Free Republic 2nd Quarter Fundraising Target: $88,000 Receipts & Pledges to-date: $75,141
Woo hoo!! And we're now over 85%!! Less than $12.9k to go!! Thank you all very much!! God bless.

Skeptics/Seekers (Religion)

Brevity: Headers | « Text »
  • The God-Haunted Atheism of Christopher Hitchens

    12/23/2011 3:13:01 PM PST · by NYer · 22 replies
    The Catholic Thing ^ | December 23, 2011 | Francis J. Beckwith
    On December 15, contemporary unbelief lost one of its most gifted apologists, Christopher Hitchens. He, along with Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennett, are often referred to as the four horsemen of the New Atheism. It is called the “New” Atheism because of its evangelistic zeal, an enthusiasm largely absent from the more urbane and engaging infidelities of “the Old Atheists” like Bertrand Russell, John Dewey, or Antony Flew.  But like all undisciplined enthusiasts who confuse wisecracking proselytes with wisdom-seeking pilgrims, the New Atheists seem incapable of completely ridding themselves and their disciples of the metaphysical infrastructure of the...
  • China Sees New Surge in Christmas Tradition

    12/19/2011 6:38:02 AM PST · by marshmallow · 8 replies
    CBN ^ | 12/19/11 | George Thomas
    BEIJING, China -- It's been a hectic few weeks for Wang San Ping. Ping owns a small Christmas shop near the U.S. embassy in Beijing. She, like so many other merchants on this street, is trying to entice shoppers to spend this Christmas season. The last couple of years, Christmas in China has been a huge money-making business, but this year, many are not feeling too merry about the season. This is traditionally one of the busiest times in China's economic calendar, as factories rush to export billions of dollars worth of goods made in China, most of which will...
  • Christians Grieve Death of Christopher Hitchens; Share Hopes for Deathbed Conversion

    12/18/2011 6:31:25 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 20 replies · 1+ views
    Christian Post ^ | 12/16/2011 | Eryn Sun
    Christians everywhere have been responding in grief and sadness over the death of famed atheist Christopher Hitchens, who passed away late Thursday evening after a yearlong battle with esophageal cancer. From pastors to theologians alike, all expressed pain and sorrow over the recent news, which Vanity Fair was the first to announce. The magazine reported that Hitchens had died from pneumonia, a complication from his stage IV cancer. He was 62 years old. Pastor Rick Warren, founder of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., tweeted, My friend Christopher Hitchens has died. I loved & prayed for him constantly & grieve...
  • A Bishop's Life in North Vietnam

    12/17/2011 3:23:44 PM PST · by marshmallow · 4 replies
    Bac Ninh Prelate Tells of Government Surveillance and Thousands of Youth Seeking the ChurchROME, DEC. 16, 2011 ( Bishop Cosme Hong Van Dat of Bac Ninh, in North Vietnam, says he would not describe the Church of his homeland as a "persecuted Church." Yet he states with simplicity that he's sure the government watches his every move. The 64-year-old bishop's estimation of things is clearly marked by his simplicity and deep faith. His life as a bishop is simply a mission from Christ, he notes. Marie-Pauline Meyer for Where God Weeps in cooperation with Aid to the Church in Need...
  • RIP Christopher Hitchens: Abortion survivor, post-abortive father, cognitively pro-life

    12/17/2011 1:46:09 PM PST · by NYer · 31 replies
    JillStanek ^ | December 17, 2011 | Jill Stanek
    I say, “RIP,” sadly thinking Christopher Hitchens is not.The renowned liberal author and journalist died yesterday at the age of 62 following a short battle against esophageal cancer since summer 2010.Hitchens spent his latter years evangelizing atheism. So he wanted it known he would not convert to Christianity at the end, and if he did he really didn’t. From Causa Celsum: Hitchens suspected there would be rumors of a deathbed conversion – but even more he feared that he might actually call out to God. Speaking perhaps truer than he knew, he sought to give a preemptive strike against...
  • In-your-face atheists attempting new marketing strategy

