FTBCon 2: Electric Boogaloo

It’s time for FtBConscience 2: Electric Boogaloo, the second installment of the entirely online atheist conference, Jan. 31-Feb. 2. I won’t be hosting a panel this year or really be involved much at all because I’m just too busy at the moment with projects and deadlines, but I will be kicking off the opening session. Dale McGowan will be giving a talk at that opening session as well, which will be at 6 pm EST on Friday, January 31. In addition to most of the FTB bloggers, other featured speakers include Robert Price, Rebecca Hensler, Sarah Morehead, Teresa McBain, Vyckie Garrison and many others. Details here.

No, Atheist ‘Churches’ Aren’t Making Us Look Ridiculous

I saw this article by Drew Miller, entitled “Why ‘Atheist Churches’ Are Making Us Atheists Look Ridiculous,” and rolled my eyes at it. I was going to write a full response to it, but Rebecca Watson already said a fair amount of what I would have said. The original article asks several questions that pretend to be deep but are really just silly.
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Finally, Someone Takes Our Dirty Atheist Money

You would think that donating $3000 would be an easy thing to do, but apparently not. Hemant has finally managed to find someone to take that amount that was initially donated to replace funding pulled by an American Legion to the parks in Morton Grove, Illinois. But they turned it down, as did the local library board. Finally, a food bank has accepted the donation. But then there’s this:
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Secular Safe House Is a Great Idea

One of the most important functions of secular communities is providing a safe place for those who have left religion behind can be themselves and find support. But sometimes the need is far more immediate, especially when someone’s family has disowned them as a result of their beliefs. Troy Fitzgerald has a very ambitious idea, the development of Secular Safe Houses for those in such situations around the country.
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Dan Fincke Has Another Blog

Dan Fincke’s plan to take over the world now that he has left the stressful world of adjunct living is right on schedule. He’s now opened up a second blog called Empowerment Ethics, which will focus on the that subset of philosophy that has been his primary focus as a scholar. As someone who has, quite frankly, given very little thought to the question of secular ethics, I expect to learn a great deal from it. Here’s how he introduces one of the key axioms of his approach:
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How the Internet Helps Atheists in Repressive Countries

The internet has proven to be a big help to movements against oppression around the world and has been a huge benefit to atheists as well. This is especially true in theocratic countries that punish atheists and others with minority views on the dominant religion. The Jakarta Post notes that atheism is growing fast in Indonesia, aided by the internet:
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I Want to Be Hemant Mehta When I Grow Up

I’ve written a few times about having hate mail envy. I don’t think I get nearly as much hate mail as I deserve (the really good ones seem to go to Mikey Weinstein, who is kind enough to forward them to me). But I’m really jealous of Hemant Mehta, who has reached the point where wingnut bigots are using him as a boogeyman in fundraising appeals. The Illinois [Straight, Christian] Family Institute says of him:
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Andrew Lanza Keeps On Digging

Remember New York State Sen. Andrew Lanza, who flipped his lid over the American Atheists billboard in Times Square recently? Well he’s now amended that press release he sent out twice, though he keeps that ridiculous Nazi comparison. Apparently he still stands by that one. And now he’s appended one of the most ridiculous not-pologies you’ll ever see:
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