Dan Arel

Egads! Ben Carson for Dept of Education?

President-elect Donald Trump is beginning to form his transition committee and create shortlists for the various cabinet positions awaiting his administration in January. One of the most threatening to the future of this country is his choice to short-list creationist Ben Carson for the job of Secretary of Education.

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Many Americans Exaggerate How Often They Attend Church

Atheism and non-belief are growing rapidly in America, however, it is still considered one of the most religious countries in the world. Yet, saying you’re religious and being religious are two separate things and a recent study by Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) suggests that many Americans greatly exaggerate how often they attend religious services.

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This Week in Religion: Huckabee Claims God Blessed Him, and Mormons Back LGBT Rights

No one has had a busier week than former Fox News host Mike Huckabee, who got a direct blessing from God to run for president so that he could fight off the “secular theocracy” atheists with no political power are imposing upon the American people.

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This Week in Religion: Pope Francis Tells His Flock to Stop Breeding Like Rabbits

Pope Francis remains as busy as ever. This week he announced it was time for his flock to stop the rapid-fire procreation Catholics are known for. During a news conference the Pope said, “Some think, excuse me if I use the word, that in order to be good Catholics, we have to be like rabbits — but no.” He added that the Church should instead be promoting “responsible parenthood.”

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This Week in Religion: Christians Continue Their Assault on LGBT Community

If you’ve ever pondered the best method for converting teenagers to your way of thinking, you probably haven't put physical abuse on top of your list. Yet that is exactly what Pastor Eric Dammann says he did to a teen boy outside his church’s youth group this week for being a “smart aleck."

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The Past Week in Religion: God Pronounced Owner of an Alabama City

It may be well past Christmas by now, but according to television evangelist and 700 Club host Pat Robertson, it can still be used as a viable excuse to beat your children.

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This Week in Religion: Bristol Palin Decries Separation of Church and State

A week doesn’t go by without Sarah Palin saying something shockingly stupid about the U.S. government. This week we learned that the apple does not fall far from the tree, when Palin’s daughter Bristol decried the separation of church and state in her blog.

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This Week in Religion: For-Profit Ark Park Sues Kentucky For Right to Discriminate

Only a few weeks after permission was granted to display a Satanic holiday display at the Florida capitol building, a woman wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with “Catholic Warrior” tore it down.

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This Week in Religion: Right-Wing Evangelists Eagerly Condone Torture

700 Club host Pat Robertson gave the Republican Party an early Christmas present this week: he has found the replacement for Obamacare they have been looking for. Robertson was asked by a viewer if he thought it would be all right if he decided to stop seeking medical attention, instead making a covenant with God to be his physician. 

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This Week in Religion: Kentucky Govt Finally Cuts Off Subsidies to Noah's Ark Museum

This has not been the best of weeks for Ken Ham, the president of Answers in Genesis, a Creationist apologist ministry which operates the Creation Museum. It seems Ham’s recent undertaking, building a Noah’s Ark theme park, is not quite going his way.

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This Week in Religion: Woman Didn't Report Husband's Dead Body for 6 Months - Had Prayed for Resurrection

Week after week the Christian Right makes claims to the public about the prejudice they face, such as being denied the right to dictate how a women controls her body and what pills she is and is not allowed to take.

Yet when it comes to other religions actually being discriminated against, the Christian Right falls totally silent. This is exactly what happened when the city council of Kennesaw in Georgia voted 4 to 1 to reject the proposal for an Islamic center to open in a town stripmall.

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This Week in Religion: Pat Robertson's Idiotic Ferguson Commentary

It’s been a trying week for social justice activists after a grand jury declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown. An unfortunate and clear side-effect has been inflamed racial tensions. But that's not so obvious to Pat Robertson, who told his 700 Club audience that racism is actually dead.

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This Week in Religion: Revisionist History, the Hitler Card and Pat Robertson on Speed

If you are not a big fan of U.S. history, fear not, because the State of Texas may decide to rewrite American history and make it more, well, Christian.

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This Week in Religion: How Faith Healing Can Lead to Manslaughter

This week is a sobering reminder of the dangers of fanatical religious beliefs. Travis and Wenona Rossiter were convicted of manslaughter this week in the death of their 12-year-old daughter whose diabetes was left untreated. The Rossiters, who belong to the Church of the First Born, believe in faith-based healing over the use of modern medicine.

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This Week in Religion: The Most Bizarre Lawsuit Against Same-Sex Marriage Ever

The Christian right’s fight to end marriage equality has gone from hateful and ignorant to just plain bizarre. This week, in what might be one of the most far-fetched federal court filings ever, South Carolinan Don Boyd filed a lawsuit to prevent the legalization of same-sex marriage in the state, citing that its legalization would prevent him from being a Christian.

