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Apr 17 2014

A Tale of Mercy Ministries

Awhile back I posted a testimonial from someone I know who was sent to a Pentecostal “Drug Rehab” facility as a teenager. I recently found out another person I’ve known for some time had a similar experience when she was sent to a Christian treatment center for issues of “self-harm.” Although she is out as an atheist, her current living situation does not allow her to be completely open in expressing her nonbelief, but I asked if I could share her story anonymously, and she agreed.

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Apr 17 2014

Grumpy old man moment: There is satire, and there is really dumb satire

It’s funny because it’s like Superman, but his logo looks weird! DON’T YOU GET THE JOKE?

This isn’t about atheism, but it is about skepticism in general, and some of the annoyances of the internet.

I loves me some fake news. Been reading The Onion for well over a decade now. The Daily Show is my favorite thing on TV, and most weeks I never miss an episode. But even with all that in mind, I really want to say that there are just way too many websites devoted to publishing “satirical news”, and most of them are not that funny.

The thing that bugs me the most about these sites is that, much like those terrible Seltzer and Friedberg movies, they don’t really do satire. Those movies just imitate better, more successful movies, and expect you to laugh. These sites post stories that could be true, but aren’t.

[Continued...]

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Apr 15 2014

Open thread on AETV #861

Oh hi, Matt and Martin did a show on Sunday. Discuss!

(Also, don’t miss The Non-Prophets tomorrow when Jeff and I review “Noah”!)

Apr 05 2014

Open thread on episode #860: Does Christianity need suffering?

In my reading about the “Spirituality in Healthcare” debates, I have started reading books from proponents. I’ve already read a number of articles on both sides of the issue, including more than a handful of articles published in peer reviewed journals covering claims of evidence, and also expert opinion pieces. But now it’s time to dig into the motives, ideas and points that are being made in the more in-depth way that books supply. To me, books are where authors speak in a personal voice about their honest, and to some degree, personal perspectives on these topics.

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Apr 03 2014

Camp Quest Texas needs YOU

If you’re living anywhere in or near Texas, this means you!

Camp Quest Texas really appreciates all the generous donations they’ve received over the years, and those are still welcome. However, what they need from supporters more than anything is their time. To put it simply, word of mouth has spread like crazy over the last few years, and since CQTX runs for one week of the year in a camp with limited space and even more limited staff, it’s hard to accommodate all the campers who would like to attend each year.

If more people were willing to get involved, they might be able to expand the number of cabins they can support, or even admit a new group of campers during a second session. So if you’re local, and have some time to offer during the month of August, please consider getting in touch with them when you can.

Go here to volunteer.

Mar 30 2014

Open thread on episode #859

Matt and I did the show today, and though there weren’t any theist callers of note (we think the one we got might have been a weak troll), we had at least one feisty call with an atheist viewer, who tried to make an argument in favor of allowing creationism to be taught in schools. As you’ll see in the episode, we thought his whole argument was informed by a naivety in thinking that students who were only at an introductory stage in their education would be able to evaluate (and do so correctly) creationism’s claims without first having an actual grounding in the basics of skepticism and critical thinking (which I sure as hell wasn’t given in junior high or high school). It was essentially a recapitulation of the “equal time” arguments creationists themselves have attempted to use down the years, except the caller thought that science and evolution would benefit from it.

Leave your thinks below.

Mar 22 2014

We Hate Movies: Christian Wish Fulfillment edition

Earlier this week, Beth’s Facebook page linked me to an ridiculous interview with Kevin Sorbo, of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys fame. Kevin is attached to an appalling movie called God’s Not Dead. What’s this gonna be about? Based on the trailer, it is a feature length version of that old urban legend about the atheist professor’s brain. It’s a story that’s been told over and over again: By Jack Chick in comic form, as a laughable anecdote about Albert Einstein and various other smarty pants people, as a “nerds vs. jocks” standoff with a marine.

Here’s the formula: Wholesome Christian boy meets professor. Professor mocks boy. Boy stands up for Christianity. Boy humiliates professor. Atheist looks stupid. The end. It’s great for a thirty second anecdote, but if you use your

Imaaaaaaginaaaaation

you can drag that sucker to 113 minutes running time!

[Much more below...]

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Mar 20 2014

Fred’s dead, baby, Fred’s dead

Yep, that old bigot Fred Phelps has waved his last “God Hates Fags” sign.

Am I celebrating? In a way. How? Well, I donated $30 to The Trevor Project. In Fred’s honor, naturally.

Seemed the best way to make sure all his life’s work wasn’t in vain.

Mar 16 2014

Open Thread for AETV #857: Message from a Deist

Welcome to the Open Thread for AETV #857.

A deist emailed us this week with a message for Christians and a request that we read his message on The Atheist Experience. I won’t take up air time for that, as I explain in my response to him, but I did think it was valuable as a discussion topic about why we reject deism as well as other flavors of theism.

For reference, deism is the belief that reason and observation of the natural world are sufficient to determine the existence of a creator. Deists generally reject organized religion (with some exceptions) and divine revelation as a source of knowledge about the nature of God.

Now, on to the deist’s message. I’ve left the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation as it is in the original.

 

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Mar 11 2014

Islam 101 recap (Russell and Tracie double header)

Last week, I went with Tracie Harris, Beth Presswood, and Ben Weaver to an “Islam 101″ seminar at the North Austin Muslim Community Center. This is a recap of my experience and Tracie’s.

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