Atheists Giving Aid Raises Money for Victims of West, Texas Explosion

We don’t get to choose when tragedy strikes but it’s up to us to help out the victims even when there are more every day. God’s not going to fix anything.

Last night, just days after the Boston bombings, there was an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas:

Already, the Atheists Giving Aid team — having already raised more than $27,000 for Boston victims — are raising money for the victims of the plant explosion:

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If Only These Pastors Would Share Their Secret with Their Congregations

A lot of Christian leaders have an opportunity to do the right thing on marriage equality before they get steamrolled by history.

So what’s stopping them? Just their Biblical convictions? That’s true for many… but not all of them, as Sally Quinn notes:

I have had a few religious leaders confide in me that they were not personally against gay marriage but could not take that position publicly for fear of losing their congregations. Think of the conflict and, yes, shame they must be feeling now and how it will only worsen with time. One day, they will have to come around or they really will lose their congregations. They have one thing going for them. Most religions believe in redemption. They’ll need to pray for it big-time.

As we’ve learned from so many of the graduates of the Clergy Project, when you carry a secret that would shock your congregation, saying it out loud can be devastating, but the freedom you get from having a clear conscience is sooooo worth it.

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Worldwide Protests Planned in Support of Bangladeshi Atheist Bloggers Under Attack

Atheist bloggers in Bangladesh have been under attack for a while now. Violence broke out not long ago after they were accused of criticizing Islam. They’ve been censored and threatened to no end. And one citizen has already been brutally attacked.

Next week, the Center for Inquiry, the International Humanist and Ethical Union, American Atheists, and CFI-Canada are planning worldwide protests in support of those brave bloggers:

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Rapid City (South Dakota) Leaders Vote to Keep Religious Invocations at Meetings

I’ve spent a lot of time on this site talking about Rapid City, South Dakota, where the City Council begins meetings with an invocation delivered by a “local minister.“ FFRF has sent them warnings about it, but they haven’t stopped.

Most recently, they told a college-aged church/state activist that he was “too young to have wisdom.”

Now, the Wise Men on the council have voted to keep their invocations, because, you know… tradition!

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Turkish Atheist Fazil Say Sentenced for Blasphemy for His Offensive Tweets

Months ago we brought you the story of Fazil Say, a world-renowned pianist who was to be prosecuted for the “crime” of tweeting jokes about Islam.

Despite protests both within and outside Turkey, the prosecution went ahead and declared Say guilty of “insulting religious values of a part of the population,” giving him a 10-month jail sentence. Thankfully, it is a suspended sentence, so Say will not have to enter prison, but it does mean that if Say commits a similar “crime” within the next five years, he would be ordered to enter prison. (So shut up, or else.)

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