This is How You Know Your Religion is Harmful…

Neil Carter offers up a fantastic list of ways you know your religion is harmful at his blog Godless in Dixie.

In short:

Your Religion May Be Harmful…

1) If it inspires inactivity when action is what is needed.
2) If it teaches you to accept things as they are when they should be changed.
3) If it conditions you to overly rely on subjective sources of decision-making.
4) If it discourages critical thinking skills.
5) If it teaches you to distrust science.
6) If its other-worldly promises distract you from finding solutions to this-world problems.
7) If it leads you to actively discriminate against others because of their gender, their sexual orientation, or their beliefs.
8) If it teaches you to fundamentally distrust yourself and to view yourself as essentially broken, weak, or unable to think for yourself.
9) If it sucks a significant amount of time or money from your life.

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Creationist Criticizes Atheists for Assuming Something is Wrong ‘No Matter What Evidence is Before Them’

I know the Creation Museum’s Ken Ham is an easy punching bag for reality-based websites, but this is just pure gold.

Look at how he criticizes atheists for offering an opinion on an upcoming 3-D movie about the Book of Genesis before they’ve seen it:

As we have come to expect from most atheists, they are already against a message before they even see and hear it! That’s because they have decided that no matter what evidence is before them and no matter what someone argues, if it has its basis in the Bible, it’s wrong regardless!

They’re ignoring the evidence no matter what it says!… says the man who doesn’t give a single damn about the mountains of data supporting evolution.

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The Birth of Speaking in Tongues

Dr. Karen Stollznow‘s latest book, God Bless America: Strange and Unusual Religious Beliefs and Practices in the United States (Pitchstone Publishing, 2013), takes a look at everything from Fundamentalist Mormon sects to the Amish.

In the exclusive excerpt below, Stollznow explains the WTF-inspiring beginnings of the Charismatic movement:

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Scotland’s 2011 Census Data May Have Underrepresented the Percent of Non-Religious Citizens

The results from Scotland’s 2011 census have just been released (take your sweet time, Scotland) and they show a growing divergence when it comes to religious beliefs:

Over half (54 per cent) of the population of Scotland stated their religion as Christian — a decrease of 11 percentage points since 2001 — whilst 37 per cent of people stated that they had no religion — an increase of nine percentage points since 2001.

Good news, right?

Well, the Humanist Society Scotland says the results don’t reflect the truth about the religious identities of the Scottish people. The disparity is much greater than the census claims, they say:

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The Lawyer Who Helped Remove Mandatory Bible Readings from Public Schools Has Died

In 1963, Madalyn Murray O’Hair gained notoriety for her role in the Supreme Court case that removed mandatory Bible readings from public schools. Less noticed, but equally important, was her lawyer Leonard J. Kerpelman. Kerpelman took on her case pro bono in 1960 and successfully argued in front of the justices years later, leading to an eventual 8-1 victory.

Late last week, the 88-year-old Kerpelman died from complications from a tumor.

“I see no constitutional objection to the study of religion, history of religion, or the study of the Bible as literature,” he told The [Baltimore] Sun in 1963. “But this ceremony is sectarian, and it is impossible to have such a ceremony that is not sectarian.”

After the decision, both client and attorney were vilified and accused of taking God out of the classroom and leading the nation down the road of atheism.

After the case was resolved, Mr. Kerpelman had few dealings with O’Hair, who left Baltimore in 1964 and disappeared in 1995. Her mutilated remains, along with those of a son and granddaughter, were identified in a remote part of Texas in 2001.

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