If Atheist Books Are Placed in Georgia State Parks, Will Christians Destroy Them?

As you might know, American Atheists recently pointed out that at least one Georgia state park had Bibles in the cabins. Since these are taxpayer-funded parks (and not privately-owned hotels), that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen.

But Governor Nathan Deal said more than a week ago that “any group is free to donate literature,” not just Christian ones.

American Atheists, perhaps not expecting that answer, gleefully took him at his word and made plans to gather materials for distribution in the state’s parks.

How does the Governor feel now that an atheist group is calling him on his (possible) bluff?

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Cardinal’s Archdiocese Opposes Paying for Contraception Despite Already Paying for Contraception

Cardinal Timothy Dolan is leading the charge against Obama’s HHS Mandate, which requires all employers — even Catholic ones — to provide health plans that cover “preventive health services” for women. Listening to him speak on the subject, you’d think a mandate that businesses must pay for employees’ contraceptives and abortions would utterly and absolutely destroy the Catholic Church — and America! — as we know it.

It’s about religious freedom, he insists, and it’s a slippery slope towards the removal of that freedom:

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Quebec Court of Appeal Rules That City Council’s 20-Second Prayer to ‘All-Powerful God’ is Perfectly Legal

In 2006, atheist Alain Simoneau told the city council of Saguenay, Quebec (Canada) that they needed to stop reciting a prayer at their meetings. It took years for a lawsuit to get filed and for a local court to issue a ruling, but in 2011, Quebec’s human-rights tribunal stopped the city from holding its 20-second prayer to “all-powerful God.” The tribunal also made the council take down a crucifix that was on the wall and pay $30,000 in damages to Simoneau. While the case was in progress, the prayer was replaced with a (still excruciatingly long) two-minute moment of silence.

Yesterday, Quebec’s Court of Appeal reversed that ruling (PDF, in French), somehow making the absurd case that “reciting a prayer does not violate the religious neutrality of the city.”

… the hell?

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Megan Doesn’t Want Your Public Prayers. Thanks Anyway.

Megan, 22, is a recent Duke University grad and a gifted writer. Because she was born with a rare connective-tissue disorder called epidermolysis bullosa, she’s had to get used to people asking “What’s the matter with Megan?” Hence the name of her new blog.

Sometimes, strangers pray on her. Not just for her. On her.

”Having a visible disability is like shark bait for ignorant people lacking scruples,” she explains. “I swear, the mere sight of crutches is like blood in the water.”

So when she’s out and about, the faithful approach her. Well-meaning folks. Kindness in their hearts. Filled with the spirit. And they really, really want their Lord to perform a miracle. One time, Megan got caught in what she describes as an “unholy prayer sandwich”:

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Andrew Brown Has It Wrong; ‘New Atheism’ Isn’t All About Deconverting People

Over at the Guardian, Andrew Brown writes about a conversation he had with philosopher (and New Atheist author) Daniel Dennett. One of the topics that came up was how Dennett feels compelled to help people think rationally — out of religion — while Brown see no reason to do that. As the title of the piece says, he’s “an atheist but… [he] won’t try to deconvert anyone.”

That’s one hell of a straw man argument, of course, intended to make Brown appear more tolerant and rational than Dennett:

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