Was It Wrong for a Church to Donate 1400 Pairs of Shoes to Children at a Public Elementary School?

Last week, Biltmore Baptist Church in North Carolina did something that’s genuinely awesome for the elementary school students in Macon County: They gave new pairs of Nike shoes to 1400 kids:

“I’m unbelievably proud of the people of Biltmore Franklin,” said [Pastor Patrick] Trawick. “A lot of them took the day off work, sacrificing pay so they could serve their community. I’m thankful that Dr. Baldwin and all of the principals allowed us to serve them this way. We’re looking forward to more opportunities to serve Franklin in the future. That’s why we’re here.”

Again, that’s a great project, helping out students whose families might not be able to afford shoes like that.

But… the whole thing just makes me feel uncomfortable.

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Microchips-For-Newborns Hoax Has Thousands of Christians Believing That the End Times Are Near… Again

It doesn’t matter how atrociously written the prose is, how unlikely the story, or how obscure or unreliable the site. Even if you put the word HOAX over the headline, hordes of people will still treat a made-up tale as if it were real.

This dystopian fantasy, recounted here by a site called Top Info Post, started last year (possibly with this Italian web publication) and is still doing the rounds on Facebook.

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When It Comes to Hate Crimes, Atheist Victims Are Rare

One of the most disheartening facts to come out of the shootings in Overland Park, Kansas, where a former KKK leader murdered three people at a Jewish community center, is that hate crimes against Jewish people are hardly uncommon.

In fact, notes Tobin Grant of Religion News Service, “Anti-Jewish hate crimes are the most common religious hate crime in the United States.”

Obviously, any number is too high, but those results (from a 2012 FBI report) are surprising to me for a couple of reasons: I never would have predicted Jews would be the victims of hate crimes at a higher rate than Muslims. And I didn’t realize atheists were so rarely victimized.

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Religious Right-Wingers Claim Transgender Women’s Equality is ‘Sexual Harassment’

When it comes to trans women in the media, religious pundits’ ignorance and willful bigotry truly know no bounds.

It hardly matters what news story Matt Barber and Mat Staver were discussing on the radio broadcast “Faith and Freedom” this week. It could have been the debate over whether RuPaul’s Drag Race creators used transphobic language; it could have been the recent explosion of fame for trans women like Laverne Cox or Janet Mock; it could have been a discussion of one of many “bathroom bills” like a recently-signed law in California, which allows trans students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identity.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="550"]Mat Staver (left) and Matt Barber[/caption]

This time, the gentlemen were riled up about long-standing guidelines on respecting transgender people in the federal workplace, and they stated outright that transgender equality is a form of sexual harassment.

Have a listen:

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In Skeptical Inquirer, Bill Nye Defends His Participation in Creationism Debate

Skeptical Inquirer has published an exclusive first-hand account by Bill Nye the Science Guy regarding why he decided to participate in a Creationism debate against Ken Ham, how he prepared for it, and how he thought it went:



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