WEEK IN REVIEW: They sing with no self-awareness
Christians on a plane, “performative nonsense,” Canadians' least favorite religion, and more!
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For anyone in the Orlando, Florida area, I’ll be giving a LIVE IN-PERSON talk on Sunday, April 24 about why I’m (seriously!) optimistic about the future of atheism in America.
The event is sponsored by the Central Florida Freethought Community, it will be free to attend, and you can find all the details here!
I still can’t get over how a group of Christians effectively hijacked a plane to sing worship songs, taped themselves doing it, and admitted the pilot and flight attendant gave them permission to push their faith on others. They have absolutely no self-awareness for how this might be perceived by non-Christians.
What does it say about the Christian message that they felt they had to do this mid-flight? It’s like they knew no one would be interested if they had the option to leave.
I asked that question and several others in this video:
It wasn’t just on a plane either. Here’s a guy doing it while standing in a cart in a Walmart.
It's not just the arrogance of getting on the cart that bugs me. It's the arrogance of having someone there to record it for you so you look like a hero to the worst kinds of people.
The old site BibViz, which offered a brilliant visual analysis of all the contradictions in the Bible, is back up and running!
Miami-Dade Public Schools board member Christi Fraga offered a resolution declaring May 5 the “National Day of Prayer.” She claimed it was a way to inspire unity… even though religion is perhaps the most divisive force in the world. But her colleague Lubby Navarro inadvertently gave away the game when she admitted in a lengthy sermon that this was all about honoring “one creator, and that is God and Jesus Christ.”
In the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Holy Rosary Catholic Church could become a community rec center… but purchasing it for that reason could mean the building gets sold for less than its market value. The problem with that? A higher sales price would be a better deal for victims of sexual abuse in the area. The question boils down to what’s better for the community in the long-term, and there’s no simple solution here.
I regret to inform you that California Secretary of State candidate Rachel Hamm, who holds the most batshit crazy Christian views you’ll ever hear, insists angels will help her “steal the vote.”Rachel Hamm, who is running for secretary of state in California because she claims Jesus appeared in her closet and told her to do so, is praying that if anyone tries to steal votes from her, "God will send the angels to steal the vote back."California GOP Secretary of State candidate Rachel Hamm said today that she decided to run for office after her son found Jesus inside a closet in their home, and Jesus handed him a scroll telling her to declare her candidacy. https://t.co/LdDLX1j8vSHemant Mehta @hemantmehta
In that same interview, by the way, she claimed atheists mock her for believing in God. That’s not the case. Plenty of good politicians believe in God. We mock her because she acts like her delusions are the only important qualifications she needs for public office.California GOP Secretary of State candidate Rachel Hamm said recently that atheists mock her because she believes in God. Not because she says *completely insane* things in the name of God.California GOP Secretary of State candidate Rachel Hamm said today that she decided to run for office after her son found Jesus inside a closet in their home, and Jesus handed him a scroll telling her to declare her candidacy. https://t.co/LdDLX1j8vSHemant Mehta @hemantmehta
A new survey found that most Canadian adults believe Catholics, evangelicals, and Muslims do more harm than good: All three religions had a net negative score when people were asked if their members helped or hurt Canadian society. Evangelical Christians, not surprisingly, received the lowest scores.
We now have numbers showing just how destructive Christian “health insurance” companies can be. After Sharity Ministries (formerly Trinity HealthShare) filed for bankruptcy last year, 10,000+ families with left with unpaid bills totaling over $50 million. The whole industry is scammy.
To anyone who says Christian Nationalism isn’t a threat…
After a mother tried launching an After School Satan Club in a Pennsylvania school district that already offered students a Christian education program, the school board voted it down 8-1. Now The Satanic Temple plans to sue the district. TST co-founder Lucien Greaves told me, “If this conduct is allowed to stand, the rule of law means nothing. “
And that’s not the only example of people freaking out at the thought of treating Satanists just like other religions. In Australia, when the Noosa Temple of Satan requested use of a prayer room in a local performing arts center managed by the city of Gold Coast in Queensland, the mayor moved to shut down public access to the prayer room altogether. The Satanists will protest the bigotry this weekend.
