A Former Pastor Explains Living Between Belief and Unbelief

Ryan Bell is the former pastor who decided to “try on” atheism for a while when he felt a little pulled in that direction. His decision even cost him his job.

For the past several months, he’s been blogging on Patheos at A Year Without God, though his year is about to come to an end, so it’ll be interesting to see what he does after that.

In the meantime, Bell recently gave a speech at the Center For Inquiry in Los Angeles detailing his theological views and how he came to put his faith to the test. Check it out!



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Alberta Politicians Battle Over Gay-Straight Alliances in Schools

Alberta is known for being Canada’s greatest hotbed of religious fundamentalism and conservative attitudes. So when some proposed legislation aimed to make high school a little safer for queer teenagers, things get a little bit messy.

The legislation in question is Bill 202, the Safe and Inclusive Schools Act. It’s a private members’ bill aimed at decreasing anti-LGBTQ bullying by requiring all schools to permit the formation of gay-straight alliances (GSAs). If the bill passes, it means school administrators won’t be allowed to stand in the way of students who wish to form a GSA.



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Congress Will Likely Transfer the Mount Soledad Cross to Private Land

We are still talking about the Mount Soledad cross for some reason.

Here’s a quick recap in case you’re unfamiliar with the story: This controversy, which began nearly 25 years ago, is the longest-running Establishment Clause case in American history.

It involves the Mount Soledad cross in San Diego — a huge cross on public land erected in 1954. After the now-deceased Philip Paulson challenged the cross’ constitutionality more than two decades ago and after atheist Steve Trunk took up the case a few years ago, atheists have generally prevailed in the court system. In 2012, the Supreme Court declined to hear any more challenges from Christian groups, putting the future of the cross back in the hands of lower courts.



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Dogma Debate Broadcastathon to Benefit Foundation Beyond Belief

The folks at Dogma Debate are doing a 24-hour Broadcastathon to benefit Foundation Beyond Belief.

They’ve already raised more than $30,000 (!!!).

I can’t thank David Smalley and his team enough for doing this.

I’m their final guest, so please listen in and consider making a contribution!

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London Doctor Takes His Own Life After His Muslim Family Insists He’s Mentally Ill For Being Gay

The Islamic holiday Eid al-Fitr is supposed to be a day of unity. For Nazim Mahmood, a British doctor, it appears to have been the day when his family rejected his being gay — with fatal consequences:

A Harley Street doctor killed himself by jumping from his luxury penthouse apartment after his mother asked him to seek “a cure” for being gay, an inquest heard. Dr Nazim Mahmood, fell four storeys to his death from the balcony of his £700,000 flat in a mansion block in West Hampstead, London, in July. An inquest at St. Pancras Coroners’ Court heard Dr Mahmood had told his mother he was gay and was in a 13-year relationship with his fiancée, Matthew Ogston, just days before his death.



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