Maajid Nawaz: “We Cannot Shoot Our Way Out of This Problem” of Muslim Extremism

Over the weekend, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria discussed the recent terrorist attacks in Paris with former extremist Maajid Nawaz, who shed light on the mindset of the radical Muslims who committed the.horrific acts:



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Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 81: David Smalley, Host of Dogma Debate

Our latest podcast guest is David Smalley, host of the incredibly popular podcast Dogma Debate, which has tens of thousands of listeners weekly.

Smalley is a former Christian musician who became an atheist after studying psychology, sociology, world religions, and his own faith. He soon turned into a secular activist.

He was the editor-in-chief of Secular World and American Atheist magazines, the author of Baptized Atheist, and co-founder of AtheistAudiobooks.com. His Secular Media Group will also soon release a children’s book titled Tiny Thinkers: Charlie and the Tortoise.

We spoke with David about why it’s so important not to be an angry atheist (if you can help it), what it takes to be a successful podcaster, and why he’s so passionate about atheist activism.

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The Catholic Church Says the Virgin Mary Has Been Seen with a “High Degree of Certainty” in These Places

National Geographic has a cover story this month on the significance and legacy of the Virgin Mary — or at least the idea of her. There’s no denying a lot of people in this world believe she’s real and continue to see “visions” of her everywhere.

The article mentions a website called Miraclehunter.com, which chronicles all those “visions,” and there’s a graphic of all the places where she’s been sighted. As if she’s Bigfoot.

Take a look at the map, a portion of which is below. I don’t care about the light blue dots representing where people claim to have seen her. Check out all of the red dots, where the Vatican or local bishops have supposedly found evidence of the supernatural.



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What Girl Meets World Got Wrong About Religious Belief

I give the Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World a lot of credit. While the first season of the Boy Meets World spinoff was a bit weak, the second has already addressed serious issues such as Asperger’s syndrome, family relationships, abandonment, identity, and bullying.

That’s what upsets me about this past Friday’s episode. While the show has done a decent job of handling serious issues other sitcoms may have just glossed over, the latest episode (titled “Girl Meets Belief”) did an awful job addressing religious belief.

If you’re not familiar with the show, you can still make sense of this. Here’s what you need to know: Riley Matthews and her crush Lucas Friar believe in God. Riley’s best friend, Maya Hart, is more of an Agnostic, continually deflecting conversations about belief since she doesn’t want to argue with her friend. Another character, Farkle Minkus, values evidence-based thinking.

When their teacher (who is also Riley’s father) gives them an assignment based on Joan of Arc and Thomas Jefferson, it’s a chance for the kids to work with each other and examine their beliefs.



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Thousands Quit Mormon Church in Mass Resignation

What an incredible sight this must have been yesterday, when thousands of Mormons surrounded the LDS Church in Salt Lake City, Utah to submit their official resignation letters:

According to reports, there were more than 2,500 in attendance, with the majority announcing their plans to quit in the wake of the Church’s bigoted stance toward gay couples and their children:

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