Here’s a Kind of “New Atheism” We Can All Get Behind

Skepticon — the annual free atheist conference in Springfield, Missouri — is doing something radical for their eighth time around: They’re not inviting any speakers who have been on their stage before.



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Man Who Hosted “Draw Muhammad” Event in Phoenix Wants $10 Million to Provide Security for His Family

Jon Ritzheimer (below) is the man who hosted the Draw Muhammad event in Phoenix a couple of nights ago.

And now he’s trying to capitalize on his notoriety, saying that he’s accepting donations for the safety of his family.

And for a hospital.

And for his future Senate campaign race.

All he needs is $10 million.

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New Biblical Guide to Hell for Small Children is Sick and Depraved

To be honest, I was unaware that people calling themselves Puritans still existed. 

A new Christian book for children, The Cage: A Young Children’s Guide to the Biblical Teaching on Hell, by C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D., Th.D., was published this month by Puritan Publications of Tennessee. McMahon is an American Calvinist Reformed theologian, adjunct professor at Whitefield Theological Seminary, and editor of A Puritan’s Mind, which the publisher’s promo describes as “the largest Reformed website on the internet for students of the Bible concerning Reformed Theology, the Puritans and Covenant Theology.”

The “tastefully illustrated” book is “aimed at children 5 to 9 years old.” The dedication page gives a taste of the dark things to come:

“But I will warn you to whom to fear: Fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.  Yes, I tell you, fear him!”  (Luke 12:5)…

“Do not withhold correction from a child, For if you beat him with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, And deliver his soul from hell,” (Proverbs 23:14).

Those “tasteful illustrations”? Take a look at just one page:



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Pittsylvania County Officials Lose Long-Running Fight to Pray to Jesus at Meetings

In 2012, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors in Virginia began each meeting with a prayer to Jesus Christ.

An anonymous woman had sued the city in response — but a judge ruled that the only way for the lawsuit to proceed was if she revealed her identity.

In a country where atheists can get harassed for simply suggesting, “If people want to pray, they should do it privately, not on the taxpayers’ dime,” it’s no surprise the person wanted to keep her identity hidden.

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The Unlikely Miracles Used to Justify Sainthood for Recent Popes

Last year, the Catholic Church announced the sainthood of two former popes, John XXIII, who was pope from 1958 to 1963, and John Paul II, pope from 1978 to 2005. The church’s requirement for sainthood is two miracles worked by them after their death, which are needed to prove they’re in heaven and accepting prayer requests from back home on Earth.

Joe Nickell, paranormal investigator extraordinaire, wrote in the latest Skeptical Inquirer about the Church’s latest (incredibly weak) case for Pope miracles. For starters, he explains, most claims of medical miracles have at their heart a fatal flaw: the argument from ignorance:

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