    12/12/2011 12:41:21 PM PST · by Former Fetus · 55 replies · 1+ views
    Jewish World Review ^ | 12/12/2012 | Dianna M. Nanez
    Freddie Schineller is a hip-looking math professor with a salt-and-pepper goatee. His artist wife, Holly, has long blond hair and stays home to take care of their four kids, ages 8-12. The middle-class family lives in a modest Tempe home full of lots of love, noise and pets, including two dogs and a python named Monty. Their bookshelves hold works by Plato, Leo Tolstoy and Franz Kafka, as well as the Book of Mormon and a Bible. But Holly and Freddie don't believe in G0d. And, earlier this year, they decided it was time to "come out of the closet"...
  • N. Korea Warns Against Christmas Lights Near Border

    12/12/2011 6:46:47 AM PST · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    Vancouver Sun ^ | 12/10/11 | Agence France-Presse
    SEOUL North Korea warned South Korea on Sunday of "unexpected consequences" if Seoul displays Christmas lights near the tense border, and vowed to retaliate for what it called propaganda attempts. The South's defence ministry said earlier it was considering a request by a Seoul church group to put up Christmas lights on a steel tower atop a military-controlled hill near the border. The North's official website Uriminzokkiri called the plan "a mean attempt for psychological warfare" against the communist state and threatened to retaliate immediately when the lights are switched on. The 155-metre hill in the South, about three...
  • Is Christopher Hitchens about to convert? (Could he become a Christian?)

    12/10/2011 8:17:18 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 58 replies · 1+ views
    Daily Caller ^ | 12/10/2011 | Mark Judge
    Its a possibility that doesnt seem laughable anymore. Hitchens, the celebrated British journalist, angry atheist and rou, has a very powerful piece in the January issue of Vanity Fair. Hitchens has been in Houston undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, which he was diagnosed with in 2010. In his essay, Hitchens rejects a popular aphorism attributed to Nietzsche: Whatever doesnt kill me makes me stronger. Hitchens had thought of the phrase at different points in his life where he narrowly escaped death experiences told well in his memoir Hitch-22. After enduring chemotherapy and radiation treatments that made swallowing unbearable and...
  • Why Atheists Celebrate Christmas

    12/04/2011 6:18:55 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 39 replies
    Live Science ^ | 12/02/2010 | Stephanie Pappas
    They may not find much meaning in the birth of Jesus Christ, but many atheists embrace religious traditions such as churchgoing for the sake of the children, a new study finds. The research, which focused on atheist scientists, found that 17 percent of atheists in the study attended a religious service more than once a year. The atheists embraced religious traditions for social and personal reasons, they told the study researchers. "Our research shows just how tightly linked religion and family are in U.S. society so much so that even some of society's least religious people find religion to...
  • Even Richard Dawkins is Right Sometimes (Is the Biblical story of Adam and Eve a myth?)

    11/29/2011 12:32:30 PM PST · by SeekAndFind · 417 replies
    Religious Dispatches ^ | 11/28/2011 | Paul Wallace
    For the last several months there has been a flurry of discussionmostly online, of courseabout the impossibility of a literal Adam & Eve (see, e.g., here and here and here). This ruling-out has been accomplished recently by the Human Genome Project, which indicates that anatomically modern humans emerged from primate ancestors about 100,000 years ago, from a population of something like 10,000. In short, science has confirmed what many of us already knew: there was not a literal first couple. So what else can we learn from this story? Plenty, it turns out. Peter Enns, a biblical scholar who blogs...
  • Atheists launch campaign to get unbelievers to `come out

    11/26/2011 8:06:38 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 20 replies
    Religious News Service ^ | 11/26/2011 | Kimberly Winston
    The young man in the video pulls in close to his computer camera with the trappings of a typical college dorm rooma loft bed and the clutter of cast-off clothespiled behind him. Alex Fiorentini isnt talking about girls, beer or football. Instead, its a coming-out moment of sorts. Is it acceptable to the majority of the population to be an atheist? he asks the camera. Nope. Are all of your friends going to accept you as an atheist? Probably not all of them. And yeah, those things are gonna suck. But the real question is, Is it OK to be...
  • Hear Evolutionists/Atheists Themselves on Evil & Ethics (like Rape for Instance)

    11/21/2011 9:46:01 AM PST · by SeanG200 · 89 replies
    Religio-Poltical Talk (RPT) ^ | 11-21-2011 | Papa Giorgio
    A new audio added to my mix of videos in regards to evolutionary ethics and rape. Richard Dawkins in an honest moment.
  • Cosmic Origins - Trailer

