Painted Into a Corner, Catholic Bishops May Have Found a Way to Comply with the HHS Contraception Mandate

Earlier in November, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) held its annual fall meeting, after which it released a Special Message that has raised some a few eyebrows. Why? Well, it just might hold the key to letting the bishops make a graceful exit from the issue of reproductive health-care coverage.

The message focuses specifically on the HHS Mandate that would require all employers — even Catholic ones, such as hospitals and universities — to provide health insurance that covers contraception, sterilization, and other examples of reproductive care the Church calls sinful. It’s not even surprising anymore to hear the bishops double down on what awesome work Catholic charities do, and how unfair it all is.

But some commenters have picked up on a slight change in tone, so subtle it’s invisible unless you’re very, very good at picking out the nuances of the Church hierarchy’s political double-speak:

[Read more...]

Catholic Church Has a Problem with Its Painting of Jesus on the Cross Because… um… the Resurrection

There’s a famous image of Jesus on the crucifix called the “San Damiano Cross” that was painted in the 12th century.

In 2001, the Shrine of St. Bernadette church in Albuquerque, New Mexico commissioned a version of the painting and the artist’s rendition was pretty true to the original. Turns out the parishioners weren’t pleased about that.

See if you can guess why:



[Read more...]

What Should an Atheist Do If Asked to Say Grace During Thanksgiving Dinner?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: What should an atheist do if asked to say grace during Thanksgiving dinner?:

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!

[Read more...]

Cthulhu, Jesus, and Muhammad: Best Friends 4 Ever

If you’re looking for a controversial shirt that looks perfectly pleasant at first, you’re going to love this one:

(via Chibi T-Shirts)

[Read more...]

‘Curiosity’ Book Giveaway: Here Are the Winning Entries, Including the Grossest Maggot Story We’ve Ever Published*

Curiosity is a wonderful monograph by British science writer Philip Ball. He chronicles how, many centuries ago, under the influence of religion, curiosity became a shameful characteristic, a twin to arrogance (mostly because being curious signaled you weren’t content to merely gawp in gratitude at God’s creation). Eventually, to humankind’s credit, curiosity morphed into a trait celebrated for its role in scientific progress.

At my request, Ball’s U.S. publisher, the University of Chicago Press, sent me three hardcover copies to give away to readers of this blog.**

To make it interesting, I asked you to share your favorite autobiographical story involving curiosity, and you did!

Here are, in my highly subjective opinion, the three best submissions, in no particular order.

[Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X