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Category Archive: Religion

Jul 23 2014

Heading for a showdown

In order to maintain their non-profit status, the IRS has rules that say that such institutions have to refrain from outright partisan politics such as supporting political parties and candidates. Some churches have chafed under this restriction, think it an unconstitutional infringement on their free speech rights, and have sought to directly challenge that rule …

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Jul 23 2014

The effect of early exposure to religion on magical thinking

I briefly mentioned before a study that said that children brought up in a religious environment had a harder time distinguishing whether stories that had fantastical elements were real or fictional. Unfortunately, I did not have access to the full paper but reader Raven did have access and he kindly sent me a copy and …

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Jul 22 2014

Secular invocation in Greece

In May of this year, the US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in Greece v. Galloway that governments can open meetings with prayers provided that there was no consistent pattern of discrimination in favor of or against one sect.

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Jul 20 2014

Not surprising

Unfortunately I do not have access to the full article but the abstract of this study titled Judgments About Fact and Fiction by Children From Religious and Nonreligious Backgrounds reports findings that do not surprise me in the least.

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Jul 17 2014

Another sign that atheists have arrived

On Monday evening, I got a phone call at home. It was a recording from the Rasmussen polling company conducting a survey. Usually, I just hang up but I was doing nothing important and so decided to participate. It asked me a lot of questions about whether I felt the country was on the right …

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Jul 16 2014

At last, a sign!

Animal pasta.jpg

God finally reveals the identity of his Earthly incarnation in a pasta pot. Can you guess who it is? (Hint: Think of the pasta as blue.)

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Jul 16 2014

The controversy over Monty Python’s Life of Brian

It should be no secret to regular readers of the blog that I am a big fan of all things Pythonia. The five surviving members of the six-person troupe are currently having a reunion stage show and this made me recall the controversy over the release of Monty Python’s Life of Brian back in 1979, …

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Jun 30 2014

How will they woo evangelicals this time?

Apparently the Republican party is going to try and energize the evangelical vote again for the 2014 elections. Apparently the problem is that the old groups like the Moral Majority and the Christian Coalition have either disappeared or have diminished clout and as a result the numbers of evangelicals who vote has declined, with only …

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Jun 30 2014

US Supreme Court upholds Hobby Lobby’s decision to not provide contraception

It looks like Hobby Lobby has won its case. In a 5-4 decision along the usual lines (Roberts, Thomas, Scalia, Alito, and Kennedy, all of whom are Catholics by the way), the court said that ‘closely held corporations’ (a specific type of for-profit corporation) each owned and controlled by members of a single family cannot …

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Jun 28 2014

Anti-vaxxers suffer legal defeat in NYC

The anti-vaccination movement has resulted in a serious health hazard being created for everyone. One simple way to make sure that people vaccinate their children is to require vaccinations for all children attending school. But it turns out that all you have to do is claim that you object to vaccinations for religious reasons and …

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