Newspaper’s Readers Get Offended By Its Coverage of Secular Summer Camp

Earlier this month, the Toledo Blade published a generally positive article about Camp Quest, the summer camp for children of atheist parents:

“I have talked with kids that have gone through, and they just love it,” said Ms. [Barbara] Williams, an organizer of Great Lakes Atheists in Toledo. “It was a great experience for them to come to a place which is a camp. It’s just like a regular camp, basically, but –”

“– They don’t feel marginalized,” Mr. [Phil] Deckebach said.

“They don’t,” Ms. Williams agreed. “They’re free to be themselves, absolutely. They’re free to express their opinions, they don’t have to be afraid, they don’t have to be in the closet.

Somehow, though, the fact that the newspaper printed a story about an atheist camp — without demonizing it — irked some of the readers. The paper’s ombudsman Jack Lessenberry explains:

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Would the Bart Ehrman Experiment Happen the Other Way Around?

When Richard DawkinsThe God Delusion was published in 2006, it basically spawned an entire series of books refuting the claims he was making. It happened with Sam HarrisThe End of Faith, too.

So when Bart Ehrman‘s latest book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee was being written, his publishers were thinking ahead about what the critics would say.

Ehrman’s book argues that Jesus of Nazareth didn’t “become” God in the eyes of his followers until well after his crucifixion — and even that meant something very different from what Christians believe today. It’s a controversial idea (which is no surprise to anyone who has read Ehrman’s previous books) and his publishers knew that Christian authors would be itching to counter his claims. So they took the unusual step of publishing a rebuttal book at the same time.

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Fun with Corporate Conscience Clauses

In today’s New York Times, Brian McFadden suggests the problems with religious conscience clauses:

Click here for the full strip!

(via Religion Clause)

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Atheists of the Puget Sound Shave Their Heads for Cancer Research

Rebecca Vitsmun, whom you all know from her memorable post-tornado interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, teamed up with members of the Atheists of the Puget Sound (in Washington state) on Friday as part of an event for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. They all had their heads shaved to stand in solidarity with cancer victims, raising money for the cause along the way.

Here’s the before shot, with Bob Garcia (left), Rebecca, and Robert Ray:

And here’s the after:

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Louis CK’s Hilarious Monologue from Saturday Night Live Covered Heaven, Atheism, and God as an Abusive Husband

Last night, during Louis CK‘s Saturday Night Live opening monologue, he did an extended riff on religion that was just fantastic.

Check it out (sorry, non-Hulu people!) (Edit: Here’s a YouTube link while it lasts!):



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