    11/18/2011 6:23:25 PM PST · by firerosemom · 18 replies
    Magis Institute for Reason and Faith ^ | Spring 2012 release | Magis Institute for Reason and Faith
    There is extensive evidence from physics for a beginning and fine-tuning of the universe. When the complementary nature of these insights is seen, it provides compelling evidence for a transcendent, intelligent Creator. Cosmic Origins features eight world-class physicists talking about modern physics and God. They include Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias (who discovered the background radiation from the Big Bang); Templeton Prize winners John Polkinghorne (Cambridge) and Michael Heller (Vatican Observatory); Owen Gingerich (Harvard); Lisa Randall (Harvard); Jennifer Wiseman (NASA); and narrated by Stephen Barr (University of Delaware).
  • Being Human in an Age of Unbelief [Address of Archbishop Chaput at UPenn]

    11/08/2011 9:21:44 AM PST · by marshmallow
    The Witherspoon Institute Public Discourse ^ | 11/8/11 | Charles J. Chaput
    <p>Four points in defense of human dignity. Adapted from an address delivered last night at the University of Pennsylvania.</p> <p>Most of my sources in this essay are not Catholic. That shouldnt be surprising. Catholics have no monopoly on respect for human dignity. Catholics do have a very long tradition of thinking about the nature of the human person and society, but Id like to begin by setting the proper framework for our discussion.</p>
  • Edgar Allan Poe and the Jesuits

    11/06/2011 5:01:44 AM PST · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    Patheos ^ | 10/31/11 | Pat McNamara
    On the eve of All Soul's Day, remembering a tortured soul who found consolation and companionship from a surprising quarter.Hear the tolling of the bells...Of the bells, bells, bells, bells -- Edgar Allan Poe, The BellsLiterary scholars still debate exactly whose bells are featured in Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem. Some say it was Grace Church in Manhattan. Others claim another Manhattan site, the Church of the Ascension. Another claim was made by Fordham University in the Bronx, not far from the three-room cottage where the ailing poet lived during his final years. Fordham alumni of a certain age once...
  • A little quiz for Richard Dawkins, super-duper Scripture scholar

    10/29/2011 3:42:51 PM PDT · by NYer · 14 replies
    Insight Scoop ^ | October 29, 2011 | Carl Olson
    You may have heard that the illustrious Scripture scholar, Richard Dawkins (also known in some circles as Richard Dawkins, bedazzling philosopher, ahem), recently pronounced the following finding, based on years of, well, being a humility-challenged atheist:"Jesus was a great moral teacher," Dawkins said. "Somebody as intelligent as Jesus would have been an atheist if he had known what we know today."That's surely debatable, especially since it's not evident in the least that the sinless Son of God would be willing to sacrifice his perfect humility for a pot of prideful porridge made by the preening professor (Quick! Say that ten...
  • Christian Apologist Responds to Atheist Richard Dawkins Old Testament 'Genocide' Claim

    10/28/2011 9:53:10 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 17 replies · 1+ views
    Christian Post ^ | 10/28/2011 | By Justin L. Ayoub
    Christian apologist William Craig has offered a response to atheist intellectual Richard Dawkins who called him "a deplorable apologist for genocide" in his column last week. In a speech at the Sheldonian Theater at Oxford University on Tuesday, Craig responded to Dawkins' allegations during the question and answer session. There was no racial war here, no command to kill them all, he said, alluding to extermination of the Canaanites in the Old Testament, the command was to drive them out. He then said: I would say that God has the right to give and take life as He sees fit....
  • The Lay Reform of Church and World

    10/12/2011 6:56:32 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 2 replies
    First Things ^ | 11/12/11 | George Weigel
    Two volumes recently published by Encounter Books address key issues in the New Evangelization. The first, Marcello Peras Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians, is another effort by a distinguished public intellectual to call our civilization back to its foundational senses. Pera, a philosopher of science, is also an Italian legislator who served for several years as president of the Italian Senate. During his tenure as Italys third-ranking public official, he co-authored a book with then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Without Roots, in which Pera, the secular philosopher, and Ratzinger, the Churchs principal theologian, found a remarkable degree of agreement on the...
  • 'Jesus Appeared on My Nintendo,' Maryland Woman Claims

