In the Least Surprising News You’ll Hear Today, Stephen Hawking is an Atheist

Physicist Stephen Hawking has always had a somewhat squishy view of God. The author of books like God Created The Integers, he always seemed to be on the fence, saying that science and religion weren’t incompatible without admitting that he didn’t believe in a higher power. In a book called The Grand Design, Hawking said God was “no longer necessary” because we knew so much about the origins of the universe… but, again, that wasn’t a definitive statement.

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In a First, Vatican Arrests One of Its Own On Child-Rape Charges

Last year, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, the papal nuncio (ambassador) to the Dominican Republic, was recalled to Rome after allegations surfaced that he’d been sexually abusing Dominican boys for years. The Vatican defrocked him three months ago and announced it was conducting its own criminal investigation (I wrote about it here). Now, Wesolowski has been formally placed under arrest, which appears to be the first time that’s happened to a senior clergy member in the sordid history of the Catholic Church’s sexual child abuse scandals.

The Vatican has arrested a former archbishop following revelations he sexually abused young boys while serving as papal ambassador to the Dominican Republic. Jozef Wesolowski of Poland was defrocked in June and is now being held under house arrest per the orders of a Vatican criminal court.

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New Jersey High School Student Defending the Pledge of Allegiance Wrongly Thinks Atheists Are Trying to Silence Her

This past April, the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center announced that it had filed a lawsuit against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in Monmouth County, New Jersey regarding the Pledge of Allegiance.

If successful, the lawsuit could put an end to daily recitations of the Pledge in the state’s public schools.

There hasn’t been any ruling in the case yet, but yesterday, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty proudly announced that Samantha Jones, a NJ high school student, would be joining the legal fight against the AHA:

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Foul-mouthed Pastor Heath Mooneyham Ran the Most “Masculine” Church in America (Until Last Week’s DUI)

As we noted on this blog a couple of years ago, Pastor Heath Mooneyham, of Missouri’s Ignite Church, is a little preoccupied with sex and masculinity. How preoccupied, I had no idea until I read this profile of Mooneyham over at Vocativ. To say that the man revels in frat-boy humor would be an insult to frat boys. Good-ole-boy humor is more like it, maybe — the foul-mouthed, sexist kind that is pumped up on testosterone, and whose purveyors regard every male who doesn’t join them in their crude observations as a neutered milquetoast.

Since we last shone a light on him, Mooneyham’s church has grown by leaps and bounds (he recently raffled off a pair of assault rifles to boost church attendance, and says it was a great success). The decor of Mooneyham’s church (one of 300 in Joplin, population 50,000) might have something to do with that.

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Memphis News Station Thinks Atheists Gathering at Nearby Hotel on Easter Weekend is a “Raging” Controversy

Next April, over Easter weekend (as usual), American Atheists will be holding its annual convention in Memphis, Tennessee.

This is not news.

But you wouldn’t know that if you watched WMC Action News 5, Memphis’ NBC affiliate. They aired a segment about the convention last night describing the Big Controversy that “has some residents raging“!

As far as I can tell, the controversy involves nothing more than “YOU GUYS, ATHEISTS ARE COMING HERE ON OUR HOLIDAY!”

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