There are two speeches you absolutely need to hear from Democratic lawmakers. They’re uplifting while holding nothing back, and we’d be better off if more Democrats in the legislative minority used their floor time to denounce the conservative (usually Christian) bigotry of the Republican Party with all the fight these people have.
First, there’s openly gay Missouri State Rep. Ian Mackey, who called out his Republican colleague for trying to pass a bill that would ban transgender girls from playing school-sponsored girls’ sports. And Mackey used the man’s own personal stories right back against him.Meanwhile, in Missouri, State Representative gives one of the most powerful speeches I have ever heard. Turn on the volume. You want this timeline cleanse.
The other is from Michigan State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, who unleashed this fierce response after a Republican falsely accused her of being a “groomer” because she supports LGBTQ rights and schools teaching a comprehensive version of U.S. history instead of the white-washed, dumbed-down kind preferred by Republicans.
Remember Dave Silverman? If so, I’m sorry. But the former head of American Atheists, who’s now a conservative knee-jerk reactionary, decided that a Black activist’s work making atheist communities more welcoming to people of color has been a waste of time because… her group doesn’t have enough Twitter followers.Mandisa Thomas () of has spent years making atheist communities more welcoming to people of color. Dave Silverman, the disgraced former head of American Atheists, measures her success by only one (very bad) metric, then offers some (very bad) advice.
I know this is besides the point, but Twitter followers is a horrible metric for anything, especially partisan politics. Conservatives are much more monolithic than liberals. In general, Republicans are more likely to watch FOX News, listen to the same right-wing voices, use the same talking points, and follow the same social media accounts. Democrats don’t all watch MSNBC, have a few sources of information, or have the same political goals. (It’s why you don’t see Democrats treating Biden like a demigod or attending left-wing rallies.) Democrats just have a bigger tent, for better or for worse. It’s a lot harder to unite them. So claiming that a group for Black atheists isn’t gaining followers as quickly as a right-wing atheist group doesn’t mean what Silverman thinks it means.
I’m still trying to make sense of this:
Apparently, BYU Idaho doesn't think college students are old enough to look at human anatomy in a human anatomy class.
It’s a start: The Catholic Diocese of Camden, New Jersey will pay $87.5 million in one of the largest sex abuse settlements in the country.
The pastor of “Patriot Church” admitted the truth about Christian Nationalism: Supporters want religious freedom… for themselves and no one else.
Nothing screams Easter like “Easter threads.” And whatever the hell this pastor is wearing on his feet.
Even under the banner of opinion, it’s ridiculous for the New York Times to publish religious mythology as if it’s a bunch of settled facts:
Scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland and Pastor Greg Stephens had a conversation about how to “heal” people that leaves me with WAY more questions than answers…While speaking with scamvangelist Kenneth Copeland, pastor Greg Stephens says God once told him to spit in a woman's eyes. It allegedly healed her blindness.
Speaking of grifters, televangelist Jim Bakker said recently that the government is coming after him. He left out the part about how he hawked a fake "cure" for COVID on his show and got punished for it.
Pop quiz: Guess which one of these two people white evangelicals overwhelmingly prefer?
Fundamentalist Christian grandmother Lori Alexander, a.k.a. The Transformed Wife, had a slew of horrible tweets:
And now for your weekly dose of fundie insanity:Christian hate-preacher Tanner Furrh went on a tangent to remind his congregation that Jesus did not wear a dress.
This week in Atheist Bible Study? Leviticus 25. It's time for one of the longer chapters in Leviticus, all about the celebration of Sabbath, and the celebration of Jubilee, and the celebration of... slavery. (Again.)
On this week’s podcast, I spoke with Dr. Katie Gaddini, the author of The Struggle to Stay: Why Single Evangelical Women Are Leaving the Church. We talked about purity culture, the mixed messages sent to Christian women, and whether their churches do more harm than good.
Finally, this Republican gubernatorial candidate wants to ban books with explicit content from public schools. But when The Good Liars confronted him about a book with ALL KINDS of explicit content, he struggled to make sense of the hypocrisy.
That’s it for this week! Stay safe. Get vaccinated. Get boosted. Please become a full subscriber or share this with someone who may enjoy it. It would mean a lot to me :)