Ask Richard: Young Atheist’s Parents Face Bigotry and Harrassment in Small Religious Town

Note: Letter writers’ names are changed to protect their privacy.
Dear Richard,

My name is Kaitlyn. I’m 15 years old and have been an atheist since I was 10. I’m fortunate enough to have parents that are very open minded and irreligious.

I happen to live in a small, extremely religious town. (There are 19 Christian churches here, and we just reached a population of 2,000 last spring) I’ve become somewhat notorious for my atheism because I’m really open about it. Most people have gotten used to me, I guess. I’m not targeted much anymore.

However, this is not so for my family. [Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Video from the Megachurch Service

That was quick! The video of the Oak Hills Church service in which I discussed (with Pastor Randy Frazee) atheism, doubt, and what Christians are doing right and wrong is now online:

Realization: If I had dropped down on my knees and accepted Christ as my Savior, this thing would be going *so* viral right now. Oh well. [Read more...]

Over the Weekend, I Spoke at a Megachurch…

***Update***: A video of the service is now online!

I spent the past couple of days at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, talking to about 8,000 Christians about what they do right and wrong, at least when it comes to their interactions with atheists.

There aren’t a lot of megachurch pastors (or congregations) who would be okay with that sort of thing, so hats off to Pastor Randy Frazee and his staff for making it happen and making me feel really comfortable there. Video of the event will be available within a couple of days and I’ll post something when it’s up.

In the meantime, John Tedesco of the San Antonio Express-News was there for one of the services and his article accurately captures how things went:

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Christian Forgiveness: It’s a Bug, Not a Feature

Yesterday, I briefly highlighted three cases of ex-convicts who got jobs as Christian pastors. The trust of their flock was the only protective cloak they needed to rape and murder again; so rape and murder they did.

In the case of Michigan pastor John D. White, who killed a young woman and is believed to have had sex with her dead body, the congregation that hired him knew he had a rap sheet full of violence. But White had embraced Jesus. No more was needed. His conversion and ordainment quelled all suspicion, worry, or second thought. An actual minister would never do anything truly bad, would he?

Forgiveness is always available from God — damn the consequences.

Christians think of redemption as a feature of their faith. But what if it’s a bug?

To the Almighty, nothing is unforgivable. Let that sink in. Nothing. You can be a genocidal maniac who eats crushed-up infants on toast during snack time… and still go to heaven if you eventually repent.

[Click headline for more...] [Read more...]

Emily Boyer: Secular Facts on Sexual Acts

At the Oklahoma Freethought Convention a couple of weeks ago, Emily Boyer, a sexual and reproductive health activist, spoke about “Secular Facts on Sexual Acts” (possibly NSFW language). It’s the sex-ed class you (probably) didn’t have in high school but really should have:

If any moments stand out to you, please leave the timestamp and summary in the comments!

(via TheThinkingAtheist) [Read more...]