Supporters of Church/State Separation Will Rally Tomorrow Morning in Front of the Supreme Court

Tomorrow, before the Supreme Court hears the oral arguments in Town of Greece v Galloway at 10:00a, atheists and other supporters of church/state separation will gather outside to rally in support of the plaintiffs.

At 8:30a (ET), American Atheists will host a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court.



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You Know Who Doesn’t Like Christian Movies? Christians.

A new post by my very good friend and Patheos colleague Benjamin Corey, a preacher and blogger, shines a spotlight on the sad state of Christian moviemaking. One of his early-on conclusions:

[M]any well-meaning Christian families who are making an honest attempt to let their children watch something good, might actually get duped into showing their kids crap.

Evidently, Corey’s not alone. Since the days of Cecil B. DeMille‘s The Ten Commandments (1956) and Fred Zinnemann‘s A Man For All Seasons (1966), Christian movie fare hasn’t exactly been burning up the box office. (In saying that, I realize I’m using box office receipts as a proxy for quality. Let me know if I’m missing any masterful Christian flicks by that admittedly imperfect criterion.)

Here’s how bad it is:

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Christian Groups Fumble Over False Claim That Pedophilia is Now a Sexual Orientation

Christian groups practically combusted this week over a (false) claim that the American Psychiatric Association now classifies pedophilia as a sexual orientation — which it undeniably does not.

The recently-released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the APA’s guide to classifications of mental illnesses, has not changed its classification of pedophilia as a disorder. However, in one paragraph of the DSM-V’s text discussion — not the criteria itself, Care2 points out — it is incorrectly referred to as a “sexual orientation” in a place where the text was meant to read “sexual interest.”

The anti-gay American Family Association seems to have been the first to send panicked messages throughout right-wing circles about the error, making the sweeping claim that pedophilia was now considered another run-of-the-mill “alternative” sexual orientation. The Christian publication Charisma News published an article quoting the horrifically anti-gay commentator Sandy Rios, who issued an inflammatory statement on behalf of the AFA:

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Christian Parents Receive Massive Sentence for the Starving and Freezing Death of Their Adopted Daughter

“I have known Larry and Carri to be loving parents with the ability to raise children appropriately,” Richard Long stated for the record.

Long is the family pastor of Carri and Larry Williams. The Washington state couple had nine children — seven biological ones, plus two adopted from Ethiopia. Now there are eight; in 2011, adopted Hana Grace-Rose Williams, 13, died of starvation and hypothermia — the result of the parents’ sustained reign of terror that was inspired by a devoutly Christian book on disciplining kids.

This summer a jury convicted the Williamses of denying their children Hana and Immanuel food, beating them and making them sleep in closets or washrooms. They were fed a diet of sandwiches that had been soaked in water and vegetables that were still frozen. Some of the couple’s seven biological children sometimes took part in the abuse.


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Why Christian Mission Trips Don’t Actually Help

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, discusses Why Christian mission trips don’t actually help:

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!

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