Your Prayers Did Nothing For Nelson Mandela

Well, at least Nelson Mandela is giving credit where it’s due:

(via a Legitimate News Source) [Read more...]

Ask Richard: Atheist Daughter Misreads her Father’s Concern

Yesterday was Fathers Day, and I hope that all fathers, daughters, and sons were able to express their love and appreciation for each other. The feelings that fathers have for their children can be very complex and difficult for them to understand and to express clearly.

This letter illustrates this, and shows how important and worthwhile it is for us to work together with our fathers to keep fear, anger, and confusion from blocking the love that should and can flow freely between us.

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

Dear Richard,

Recently, I “came out” to my father as a non-believer. Although I see myself more as an apatheist, since I just don’t care about religion in the first place, I also consider myself an atheist, as I also don’t believe in any religion to be true either. When I did tell my father, I told him I was an “atheist,” since it seemed like the simplest explanation. As a non-denominational, non-churchgoing Christian, I thought my father would take it well, and we’d maybe talk about our differences.

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Are Atheists Better at Dying Than the Religious?

Ryan T. Cragun is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Tampa, and he’s written a new book in which he takes a personal and scientific look at whether religion is actually helpful or harmful to you.

It’s called What You Don’t Know about Religion (but Should):

In the exclusive excerpt below, Cragun asks the question: “Who’s better at dying?”

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Why We Must Reject Special Treatment for Religious Employees

Four months ago, I began looking for two full-time employees to help my publishing business with research and sales. Before I interviewed anyone, I wrote an exhaustive job description for both positions, and e-mailed it to each viable candidate.

After I’d found the right duo, the contracts were signed, and I was looking forward to many pleasant office interactions — and higher revenues!

But trouble soon started when my first hire, Miriam, informed me that she is Amish, and is extremely uncomfortable around computers, iPads, cell phones, routers, and anything to do with the Internet. For religious reasons, she declined to work with technology, but offered to do research using the newspapers and books in my local library, which is still powered by an old-fashioned card catalog.

The other newcomer on my staff also threw me for a loop. Though Avram is a sales rep who was expected to frequently travel to book fairs and literary festivals, his Jewish faith came first. On his first Monday, Avram told me he won’t work or even fly on the Sabbath. As some of these crucial industry events take place on weekends, my company’s bottom line would be suffering.

Though I liked Avram and Miriam, I told them after a few weeks that it wasn’t going to work out. I gave them each a pink slip and a pretty generous check, and wished them the best.

Now I’m being sued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for “violating the religious rights” of my ex-employees.

What do you think? Fair?

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What Obstacles Do Young Atheists Face?

I’m working on a project with a local professor called The Atheist Voice in which I tackle some burning question people often ask atheists.

The video below answers the question: What Obstacles Do Young Atheists Face?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next! [Read more...]