A Bingo Card for Bad Christian Arguments

My Patheos colleague Bob Seidensticker has been writing a lot about arguments Christians should avoid when trying to prove God’s existence.

He also created this handy Bingo card — which you may want to bring the next time you hear an apologist debate:

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Foundation Beyond Belief is Looking for a New Executive Director

It’s tough to even write this out, but Dale McGowan, who began Foundation Beyond Belief and served as its Executive Director since the beginning, has decided to step down from his position.

There’s no problem with the organization and it was Dale’s decision alone to pursue other interests, but it means we (the board) are looking for a new leader.

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Golden Showers

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Why Are HPV Vaccination Rates So Low in White New Zealand Families? Because “White Girls Don’t Have Sex”

I’ve heard atheists mock the idea of a virgin birth but, growing up in fundamentalist circles where sex was considered so dirty that even discussing it in the context of sex ed was unthinkable, I know better.

In that environment, you see a lot of “virgin births” and pregnant teenagers — kids, fully committed to “purity,” but whose sex-phobic indoctrination didn’t stand a chance in the face of hormones, and whose complete lack of knowledge left them unprepared for what could happen. Kids who would never have dared admit anything different… until it was too late.

While it was particularly pronounced in that environment, the idea that “good girls” — “my girls” — don’t have sex isn’t confined to fundamentalists. And its impact is pretty noticeable. For instance, the most widely offered reason for why parents reject the HPV vaccine for their daughters? It isn’t needed.

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The Shaky Science Behind the Pseudo-Faith That Is Alcoholics Anonymous

A very interesting article in the Atlantic shines the spotlight on the history of Alcoholics Anonymous — and more importantly, on AA’s dubious claims of efficacy. At about 7,500 words, Gabrielle Glaser‘s piece is thorough and serious-minded, and while I recommend reading it in full, I’m happy to provide a summary here in five easy pieces.

1. The beginning:

In 1934, just after Prohibition’s repeal, a failed stockbroker named Bill Wilson staggered into a Manhattan hospital. Wilson was known to drink two quarts of whiskey a day, a habit he’d attempted to kick many times. He was given the hallucinogen belladonna, an experimental treatment for addictions, and from his hospital bed he called out to God to loosen alcohol’s grip. He reported seeing a flash of light and feeling a serenity he had never before experienced. He quit booze for good. The next year, he co-founded Alcoholics Anonymous. He based its principles on the beliefs of the evangelical Oxford Group, which taught that people were sinners who, through confession and God’s help, could right their paths.

2. It spreads:

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