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Accusations of Racism at Skepticon 8

Richard Webb, via Wikimedia Commons The latest controversy between skeptics and social justice warriors is an interesting one. We have accusations of racism made against a speaker at Skepticon 8, and we have a video record of everything this speaker said. Show More Summary

The Power of Skepticism: Why Doubt is a Virtue

At a TEDx event in Lehigh City (Pennsylvania), George Hrab gave a wonderful speech about why skepticism is such a valuable quality:

A New Novel with a Black Atheist Character Explores an Overlooked Aspect of the Jonestown Massacre

If you're not familiar with the Peoples Temple church in Jonestown, Guyana, you may have at least heard of its leader, Reverend Jim Jones. And you almost certainly know the phrase explaining how the 900-some members committed mass suicide:...Show More Summary

Port Neches (Texas) Mayor Defends Cross in Public Park, Saying He’s Ready to Fight Atheist Group

A couple of days ago, I posted about the Christian cross at the Port Neches RiverFront Park in Texas. The symbol is obviously religious and has no business being there. And just because it went up several decades ago is no reason to keep it in place. Show More Summary

Some Jehovah’s Witnesses Think Putting a French Flag on Their Facebook Pics Violates Their Faith

The Jehovah's Witnesses have a rule requiring political neutrality. That means they "do not lobby, vote for political parties or candidates, run for government office, or participate in any action to change governments."Okay, fine, whatever. Show More Summary

With a Doctored Photo, a Sikh Man Is Falsely Accused of Being a Muslim Terrorist

This past weekend, a Canadian Sikh, Veerender Jubbal, found his likeness plastered across websites and newspapers around the world, after someone Photoshopped a selfie of his to include a suicide vest and a Qur'an. To his horror, Jubbal was...Show More Summary

Sam Harris Responds to Paris Attacks: “There Are No Surprises Anymore”

Sam Harris published a podcast yesterday in the wake of the Paris attacks. It builds off of an essay he wrote last year called "Sleepwalking Toward Armageddon," but very little has changed since then.

Comic Anthony Jeselnik Trashes “Thoughts & Prayers” Tweets. I Disagree With Him (I Think)

In the wake of the Paris attacks, just when humor seemed temporarily in bad taste and frozen in suspension, I laughed much harder at Anthony Jeselnik's monologue than maybe I should have. Jeselnik has a knack for telling deeply uncomfortable, cringe-inducing jokes, and this bit from his latest Netflix special is no exception.

In Praise of Bill Maher

Writing for Salon, which is always a scary way to begin a sentence, Sophia A. McClennen praises Bill Maher for posing provocative questions on Real Time that few people on TV dare to ask. It's not that he's always right -- he's not -- but he's willing to call out injustice as he sees it, even when it's coming from his own side:

Lovelorn Man Lets Two Psychics Swindle Him Out of the Better Part of a Million Dollars

Niall Rice, a 33-year-old Internet consultant, is unenviable in many ways. He has a substance abuse problem, and he lost Michelle, the fabulous woman he met in a rehab clinic, to a drug overdose. She could have been the one, he says.But...Show More Summary

Psychology Today says we’re not completely nuts

There’s an interesting article about us at Psychology Today. Some of this may have been due to timing — first there was the news about Lindsay Miller’s successful efforts in wearing a Colander in her Massachusetts license photo, and then shortly after, the terrible news of the Paris terrorist attacks. Mr. Noise in his article [...]

Christian Pastor Criticizes Paris Terror Attack Victims for Attending “Death Metal” Concert

Christian Pastor Steven Anderson spent part of his sermon yesterday telling his congregation that, while he doesn't condone the actions of the Paris attackers, the concertgoers at the Bataclan theater who were there to listen to the band Eagles of Death Metal sorta had it coming:

The Mormons’ Great Leap Backward

Earlier this year, I wrote about about how the Mormon church laudably apologized for its past racism, yet its leaders were repeating the errors of history by continuing to insist on anti-LGBT discrimination. Well, the next chapter of that story has just been written: In a major policy announcement, The Church of Jesus Christ of [Read More...]

How Megan Phelps-Roper Left the Westboro Baptist Church

If you knew her before 2013, Megan Phelps-Roper was a member of Westboro Baptist Church who would proudly picket at the funerals of soldiers, calling their deaths revenge for America's acceptance of homosexuality. She was carrying on the hateful ideology of WBC founder Fred Phelps. Show More Summary

Atheism Seeming Somewhat Less Important

Whenever I take time away from blogging, as I did recently, I step away not just from writing blog posts but from reading others' blogs and most other online activities. This recent break was a good example. Aside from quickly checking Twitter periodically for breaking news, I didn't spend much time online. Show More Summary

Maajid Nawaz: “We Cannot Shoot Our Way Out of This Problem” of Muslim Extremism

Over the weekend, CNN's Fareed Zakaria discussed the recent terrorist attacks in Paris with former extremist Maajid Nawaz, who shed light on the mindset of the radical Muslims who committed the.horrific acts:

Victory in Massachusetts: Pastafarian Allowed to Wear Colander in License Photo

The Boston Globe has a nice story about a Pastafarian lady’s successful efforts in wearing a colander in her driver’s license photo, helped by the American Humanist Association. In August, the Lowell resident was denied a renewed license by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, she said, for wearing the metal cookware. “They were kind [...]

Friendly Atheist Podcast Episode 81: David Smalley, Host of Dogma Debate

Our latest podcast guest is David Smalley, host of the incredibly popular podcast Dogma Debate, which has tens of thousands of weekly subscribers. Smalley is a former Christian musician who became an atheist after studying psychology, sociology, world religions, and his own faith. Show More Summary

The Catholic Church Says the Virgin Mary Has Been Seen with a “High Degree of Certainty” in These Places

National Geographic has a cover story this month on the significance and legacy of the Virgin Mary -- or at least the idea of her. There's no denying a lot of people in this world believe she's real and continue to see "visions" of her...Show More Summary

What Girl Meets World Got Wrong About Religious Belief

I give the Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World a lot of credit. While the first season of the Boy Meets World spinoff was a bit weak, the second has already addressed serious issues such as Asperger's syndrome, family relationships, abandonment, identity, and bullying.That’s what upsets me about this past Friday’s episode. Show More Summary

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