    10/03/2011 7:37:47 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 123 replies · 1+ views
    Christian Post ^ | September 28, 2011 | Luiza Oleszczuk
    A 24-year-old woman from Maryland claims the Savior has appeared on the Nintendo set she bought on eBay. Brittany Wampler spotted the image of Jesus Christ on top of one of the two newly purchased Nintendo sets she received from an eBbay seller, she told Kotaku, an online publication covering the gaming industry. "We were inspecting it for cracks/damage and when we turned it just right into the light, the image showed up," she told Kotaku. "Our reaction was mainly curiousity [sic] at first. Then as we looked at it closer and ruled out what it couldn't be, we began...
  • Politics and the bugnut Christians

    10/02/2011 7:00:01 AM PDT · by Oldeconomybuyer · 23 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | October 2, 2011 | By Penn Jillette
    Because I wrote a book with "Atheist" in the subtitle and I go on political TV shows to hawk that book, well-groomed meat puppets frequently ask me why politicians like Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry are saying bugnutty Christian stuff. I have an idea why these politicians have gone all religious, but I haven't found a way to explain it in a sound bite, which is why I'm writing this. I think the whole problem comes down to the word "Christian" and what it has come to mean in my lifetime. Christian used to be a throwaway word. People didn't...
  • An Appointment You Will Keep....Regardless

    09/26/2011 8:26:15 AM PDT · by bkaycee · 50 replies
    Sword & Trowel Gam Publications | October 1971 | John G. Reisinger
    "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the JUDGMENT" Hebrews 9:27 You may do all in your power to put the thought of death away from you. However, you cannot escape the fact that you must die. You KNOW that you must die and face God. Maybe the reason you are reluctant to think about death is that you also know that judgment follows death as surely as night follows day. I an seriousness, could I possibly press a more sensible or important question upon you than this -- What is going to happen to you...
  • The Pope in Germany. In the Desert of Faith

    09/21/2011 6:55:55 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 3 replies
    Chiesa Online ^ | 9/21/11 | Sandro Magister
    In Berlin and Erfurt, Benedict XVI enters into the area of Europe farthest from God. He wants to make it a new mission territory. A report from Chemnitz, where atheists are in the majority and almost no one is baptized anymoreROME, September 21, 2011 "Where God is, there is the future": this is the title that Benedict XVI wanted to give to his third visit to Germany, which begins tomorrow. Pope Benedict has stated repeatedly that the "priority" of this pontificate is to bring men closer to God. But the case of Germany makes this urgency of his all...
  • BIBLICAL ETHICS ~ Did God Kill Children? (Second Kings 2:23-25)

    09/13/2011 6:13:40 AM PDT · by SeanG200 · 9 replies
    Religio-Poltical Talk (RPT) ^ | 9-12-2011 | Papa Giorgio
    ....One last point before we bullet point the complete idea behind the Holy and Rightful judgement from the Judge of all mankind. there were 42 persons killed by two bears. Obviously this would require many more than 42 people. Why? What happens when you have a group of ten people and a bear comes crashing out of the bushes in preparation to attack? Every one will immediately scatter! In the debate I pointed out that freezing 42 people and allowing the bears time to go down the line to kill each one would be even more of a miracle than...
  • 'The Thomas Jefferson Bible' to Be Published in Color by the Smithsonian

    09/08/2011 3:14:03 PM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 18 replies
    Christian Post ^ | 09/07/2011 | Eryn Sun
    Smithsonian Books will release Thomas Jeffersons cut-and-paste Bible in a never-before-seen color edition in November. Formally titled 'The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth', The Jefferson Bible was an attempt by the famed founding father to separate the gold from the dross and remove and extract what he felt was most pertinent of Christs teachings from the Bible. Using a razor, Jefferson literally cut and arranged selected verses from the books of Matthew, Luke, and John and created a single narrative, devoid of any divinity, miracles, prophecy, resurrection, and other elements he found unnecessary and misinterpreted by the Four...
  • The Shallow, Self-refuting, Incoherent, and Illogical Thinking of `Agnositc` ~ Vincent Bugliosi

