Is Christianity Beneficial or Harmful to Society?

Christopher Hitchens memorably wrote about why God Is Not Great. Now, John W. Loftus has compiled a new anthology building off of that premise and showing us why faith is far from a virtue.

In his book, Christianity Is Not Great: How Faith Fails, Loftus and a panel of experts (including Peter Boghossian, Victor J. Stenger, and Annie Laurie Gaylor) write about why the problem with religion isn’t just a fringe group of believers, but faith itself.

In the excerpt below, Loftus answers the question: “Is Christianity beneficial or harmful to society?”

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Islamist Morals: ISIS Brutally Murdered 700 People… After a Man Was Caught Smoking a Cigarette

Three months ago, fighters of the Shaitat tribe in Syria had to throw in the towel when it became clear that their ISIS foes had superior firepower. The Washington Post reports what happened next:

We wanted to save our people,” said Abu Abdullah … describing how they agreed to a truce with the militants in mid-July. The Islamic State was permitted to enter the town and establish a garrison, but local leaders were left in charge, he said.

Relations quickly frayed. The crunch came, the tribesmen in Reyhanli said, when Islamic State fighters whipped a local man who was caught smoking a cigarette in the street, a crime under the Islamic State’s harsh interpretation of Islam. The man’s brother, incensed, shot at a passing Islamic State patrol, killing one of its fighters.

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Doctors (Without Borders) Keep Battling Ebola Despite Fear and Devastation, Knowing They May Never Come Home

I’m proud to keep donating to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). This account by medical worker Natasha Lewer is one reason why:

I’ve volunteered to go to west Africa because I heard that Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was getting desperate for people. When I tell Mary in HR, she says she has three questions: “1) Do you know that you don’t have to go? 2) Do you know that if you get sick, we won’t bring you home? 3) Do you know that if you die, we won’t bring your body back and you’ll be buried there?” I know MSF is famous for being straight-talking, but I’m still a bit taken aback. I answer yes to all three and go home to look for my passport.

The bravery and self-sacrifice of these men and women, and the value of their work, are worth a thousand times whatever we can give them. If you have the means, step up.

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I Saw Left Behind So You Don’t Have To

Over the weekend, I went to go see Left Behind. That’s right, I paid for a goddamn ticket to see Left Behind. (The things I do for you people…)

We’ll be discussing the movie on the podcast soon, but I wanted to get a few thoughts out while it’s all fresh in my mind.

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American Atheists Launches #AtheistVoter Campaign, but Will It Be Effective?

American Atheists just launched a new campaign urging atheists to get active and go vote.

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