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Who Are We and Where Did We Come From? A New Book Offers Scientific Responses to These Questions and More

In their new book Discovering Our World: Humanity's Epic Journey from Myth to Knowledge (Pitchstone Publishing, 2015), Paul Singh and John R. Shook offer scientific explanations to questions normally reserved for religion: Who are we? Where did we come from? What determines our destiny? In the excerpt below, the authors explain why we have a moral imperative to save our planet:

The Religious Ritual That Takes Place Before Astronauts Head Into Space

Internet points to anyone who can explain what's happening in this picture: Apparently, it's customary for astronauts to be "blessed" by a Russian Orthodox priest before heading to space. The Verge notes that this ritual has been taking place for years now:

Ken Ham’s Publisher Offers $3,000 College Scholarship to Person Who Best Explains the Purpose of the Bill Nye Debate

Q: Why did Ken Ham debate Bill Nye last year?A: Free publicity for the Creation Museum. Obviously. I don't think Ham's publishers are going to give me a $3,000 college scholarship for that response, though. They're looking for a much more substantial defense of a debate that never should have happened in the first place:

Kentucky Governor Says Gay Marriage Ban Isn’t Discriminatory Because Straight People Can’t Get Gay-Married Either

The state of Kentucky wants to prevent same-sex marriage. But it's totally not a discriminatory move, because, you see, they absolutely want to stop gay weddings for straight people as much as they want to stop gay weddings for gay people. And this is the argument Democratic Governor Steve Beshear's administration sent to the Supreme Court last Friday:

If Our Laws Really Are “God-Given,” We Should All Be Freaked Out

Writing for The Week last Friday, Matt K. Lewis discussed what he considers the “troubling implications of believing our rights don’t come from God.” He says he’s “astounded” that people don’t believe our rights come from God or that people are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” as indicated in the Declaration of [Read More...]

Maine High School Adopts New Pledge of Allegiance Policy After Student Leaders Remind Everyone It’s Optional

For more than a month now, there's been controversy at South Portland High School in Maine over how they announce the Pledge of Allegiance. Three student body leaders, while reading the morning announcements, were reminding their classmates...Show More Summary

Cancer Survivors in Texas Warn That “Pro-Life” Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood Could Threaten Lives

Anti-abortion legislators across the country have been very busy these past few years targeting abortion by limiting the procedure's legality as well as availability. But since abortion is a legal procedure, they've cooked up a number...Show More Summary

Kevin Sorbo, the Atheist Professor in God’s Not Dead, Did a Reddit AMA… What Did We Learn From It?

In order to promote his latest project, Kevin Sorbo went on Reddit yesterday to do an "Ask Me Anything" Q&A session.That's the same Kevin Sorbo known for playing a straw man atheist professor in God's Not Dead. That guy went on Reddit. Show More Summary

Lawyer Defending Creationist Theme Park Wants to Draft a Bill Allowing for Religious Discrimination in Louisiana

We know that Creationist Ken Ham's Answers in Genesis is currently suing the state of Kentucky because he wrongly thinks his for-profit company can limit its hiring to Christians only. Earlier this year, he even posted a video that featured...Show More Summary

Discrimination Against Atheists is Now Officially Illegal in Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin just became the first city in the nation to add atheists to the list of protected groups in an expanded anti-discrimination bill. The city council voted unanimously for the addition last night.While "religion" was already on that list, as you might expect, it wasn't obvious to everyone whether that category included atheists, so the law now explicitly says so.

Former Pastor Dan Barker Has Written the Ultimate Rebuttal to Rick Warren’s The Purpose-Driven Life

In 2002, Pastor Rick Warren published The Purpose Driven Life, which went on to sell more than 30,000,000 copies. The book is all about how we can live to satisfy the Christian God through worship and ministry and being Christ-like and...Show More Summary

Some Thoughts on Trigger Warnings

The latest thinkpiece that’s consumed the internet is an editorial by Judith Shulevitz about trigger warnings. A trigger warning, if you don’t know, is a warning label intended to help people with post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s meant to give advance warning of material they might find distressing so that they can avoid it and keep [Read More...]

While Indiana Wants a Fix to “Religious Freedom” Law, Arkansas’ Legislature Sends Similar Bill to Governor’s Desk

Last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (below) signed into law a bill ostensibly designed to protect religious freedom. As it happens, this was “religious freedom” in the conservative Christian sense of the word -- a sort of Orwellian...Show More Summary

Watch Matt Dillahunty Explain Why Atheists Don’t “Just Want to Sin”

In the latest video for his Atheist Debates project, Matt Dillahunty responds to the argument that atheists "just want to sin":

Arizona Senate Resolution Cites Old Testament Land Grant from God to Israel

According to a Gallup poll from February, seven-in-ten Americans have an overall favorable opinion of Israel. The numbers seem to be influenced by party lines and susceptible to variation due to diplomatic tensions, but the consensus is largely pro-Israel. Show More Summary

Your Child’s Going to Hear About Hell Anyway, So Should You Be the First to Bring It Up?

Wendy Thomas Russell, who joined us on the podcast recently, is the author of a new book called Relax, It’s Just God: How and Why to Talk to Your Kids About Religion When You’re Not Religious (Brown Paper Press, 2015): In the excerpt below, Russell discusses whether you should discuss Hell with your child:

Melbourne Priest Suggests Woman Might Have Avoided Being Raped and Murdered If Only She Were More “Faith-Filled”

In September of 2012, Adrian Bayley raped and murdered 29-year-old Jill Meagher (below), receiving a life conviction for the crime. Also appalling is how Bayley had over twenty rape convictions to his name before being put away for good this time. Show More Summary

Michigan High School Questioned After Christian Evangelist Speaks to Students and Invites Them to Church Event

On March 2, motivational speaker Bob Lenz gave a presentation at Iron Mountain High School in Michigan... which might have been okay until he used the opportunity to promote an event he was hosting at a local church later that evening. Show More Summary

Author of The Brick Bible Series Comes Out as Transgender

I've posted many times about The Brick Bible, which portrays biblical scenes using LEGOs: Today, on Facebook, the author of that series came out as transgender:

Colorado Republican Loses Committee Assignment After Saying a Pregnant Woman Was Stabbed Because Abortion is Legal

Gordon Klingenschmitt, the fundamentalist Christian and Colorado lawmaker, is finally getting a sort of punishment following his comments last week that the brutal attack of a pregnant woman occurred because we allow legal abortions in this country. He has now been pulled from one of the two committees on which he served:

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