    08/26/2011 9:18:56 PM PDT · by SeanG200 · 14 replies
    Religio-Poltical Talk (RPT) ^ | 8-26-2011 | Papa Giorgio
    [Listen to audio from Vincent Bugliosi] ✓ Atheism: The belief that there is no God. This is typically the conviction that there is no personal Creator of the universe, and no powerful, incorporeal, perfect being in heaven or anywhere else. ✓ Agnosticism: The state of not-knowing whether there is a God or not. The humble agnostic says that he doesn’t know whether there is a God. The less humble agnostic says that you don’t, either. The least humble agnostic thinks that we can’t ever really know. Tom Morris, Philosophy for Dummies (Foster City, CA: IDG Books, 1999), 238. [...] ….To...
  • 20 Years Ago, Russia Gained Freedom From Atheism and Oppression, Russian Church Stated

    08/22/2011 6:42:10 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 1 replies
    Interfax ^ | 8/22/11
    Moscow, August 22, Interfax - The service to commemorate people who lost their lives in defending the White House was conducted at the memorial sign located the intersection of Novy Arbat Street and Novinsky Boulevard, Moscow. "We gathered together here to pray for people who had lost their lives in defending freedom and Motherland," head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin said addressing dozens people who attended the service. He said many people had fearlessly taken to the streets 20 years ago "to defend freedom in this country and many of them expressed their...
  • Two Worlds - Two Cultures

    08/19/2011 7:16:09 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 44 replies
    Fr. Ray Blake's Blog ^ | 8/19/11 | Fr. Ray Blake
    I am sure this will be happening in Madrid as it did in London. Richard Dawkins brought at least one laspsed Catholic back to the Church during the Papal visit to the UK. She saw the the anti-Pope snarling mob led by Dawkins and Tatchel, with their plastic devil horns and inflated condoms, sex "toys" and angry faces and she saw the sheer joy of those cheering the Pope and the banners carried by the enthusiastic youth. She said it wasn't about arguments, it was about faces. Dawkins & co. glaring and hopeless, those who were there cheering the Pope...
  • The Response Rally the only thing political about it was the media covering it

    08/08/2011 3:21:45 PM PDT · by Todd Kinsey · 1 replies
    Houston, TX There was a smattering of protesters greeting attendees of the Response Rally in Houston, Texas on Saturday. No more than two or three dozen by my estimation compared to more than 25,000 who flocked to Reliant Stadium to pray for a nation in crisis. The majority of the protesters were there in support of gay marriage. There were also a few people who were protesting for separation of church and state and, of course, there were a few atheists protesting God knows what. A representative from Americans United for a Separation of Church and State was passing...
  • 5 Catholic Teachings That Make Sense to Atheists

    08/04/2011 12:40:50 PM PDT · by NYer · 8 replies
    NC Register ^ | July 25, 2011 | JENNIFER FULWILER
    Last week I gave a talk about atheism, and in the Q&A afterward there were a lot of questions about how to share our faith with atheists. I emphasized that the most important thing is simply to pray and work on becoming a saint yourself, so that you can show people Christ rather than just talking about him, but people with atheist friends, family members and coworkers wanted to know more. In the case where you’re chatting with a nonbeliever who is open to hearing your perspective and specifically asks for information about what you believe, how should you proceed?...
  • 5 Catholic Teachings That Make Sense to Atheists

    07/26/2011 11:40:48 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 16 replies
    The National Catholic Register ^ | 7/25/11 | Jennifer Fulwiler
    Last week I gave a talk about atheism, and in the Q&A afterward there were a lot of questions about how to share our faith with atheists. I emphasized that the most important thing is simply to pray and work on becoming a saint yourself, so that you can show people Christ rather than just talking about him, but people with atheist friends, family members and coworkers wanted to know more. In the case where youre chatting with a nonbeliever who is open to hearing your perspective and specifically asks for information about what you believe, how should you proceed?...
  • Atheists Rally Behind New Movie Thriller

    07/21/2011 6:57:25 PM PDT · by TheDingoAteMyBaby · 54 replies
    My Fox Houston ^ | 08 Jul 2011 | NED HIBBERD
    <p>Its Christian vs. Atheist in a new thriller released Friday.</p> <p>Except the Christian is the bad guy. And atheists are saying this film could be their Brokeback Mountain, which broke down barriers for gays six years ago.</p> <p>The atheist director of The Ledge is hoping to start a similar conversation on behalf of non-believers.</p>
  • Science and Religion: God Didn't Make Man; Man Made Gods