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This Week in Religion: Fundamentalists Freak Out in Texas

If you woke up one morning this week and thought you landed in an alternative universe, Alan Robertson, of the "Duck Dynasty" clan, might have the answer why. Robertson, the son of bearish homophobe Phil Robertson, believes that America has morphed into Nazi Germany.

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Holy Wingnuts! This Week's Wacky Religious Rants About Gays and Atheists

The religious right is losing ground quickly in their fight against marriage equality and this is forcing them to resort to dishonest tactics. Take, for example, the couple from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho who claim they are being forced to perform same-sex weddings in their wedding chapel, despite it being against their religious beliefs.

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This Week in Religion: Vatican Has Revolutionary Ideas about Homosexuality, Then Quickly Backtracks

This week, things started off on a positive note as the Vatican released a preliminary document that was being heralded as “revolutionary” towards gay Christians by some LGBT groups. Yet Vatican officials were quick to walk back on their statements inside the document as reported by Hemant Mehta at the Friendly Atheist blog:

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This Week's Religious Silliness: Creationist Calls Stephen Hawking a Fool and 'Left Behind' Flops

We’re only a few short weeks away from the 2014 midterm elections, and right on cue the Christian Right is again calling for a theocratic America.

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This Week in Christian Psychobabble: Conflating Darwinism with Nazism and Other Fundamentalist Nonsense

Republicans have a solution for what ails America; every problem in the U.S. can be solved if we all just embrace their concept of a Christian theocracy.

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Shocker: Leading Atheist Richard Dawkins Finally Admits Religion Isn't the Problem in Mideast

Is Richard Dawkins changing his tune on Islam and terrorism? In a recent interview with Russia Today, the evolutionary biologist and noted atheist was questioned about the Islamic religion and its ties to ISIS and just how much responsibility it bears in the brutal beheadings carried out by the terrorist group. Dawkins said:

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The Week in Religion: How Science, Taxes and Tolerance Are Becoming Dirty Words for Zealots

Nothing screams “militant” quite like the Robertson family over at “Duck Dynasty.” And now we have a chance to watch another member of the clan in action on C-SPAN, while his kin keep up their reality-show antics on A&E.

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The Bizarre Behavior of Christian Conservatives This Week

If Christianity had its own PR flack, he would be slamming his fist on the desk right about now, as the faithful are spinning out of control. 

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The Most Absurd Religious Right Headlines of the Week (and One Hopeful Humanist One)

A remarkable week in religious news got off to a roaring start when it was revealed that former mega-church pastor Mark Driscoll once likened women to “penis homes” in a pseudonymous blog post he wrote 13 years ago. Driscoll who recently stepped down from the pulpit at Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington over allegations of plagiarism and abuse of power, has now hastened the closing of church branches since his blog post (which he wrote under the name William Wallace II) was revealed.

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Learning to Think in a Society Ruled by Absurd Religion and Other Dogma

The following is an excerpt from Parenting Without God by Dan Arel.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson Hit by Creationist Backlash for Explaining Universe Is Billions of Years Old

In the wake of the success of the "Cosmos" television series, which picked up four Emmy Awards earlier this week, Neil deGrasse Tyson discussed politics, religion and science in a recent interview with AlterNet. 

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Major Scientific Journal Argues Humans Are Wired to Believe in God: Believers Rejoice, Atheists Rebut

It's a frequent Christian apologist argument that atheists do not really exist and that everyone believes in god regardless of what they say. But scientists rarely try to make this claim. Yet a new essay published in the journal Nature implies such a thing, yet the findings seem to be missing many core elements and make more assumptions than any actual peer-reviewed scientific paper could ever get away with. 

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Why Do Religious Groups Get Your Tax Money to Preach and Discriminate?

It’s not new for federal and state governments to issue tax breaks and incentives to religious organizations. In fact, George W. Bush and his famous “faith based initiatives” program gave certain religious organizations tax breaks if they performed non-religious duties, followed employment laws, and offered a service not based on a recipient’s religious beliefs.

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America's Overwhelming Contempt Toward Atheists and Muslims

Religious tension is nothing new in America. Hatred between religions, distrust and downright anger are the everyday norm for anyone with a television set or access to the Internet.

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How Creationists in Texas Are Pressuring Schoolbook Publishers to Bring God into Biology

It seems creationists in Texas have resorted to bullying and lying in an attempt to force evolution out of the classroom.

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Anti-Vaxx Insanity: New Study Highlights the Dangers of Science Denialism

We are breaking a new record in the U.S., and it is not one we want to break: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, measles cases are at a 20-year high. As of May 23, more than 288 cases have been reported this year. To put that in perspective, only 37 cases were reported in all of 2004. In 2002, measles had been declared eliminated in the Americas.

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