Bryan Fischer: Unlike Liberals, I’m a “Live and Let Live” Sort of Guy

Guess who said this?

I may disapprove of your lifestyle, but I’m not going to use force to try and stop you from making those choices.

Answer: Bryan Fischer, a guy who advocates for laws that make life difficult for people whose “lifestyles” he disapproves of.

He said as much on his radio show yesterday:



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Why is Friday the 13th Considered Unlucky? Religion Has Everything To Do With It

Today is Friday the 13th. Do you dread it? According to Gizmodo, you can fill more than 300 Superbowl Stadiums with the number of Americans who are truly, authentically afraid of that date/weekday combo.

In the United States alone, it is estimated that between 17 and 21 million people dread that date to the extent that it can be officially classified as a phobia. …

The most popular theory as to why Friday is considered unlucky or an evil day is thought by many to spring from Christianity. By tradition, Friday is considered the day that Eve gave Adam the “apple” and they were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. … Also by tradition, Adam and Eve were purported to have died on a the then nonexistent “Friday”. The Temple of Solomon was said to have been destroyed on Friday.

But Christianity doesn’t have to shoulder all of the blame.

Others theorize that Friday being unlucky predated Christianity. The name “Friday” was chosen in honor of the Norse goddess Frigg, also known as Freyja, who was the multitalented goddess of love, beauty, wisdom, war, death, and magic. Teutonic people are thought to have considered the day extremely unlucky, especially for weddings, due in part to the lovely goddess the day was named for. Later, the Christian church attempted to demonize the goddess, so that may or may not be a contributing factor as well.

Whatever the case, despite these quite old origin theories, well documented instances of the notion that Friday was popularly considered unlucky among the masses doesn’t seem to have popped up until around the mid-17th century.



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Disney’s Cinderella Is a Fundamentalist’s Wet Dream

When my daughters, 10 and 12, went to Florida with me recently, we flew into Orlando. To my great relief, neither of them expressed any interest in going to Disney World; we spent a great day at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center instead.

I’ve always loathed Disney animated movies, at least the saccharine, sexist, trademark fare that the studio pumped out for many decades, until Pixar more or less dragged the ossified giant into the 21st century.

I’ll confess that one extra (and related) reason for my dislike is that Christian fundamentalists tend to adore Disney.

The reason I bring it all up is this brand new “honest trailer,” in which a surprisingly authentic-sounding voice-over explains exactly what’s going on between the lines of the wretched original script for Cinderella.



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Another Look at the Percentage of Atheists in Prison

We know that the percentage of atheists in prison is much smaller than the percentage of atheists in the general population. There are several reasons for that, and it’s *way* too simplistic to suggest we’re “more moral” than everyone else… so don’t do it.

But how different are our numbers from those of religious believers?

Mona Chalabi of FiveThirtyEight has taken the numbers I acquired in 2013, combined it with U.S. census data, and created this nifty chart, showing the ratios of prisoners’ religious affiliations in prison versus the general population:



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Former Congressman Barney Frank: “I Am Not an Atheist”

In August of 2013, former Congressman Barney Frank — who made a name for himself by being an outspoken gay liberal — finally came out in a different way. He said on Real Time with Bill Maher that he was an atheist:



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