Pacific Union College Disinvites Alum Speaker Who Became an Atheist After Graduation

Ryan Bell, the former pastor who has since become an atheist, was recently invited to deliver a lecture to students in Pacific Union College’s Psychology and Social Work department.

If you’re not familiar with the school, it’s a private Seventh-day Adventist Church-affiliated college… and it also happens to be Bell’s alma mater. So it definitely would’ve made for an interesting homecoming.

Unfortunately, the lecture was canceled. The school’s President, Dr. Heather Knight, pulled the plug, it seems, because she was afraid Bell might plant seeds of doubt into the students’ minds.

Bell wasn’t going to do that. His lecture wasn’t about why they should become atheists. But what exactly would have been the problem with challenging students on their core beliefs?

That’s what Bell would like to know, and he wrote an open letter to Knight with that thought in mind:

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A Dying Child Says She’d Prefer Heaven Over a Hospital; Should Her Parents Listen?

Five-year-old Julianna Snow is suffering from spinal muscular atrophy, “a hereditary disease where neurons in the brain and spinal cord are progressively destroyed.” It’s an incurable disease and catching a cold virus could be enough to kill her.

But Julianna says that she doesn’t want to go back to the hospital if she gets sick again.

She’d rather stay at home, die, and go to heaven.



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High School Teacher Forces Student to Stand for the Pledge: “I Don’t Care About the Law!”

Last week, at East Syracuse Minoa Central High School in New York, a student remained seated during the Pledge of Allegiance, only to have her teacher flip out as if she did something wrong.

The American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center explained the situation in a letter to the District:



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Creationist: If You Don’t Interpret the Bible Literally, There’s No Reason to Wear Clothes

It’s nothing new for Creationist Ken Ham to appear on Christian radio and proclaim that a literal interpretation of the Bible is the way to go. If Christians don’t take Genesis as fact, the rest of the Bible may as well go down with the ship.

It’s also not new for a Creationist to say gay marriage is an abomination because God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, and if you don’t believe Adam and Eve existed, how can you get away defending marriage as between one man and one woman?

But I’ve never heard the argument Ham made recently, which is that if you don’t take Genesis literally, then we might as well all be naked.



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A Texas Middle School Teacher Did Not Force the Class to Admit God is a Myth

“The United States is the greatest country in the world.”

Is that true, false, or just something that a lot of people believe even though they can’t prove it?

Or, to put it in the language of a middle school reading class, is it fact, opinion, or a “commonplace assertion”?

The answer is obvious: It’s a commonplace assertion. People can give you their reasons for why the U.S. is or isn’t the best, but it’s not something either side can prove.

What if I gave you the statement “God exists”? Fact, opinion, or a commonplace assertion?

Once again, it’s a commonplace assertion. You can’t prove it either way, but a lot of people sure as hell believe it. (For what it’s worth, saying God doesn’t exist would be in the same category.)

There’s a controversy currently brewing in Katy, Texas, because that question about God’s existence is being used as evidence for Christian persecution.

That accusation is being made by seventh-grader Jordan Wooley, who said the statement about God was a fact. Her teacher correctly told her that was the wrong answer. Now, Wooley claims she is being forced to choose between her grades and her faith.

If that sounds like the plot of the next God’s Not Dead movie, that’s because it’s just as ridiculous. But that’s the narrative conservative websites are pushing.

Wooley told the Katy Independent School District board about her dilemma on Monday night:



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