    07/18/2011 7:45:42 PM PDT · by Steelfish · 60 replies
    LATimes ^ | July 17, 2011 | J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer
    Science and Religion: God Didn't Make Man; Man Made Gods In recent years scientists specializing in the mind have begun to unravel religion's "DNA." By J. Anderson Thomson and Clare Aukofer July 18, 2011. Before John Lennon imagined "living life in peace," he conjured "no heaven / no hell below us / and no religion too." No religion: What was Lennon summoning? For starters, a world without "divine" messengers, like Osama bin Laden, sparking violence. A world where mistakes, like the avoidable loss of life in Hurricane Katrina, would be rectified rather than chalked up to "God's will." Where...
  • Carl Marx Monument Dismantled in Penza [Russia] to Free Space for Future Cathedral

    07/14/2011 7:26:50 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 21 replies
    Interfax ^ | 7/14/11
    Penza, July 14, Interfax - Monument to Carl Marx at the Sovetskaya Square in downtown Penza was dismantled as a cathedral will be erected instead of it, the Penza Diocese told Interfax. "A part of the Savior Cathedral will occupy this part of the square, its construction is underway," the interviewee of the agency said. A foundation pit for the church building will soon be excavated. The decision to move the monument was taken by the city administration. It was planned to transfer it to Carl Marx Street. World's first monument to Marx was set up in Penza on May...
  • Christian share a common enemy in sexual abuse crisis Ch.2: the Good Intentions of Free Masons

    07/06/2011 10:43:58 PM PDT · by dangus · 68 replies
    Original ^ | 7-6-11 | Dangus
    It's no wonder why anti-Masonic conspiracy theories fail to catch on: There is a long line of heroic, patriotic, Christian Freemasons in our national history. To assert that George Washington, Winston Churchill, Stephen Austin, Buzz Aldrin or Omar Bradley were part of a some Satanic conspiracy is to beggar credibility. At the same time, many evil organizations, from the K.K.K. to Aleister Crowley's pagan cult, borrowed heavily from freemasonry, employing its systems of graduated revelations, initiations, and secret recognitions to infiltrate and pervert other organizations. These organizations can fairly be said to be perversions and usurpers of freemasonry, not freemasonry...
  • Godlessness Has Doomed Britain

    07/07/2011 11:10:39 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 15 replies
    The Jerusalem Post ^ | 7/4/11 | Shmuley Boteach
    No Holds Barred: Atheism equals nihilism, neither of which are fertile ground for a national resurgence.Britain today has become one of the most godless societies on Earth. Its principle religious exports today are thinkers who despise religion. From Richard Dawkins, who has compared religion to child abuse, to my friend Christopher Hitchens, who titled his 2007 book God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, the British have cornered the market on being anti-God at least the Christian and Jewish varieties. While 92 percent of Americans believe in God, in Britain only 35% do and, according to Britains National...
  • Dawkins Urges Constitutional Reform to Remove Church Role [Ireland]

    06/07/2011 6:06:19 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 5 replies
    Irish Times ^ | 6/6/11 | Patsy McGarry
    FREEDOM OF expression and of religion should be limited only by the need to respect the rights and freedoms of others, according to the Dublin Declaration on Secularism and the Place of Religion in Public Life, adopted unanimously at the World Atheist Convention yesterday. The declaration also states that the sovereignty of the State is derived from the people and not from any God or gods. Speaking to The Irish Times yesterday, well-known atheist Prof Richard Dawkins said the Irish Constitution should be reformed to remove all influence of the Roman Catholic Church and all other churches . . ....
  • Near-Death Experience Led to Heaven's Door

    06/04/2011 11:00:11 AM PDT · by marshmallow · 64 replies
    Winnipeg Free Press ^ | 6/4/11 | Joanne Thibault
    Heaven Is for RealA Little Boy's Astounding Storyof His Trip to Heaven and BackBy Todd Burpo with Lynn VincentThomas Nelson, 163 pages, $17WHILE on a family road trip in 2003, a small-town Nebraska boy just shy of four years old survived a brush with death made all the more maddening by how preventable it was. A simple case of appendicitis took a malevolent turn when medical miscalls, parental errors in judgment and the vagaries of winter travel conditions lead to Colton Burpo suffering a rupture and rampant infection. Heaven Is for Real, by Colton's father, Todd, a Baptist preacher, with...
  • California Prisons Don't Have to Subsidize Wicca

