Why is Facebook Censoring Pages Created by Romanian Atheists?

A few days ago, several Facebook groups for Romanian atheists and agnostics, including two that were parody pages about God and Jesus Christ, were shut down without warning to any of their administrators. Some of them are simply inaccessible to Romanians while available in other countries — it’s unclear whether that’s Facebook’s doing or that of Romanian Internet service providers. Combined, these pages had upwards of 100,000 Likes/followers.

There’s reason to believe the censorship stems from Patriarch Daniel, the leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church, who may have been upset about this image posted to the “God” parody page:

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Cardinal’s Attack on Love and Marriage Castigates Couples Who Do Not Procreate

A prominent Spanish cardinal doesn’t think my marriage is legit. And I’m not even gay!

Fernando Sebastián, the retired archbishop of Pamplona, Spain, who was recently elevated to cardinal status by Pope Francis, has suggested that homosexuality is akin to “bodily deficiencies,” such as his own high blood pressure, and that it can be cured.

“Homosexuality is a defective manner of expressing sexuality, because [sex] has a structure and a purpose, which is procreation. A homosexual who can’t achieve this is failing,” Sebastián told the Spanish newspaper Diaro Sur Monday.

The Monsignor’s reverence for procreation is nothing new. About four years ago, after I wrote a pro-marriage-equality op-ed for a local paper, I received this response from a reader:

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Democratic Senators, Atheists, and Church/State Separation Groups File Supreme Court Briefs Against Hobby Lobby

When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, it exempted religious organizations from having to fulfill the contraceptive requirement. In other words, if you were a pastor of a large church, you didn’t have to provide your employees with birth control if it went against your religious “conscience.”

The ACA did not offer the same exemption to public, for-profit companies owned by religious people — as well it shouldn’t have. Just because the owner of a huge company like, say, Hobby Lobby, is an evangelical Christian, why should he be able to withhold contraception from those who work for him? The company’s purpose isn’t to promote Christianity.

But Hobby Lobby’s CEO David Green felt he should be allowed to dictate the kind of health benefits his employees received and he took his case to court.

In November, the Supreme Court decided it would hear that case, deciding in essence whether corporations could be religious.

There is about more than just birth control (which Green unscientifically and ignorantly equates with abortion). If the Supreme Court rules in his favor, where would the line be drawn? What if a business owner was a Jehovah’s Witness who doesn’t believe in blood transfusions? Or a Christian Scientist who believed in the power of prayer over medicine? Would they get to force their employees, whose insurance comes through the workplace, to live by those rules as well?

Today, a group of 19 Democratic Senators filed a brief urging the Court to deny the Hobby Lobby exemption.

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The Way This Exchange Between Atheist Seller and Christian Buyer on eBay Ended is Ridiculous

One of the readers of this site (“co—”) recently sold her Kindle on eBay, but the buyer (“lu—”) wasn’t happy with the product she received. She claimed it wasn’t working. So the two of them had a quick back-and-forth exchange until the conflict was resolved.

But just wait until you read how it was resolved (click image to enlarge, or read the text below):



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Pope Francis is on the Rolling Stone Cover

In a overall positive cover story for Rolling Stone, Mark Binelli profiles Pope Francis:

What I love about that cover is that if you don’t look at the bottom half of it, it looks like Pope Francis is described as “The Internet Crime Kingpin” :)

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