Why Did You Leave Your Religion? Take This Survey So We Can Find Out

If you were once religious but you’re not anymore (hello, ~97% of my readers!), Michael Caton would appreciate it if you’d complete a 10-15-minute survey where you explain what caused your mind to change. All responses will remain anonymous.

He’ll be posting a summary of the results online soon enough. It’s not scientific, but it’ll be interesting to see what the trends are! [Read more...]

The Atheist Church Is Set to Launch in Several New Cities In the Coming Months

The organizers of the Sunday Assembly, the atheist church service that has been so successful in London and several other cities worldwide, have announced where they will be heading on the first leg of their “40 Dates and 40 Nights” tour:

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Fake or Real? Answers to Yesterday’s Quiz Questions — Find Out Which Outlandish Religious Practices I Made Up

So here was the setup: Yesterday, I presented 15 brief descriptions of behaviors that were religious or spiritual in nature — some mainstream, some obscure. Three of them were fictional; the other 12 were real. Your job was to separate my fabrications from the things that people actually do to pay respect to their gods and spirits.

Some readers thought the 15 bizarre practices were all made up. Rather than give them an “F,” I’ll let the gods take care of them. Be rueful and very afraid, oh ye of little faith!

Others thought it was a trick question and that all 15 examples were real — and, to be honest, I’d toyed with that thought when I put the quiz together. In the end, however, it seemed more fun to concoct a few rituals of my own. So I did.

Now let’s go down the list.

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Are Atheists Really in the Minority…?

A week after FOX News Channel’s Dana Perino said if atheists — who are in the minority — don’t like the Pledge of Allegiance, “they don’t have to live here,” here’s an argument that it’s really Christians who are in the minority:

Of course, the whole point is that the Constitution says we all have certain rights and the number of us who believe (or choose not to believe) in a god should have no impact on whether or not those rights apply to us.

(via Thunderf00t) [Read more...]

Richard Dawkins is Not the Atheist Version of Pat Robertson

Richard Dawkins created his own controversy in a recent interview when he spoke almost nonchalantly about his own childhood sexual abuse at the hands of his teacher. My big issue with him wasn’t that he was able to get past it to the point where he said he “couldn’t find it in [himself] to condemn” his teacher. My problem with his comments were that, in speaking so casually about such a deadly-serious topic, he gave the impression that other victims who went through similar (or worse) situations should also be able to get past it. He didn’t mean to do that. Of course he didn’t mean to minimize sexual abuse. But he effectively did, and he of all people should know the power of his own words.

Yesterday, in response to the controversy, my (Christian) friend Rachel Held Evans noted that she didn’t hold Dawkins’ words against all other atheists and called on us to make a deal with her:

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