    06/01/2011 1:18:57 PM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 1 replies
    Courthouse News ^ | June 01, 2011 | TIM HULL
    (CN) - The 9th Circuit on Wednesday rejected a Wiccan chaplain's claims that the California prison system should add a celebrant of Wicca and other pagan or nature-based religions to its paid chaplaincy program. The federal appeals court in San Francisco said the merits of the Wiccan religion did not factor into its decision to dash Patrick McCollum's First Amendment, free-exercise and equal-protection claims against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. Rather the court concluded that the volunteer chaplain lacked standing because he "attempts to transform his employment discrimination action into an effort to vindicate the inmates' First Amendment...
  • Bethesda woman sees Jesus in a garden shovel

    05/23/2011 10:21:41 AM PDT · by Alex Murphy · 17 replies
    Bangor and Anglesey Mail ^ | May 11, 2011 | Daniel Bissett
    A BETHESDA woman claims to have spotted an apparition of Jesus Christ on, of all things, her boyfriends garden shovel! Andrea Jones was having a cigarette in her garden when she noticed this image in the shovel which was leaning against a rabbit hutch. I was deep in thought at the time, miles away, she said. Then I saw the shovel and what looked like a face on it, but Ive seen this shovel so many times before and hadnt noticed a thing. I thought it looked a bit like Jesus and pointed it out to my boyfriend Neil and...
  • (Vanity) God, Free Will, and Chess

    05/20/2011 9:06:00 PM PDT · by grey_whiskers · 30 replies
    grey_whiskers ^ | 5-20-2011 | grey_whiskers
    One topic which has been the center of a great deal of controversy in Christian doctrine is that of free will. It has been discussed in various forms in St. Paul’ s epistle to the Romans, Chapter 9:Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand not by works but by him who calls--she was told, ‘The older will serve the younger.’ Just as it is written: ‘Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.’ What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! For he says...
  • Betting Against the End of the World

    05/18/2011 1:29:35 PM PDT · by Ed Hudgins · 12 replies
    The Atlas Society - The Center for Objectivism ^ | May 17, 2011 | Edward Hudgins
    Throughout human history and especially in recent centuries, cults of all kinds have predicted the end of the world. Youve probably noticed that theyve all been seriously wrong. The latest such silliness has come from 89-year-old Harold Campings Family Radio network of 66 stations. Based on his study of the Bible, Camping calculates that doomsday will be on Saturday, May 21, 2011. Christianity is particularly prone to such nonsense. After all, the Book of Revelation is all about doomsday, though with details from a clearly delusional mind. The son of man appears out of the clouds with a two-edged sword...
  • US atheists offer pet rescue after judgment day

    05/18/2011 12:37:44 PM PDT · by markomalley · 40 replies
    AFP/Yahoo ^ | 5/18/11
    When judgment day comes -- which some US Christian fundamentalists insist will happen on Saturday -- have you thought about what you're going to do with the family dog and cat? In 26 US states, you could have them rescued and adopted by enterprising atheists who have set up a business to care for the animal companions of any Christians who are selected to go to heaven when Jesus Christ comes back. "You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes, what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind?" Eternal Earth-Bound...
  • Richard Dawkins accused of cowardice for refusing to debate existence of God

    05/17/2011 8:37:33 AM PDT · by Bed_Zeppelin · 47 replies
    The Telegraph ^ | May 14, 2011 | Tim Ross
    Richard Dawkins has made his name as the scourge of organised religion who branded the Roman Catholic Church evil and once called the Pope a leering old villain in a frock. But he now stands accused of cowardice after refusing four invitations to debate the existence of God with a renowned Christian philosopher. A war of words has broken out between the best selling author of The God Delusion, and his critics, who see his refusal to take on the American academic, William Lane Craig, as a glaring failure and a sign that he may be losing his nerve.
  • Why do Americans still dislike atheists?

