Is Atheism Increasing or Decreasing Globally?

Right wing news outlets like the Worldnetdaily and CNS News are trumpeting a new report by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, which claims that the number of atheists and agnostics is decreasing around the world. But let’s just say there are some methodological problems with that report:
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House Votes for Continued Illegal Surveillance

Rep. Justin Amash, a Tea Party Republican from Michigan but one that actually does care about civil liberties, tried to add an amendment to this year’s defense appropriations bill to prevent the NSA from using the Patriot Act to seize phone records of those who are not under investigation. The White House, a sizable number of Democrats and the majority of Republicans made sure that didn’t happen.
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Peterson: Obama Trying to Take Power From the White Man

Jesse Lee Peterson, the astonishingly far right preacher and Sean Hannity buddy who thinks women should not have the right to vote, gave a talk last year to the John Birch Society in which he said that President Obama and his “angry black female” wife want to “take power away from the white man and give it to people who [want] handouts, with socialism mentalities.”
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CA Pastor To ‘Go Old Testament’ on Pro-Gay Preachers

Pastor Matt Brown of Riverside, California’s Sandals Church says he will refuse to go to any same-sex wedding, not only because he doesn’t approve of them but because he’ll “punch” and “go Old Testament” on any minister who performs such a wedding. After Jeremy Hooper flagged the video, the church decided to make it private, but he smartly kept a copy. If you can’t see the video below the fold, go here to watch it.
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Beck is Out of His Manic Phase

I really am starting to think that Glenn Beck is bipolar. A few weeks ago, he was acting all depressed, saying it’s too late to save the country. Then he went to Washington, DC, claimed to have seen God and got all energized and happy again. Now he’s back to being depressed about America having “gone insane.” And if anyone should know…
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Help a Humanist Pathfinder

As you may know by now, the Foundation Beyond Belief is launching the Pathfinders project in a couple days, sending four young humanists around the globe to lay the groundwork for the development of a Humanist Service Corps. One of those young Pathfinders, Ben “Sweatervest” Blanchard, has an IndieGogo campaign to help raise funds to pay for the trip. He’s a terrific young man, as are all the Pathfinders, and the project is going to change lives. So if you can, please throw in a buck or two.

Beck: America Created for Israel

Glenn Beck went on an epic rant in front of John Hagee’s Christians United for Israel, claiming that God created America in order to help recreate Israel 160 years later. He falsely claims that there is a star of David on the back of the dollar (there isn’t) and that this was intentionally made to signal a covenant with God. Funny, the religious right of that day didn’t seem to notice this “covenant.” In fact, they spent most of their time ranting about not having one.
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Stay Classy, New York Times

Nate Silver is leaving the New York Times for ESPN and ABC News, where he can simultaneously pursue his interest in both sports and politics (he began his career as a baseball analyst, using some of the same mathematical techniques he later used for politics). And the “public editor” of the NYT, Margaret Sullivan, sets fire to the bridge:
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