a buyer. …

Lori Bederman said she and her husband contracted to build a house in Bradenton three years ago but worried about unloading their place in Connecticut while the economy was so poor. “My husband was in a panic because we were now obligated to own two homes,” Bederman wrote in an email. “I knew my faith in St. Joseph would guide our way.” Bederman buried a statue of Joseph in the front yard and two days later had a cash offer.

How did this silliness get started? Enter Mother Teresa. No, an earlier Mother Teresa.

As one story goes, an order of Spanish nuns headed by Teresa of Avila in the 1500s prayed to Joseph to help them find land for new convents. For good measure, they also buried their medals of Joseph. Teresa opened 16 convents and soon other people began turning to Joseph when they had land transactions. Over time, the custom of burying medals gave way to burying statues.



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If You Think the “I Met God, She’s Black” Shirt is Controversial, You Have to Explain Why

A shirt reading “I Met God, She’s Black,” created by 21-year-old “self-described Jewish atheist” Dylan Chenfeld, is generating all sorts of publicity and interest, especially in the wake of what’s happened with Michael Brown and Eric Garner:



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Film Spoofing Religious Strife Causes Religious Strife; Still Becomes India’s Highest-Grossing Blockbuster

Who would hate a comedy that spoofs religious hatred?

Some religious people do… and they want it banned.

PK is the story of an alien (played by Aamir Khan) who lands on earth as a blank slate and is uninfected with religious prejudices and material urges. He realizes that the human species is no different from him and it’s only religious beliefs and nationality that divide and polarize people against each other.

The story revolves around a Hindu girl, Jaggu (Anushka Sharma), who falls in love with Sarfaraz (Shushant Rajput), a Pakistani Muslim boy. But their relationship ruptures due to some misunderstanding and a Hindu saint takes advantage of the situation to create mistrust in her mind against Muslim men. … The story actually challenges myths and prejudices being spread against Muslims in India by supporters of the ruling Hindu nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party.



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The Religious Makeup of the 114th Congress: Only One Member is a “None” and Even She Won’t Call Herself an Atheist

I wrote this post almost word for word for 2013 and 2011 and 2009. In fact, I just copied/pasted it, updating a few things along the way.

It’s sad how little has changed since then regarding atheists in Congress.

What are the religious affiliations of members of the 114th Congress?

Pretty similar to the American public — Overwhelmingly Christian (491 members, 92%) with a spattering of Jews (28, 5%), Muslims (2, 0.4%), Buddhists (2, 0.4%), and other faiths.

But there’s a striking disparity in one category…

The “Unaffiliated.” We’re 20% of the country and 0.2% of Congress with a single representative.

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