    05/01/2011 6:06:36 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 101 replies · 2+ views
    Washington Post ^ | 05/01/2011 | Gregory Pauland, Phil Zuckerman
    Long after blacks and Jews have made great strides, and even as homosexuals gain respect, acceptance and new rights, there is still a group that lots of Americans just dont like much: atheists. Those who dont believe in God are widely considered to be immoral, wicked and angry. They cant join the Boy Scouts. Atheist soldiers are rated potentially deficient when they do not score as sufficiently spiritual in military psychological evaluations. Surveys find that most Americans refuse or are reluctant to marry or vote for nontheists; in other words, nonbelievers are one minority still commonly denied in practical terms...
  • Atheist groups push for military chaplains

    04/28/2011 1:27:29 PM PDT · by NYer · 36 replies
    Inside Catholic ^ | April 28, 2011
    As Deacon Greg Kandra says, it sounds like an Onion headline, but it's not: The New York Times reports that groups of atheists and secular humanists in the military are pushing to add some of their own to the ranks of military chaplains:Joining the chaplain corps is part of a broader campaign by atheists to win official acceptance in the military. Such recognition would make it easier for them to raise money and meet on military bases. It would help ensure that chaplains, religious or atheist, would distribute their literature, advertise their events and advocate for them with commanders.But winning...
  • Atheists Seek Chaplain Role in the Military

    04/27/2011 2:59:57 PM PDT · by arderkrag · 27 replies
    The New York Times ^ | April 26, 2011 | James Dao
    FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. In the military, there are more than 3,000 chaplains who minister to the spiritual and emotional needs of active duty troops, regardless of their faiths. The vast majority are Christians, a few are Jews or Muslims, one is a Buddhist. A Hindu, possibly even a Wiccan may join their ranks soon. But an atheist? Strange as it sounds, groups representing atheists and secular humanists are pushing for the appointment of one of their own to the chaplaincy, hoping to give voice to what they say is a large and largely underground population of nonbelievers in...
  • To hell with Hell?

    04/26/2011 3:41:53 PM PDT · by NYer · 44 replies
    Ignatius Insight ^ | April 26, 2011 | Carl Olson
    James Kirk Wall, author of Agnosticism: The Battle Against Shameless Ignorance, seems to think he has come up with a clever line of agnostic apologetics to pursue in getting rid of Hell: Pastor Rob Bell is arguing that there may be no Hell. Would Christianity still be able to sell without Hell, or would membership plummet? Heaven and Hell make up the greatest marketing campaign ever created by man. If you buy what were selling, you will live forever in happiness. If you dont, fire and brimstone for all eternity! Uh, yeah, that's a perfect to way to put...
  • Hitchens' address to American Atheists (self eulogy)

    04/23/2011 4:34:15 AM PDT · by Salman · 31 replies
    Pharyngula ^ | April 22, 2011 | Christopher Hitchens
    Dear fellow-unbelievers, Nothing would have kept me from joining you except the loss of my voice (at least my speaking voice) which in turn is due to a long argument I am currently having with the specter of death. Nobody ever wins this argument, though there are some solid points to be made while the discussion goes on. I have found, as the enemy becomes more familiar, that all the special pleading for salvation, redemption and supernatural deliverance appears even more hollow and artificial to me than it did before. I hope to help defend and pass on the lessons...
  • Was Easter Borrowed from a Pagan Holiday?

    04/21/2011 3:45:20 PM PDT · by AnalogReigns · 54 replies
    The historical evidence contradicts this popular notion.Anyone encountering anti-Christian polemics will quickly come up against the accusation that a major festival practiced by Christians across the globe, namely, Easter, was actually borrowed or rather usurped from a pagan celebration. I often encounter this idea among Muslims who claim that later Christians compromised with paganism to dilute the original faith of Jesus.
  • Richard Dawkins: Atheist Stranded in a World of Purpose

    04/18/2011 7:34:35 AM PDT · by SeekAndFind · 12 replies
    American Thinker ^ | 04/18/2011 | Miguel A. Guanipa
    Fifty years ago, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave a speech at an antireligious rally, where he declared that the celebrated cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin had confided to him that while in space, he had peered into the infinite distance before him, but could find no traces of God. Someone in the audience is alleged to have murmured then that if he had removed his helmet, the proud space traveler would have instantly secured a personal audience with the one whose creation he so carefully surveyed in hopes of finding. This amusing story illustrates the doleful plight of the itinerant Atheist,...