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What’s So Wrong With Being An Atheist Pastor, Anyway?

What’s So Wrong With Being An Atheist Pastor, Anyway?

Port Mouton, N.S. United Church Stand with your atheist pastor friends! That’s the example being reported this week on Canadian wire services (I picked it up at The Globe and Mail). This is not a parody story. A retired United Church minister has asked to be formally defrocked as a protest against the potential firing of a colleague for her atheist beliefs. In a scorching open letter, Rev. Beverley Burlock asserts the church has lost its way…. “Never ever was I subjected in…

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Legal Rights or Not, There’s Something Wrong When Satanists and Atheists Come to Pray at Governmental Meetings

Legal Rights or Not, There’s Something Wrong When Satanists and Atheists Come to Pray at Governmental Meetings

Yesterday Rachel Alexander, a colleague of mine at The Stream, published an article about Satanists and atheists seeking to pray at governmental meetings: It was a pick-your-poison strategy: Either accept the Satanist prayer or strip regular prayers from the meetings altogether, one of [the Satanists’ spokespersons] explained to The New York Daily News. “We got what we were going for,” she said. Two members applied to deliver the opening invocation and were approved by the left-leaning majority of council members…

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Fifty or a Thousand Simple Questions for Every Christian

Fifty or a Thousand Simple Questions for Every Christian

A while back I picked up a book  titled 50 Simple Questions for Every Christian. I was thinking it might provide an interesting source of discussion here on the blog. I finally got into it this week, and the first thing I discovered was that its author, Guy Harrison, gave it the wrong name. There are a lot more than fifty questions. A rough computer search turned up almost 900 question marks, meaning the title was off by a factor…

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Being Good “For Nothing” — Does That Make Atheist Ethics Better Than Christian?

Being Good “For Nothing” — Does That Make Atheist Ethics Better Than Christian?

Get the picture? Here’s the challenge: Atheistic morality is allegedly better than Christianity because Christians are looking for a reward for our goodness, while atheists are good “for nothing.” (Again, I am not saying “good for nothing.”) There are three parts to that statement: Christian goodness is motivated by a hoped-for reward. Atheists’ goodness is goodness for its own sake. Goodness for its own sake is intrinsically better than goodness for a reward. Does that make atheist ethics better than Christian ethics?…

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Sources for “Where the Gospels Came From”

Sources for “Where the Gospels Came From”

Someone on Facebook asked for a footnoted version of my satire, “Where the Gospels Came From. Here it is. The links I’ve placed in here are representative of many, for these beliefs are widespread. I doubt you could find one single atheist source that makes all these claims about the source of the gospels, but they’re all floating freely “out there” on the atheist Internet. RS is shorthand for representative source material. Back in the Bronze Age the world was…

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Chemistry, Not Character, and Why Is No One Suing Ohio Over This?

Chemistry, Not Character, and Why Is No One Suing Ohio Over This?

Driving on I-75 in Cincinnati the other day I passed a billboard telling people with a gambling problem, “It’s not your character, it’s your chemistry.” The web link on the billboard took me to a site put up by the state of Ohio that leads after a couple clicks to the same slogan. And the Freedom from Religion Foundation hasn’t sued the state for it. This saying isn’t unique to Ohio or specific only to gambling. Christian pastor Rick Warren…

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Turek-Shermer Debate: Does a Christian Have the Right to Finish a Sentence?

Turek-Shermer Debate: Does a Christian Have the Right to Finish a Sentence?

A couple years ago Eric Chabot and I were talking with students and giving away copies of True Reason on the Oval at Ohio State University. Eric is the Ratio Christi chapter director there, and I was with him as a friend and as editor of the book. Most of our conversations that day were cordial, respectful, and enjoyable. One stands out in contrast, though. A red-headed student came up with metaphorical guns blazing, angry at Christians for standing in…

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Atheists’ Skepticism as Better Explanation?

Atheists’ Skepticism as Better Explanation?

There are many ironies in the list of “better explanations” atheists graciously provided in response to a recent blog post here, but perhaps none greater than atheists’ skepticism: I figure if there’s an atheist worldview it might be the same as the scientific worldview, which means questioning things and looking for physical evidence, unlike the religious worldview which means trusting and submitting to authority. There’s a sentiment in there that’s echoed in comments like, Skepticism is a better method for…

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Atheists: “Our Worldviews Explain These Things Better”

Atheists: “Our Worldviews Explain These Things Better”

A couple days ago I asked atheists to let us know what their worldviews explained better than Christianity. (I did not say atheism was a worldview. See that post for more on that.) I’ve processed the answers through a Mac program called “The Brain.” It’s pretty interesting what it can do. See the outline and interconnections here. It looks like this (though larger), but click on any of the outline points there, and you’re likely to find it’s linked in multiple…

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