The Nonreligious are Now the Largest Voting Bloc… Well Not Exactly

Yesterday, the Washington Post and other media outlets reported that the nonreligious are now the nation’s largest voting bloc, citing a recent Pew Research survey.  Indeed, this is reason to be excited about the rise of the “nones” as we sometimes call ourselves, but let’s take a second look at the numbers and see if we’re comparing apples to apples.  Here’s the graphic that the Post shared:


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Ark Encounter Protest Contained the Predictably Unexpected

I’m currently on an airplane flying out of Cincinnati/Kentucky that contains roughly 50 people, one of which is a popular atheist blogger over at Patheos. By my count, that’s one too many atheist bloggers on a flight this small. So a safe landing would prove that God does not exist, since for a brief moment, he had us right where he wanted us. And if the big man does take us down, I would like to go down in history as the person who proved the existence of a deity.

All kidding aside, yesterday’s protest at the Ark Encounter was a smashing success. About 100 demonstrators joined the Tri-State Freethinkers in their effort to raise awareness of the several unethical, if not illegal, practices of Answers in Genesis, Ken Ham, and his irrational display of complete scientific ignorance being sold to adults and children lacking critical thinking skills at 40 bucks a head.

Image credit: FOX19 News, Cincinnati

Image credit: FOX19 News, Cincinnati

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Can’t Make It to the Ark Encounter Protest? Follow SecularVoices LIVE!

Tomorrow I’ll be taking part in the Ark Encounter protest and rally with the Tri-State Freethinkers, as well as Dave Silverman, Dan Barker, Aron Ra, David Smalley, Dan Arel and many others.  If you are in the area, please join us!  The details can be found on the event Facebook pages for the protest and afterparty rally.

CmsXrKiXYAA4v-XBut if you’re not able to attend, I’ll be live tweeting the event on @SecularVoices, as well as posting on our Facebook page (and possibly broadcasting video there).  The event is expected to draw national media and over one hundred demonstrators!  The protest organizers are asking everyone to tweet using #ohnoahhedidnt during the event.  Let’s get it trending and make some noise on the twittersphere.

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CONTEST!! Picket Sign Writer’s Block… I Need Your Help!

As many of you are aware, I’m scheduled to attend the Ark Encounter protest on Thursday, July 7th, as well as speak at the after party & rally.  I’m working on having a picket sign printed with the Young Skeptics logo, but I’m having a total block when it comes to something catchy to include.  Feel free to make some suggestions in the comments here and I’ll pick one or two to add to the sign!

The winner(s) will receive a signed copy of my book, Understanding an Atheist: A Practical Guide to Relating to Nonbelievers. (US shipping only, sorry.)

Once it’s printed, I’ll post a picture of it and you may even see your work on the news!

Here’s what I have so far, but I’m not sold on any of them.  What suggestions do you have?

  • Indoctrination = Abuse
  • Stop supporting ignorance
  • Creationism is anti-intellectualism
  • Answers in Genesis is preying on your children

Yeah, they suck.

The sign will have the Young Skeptics logo as well as “Teach Critical Thinking Instead”.  So the other text will have to mesh with that message.  And I’d prefer it be something not entirely specific to the Ark Encounter or AiG so I can use it again at future events.

Contest ends today (Friday 7/1)  Ok, go!

Non sequitur much? AFA Rekindles Target Boycott Over Peeping Tom

This week, a man was arrested after getting caught filming girls in the dressing room at a Target in Bedford, New Hampshire.  Shocker.  This has happened at virtually every store chain since the invention of trying on clothes before you buy them.

AFA President Tim Wildmon

AFA President Tim Wildmon

But since this happened at Target, the American Family Association has decided to get involved, since no one has been paying attention to them lately.  AFA President Tim Wildmon has called once again for a boycott of the retail chain over concerns for safety in its dressing rooms and restrooms.  Translation: by “safety concerns” we mean anyone not cisgender is icky and we don’t want them anywhere near us, so if you stick up for them, we’re not shopping at your store.

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More Names Added to Ark Encounter Protest and Rally

On July 7th, the opening day of Answers in Genesis’ Ark Encounter theme park, the Tri-State Freethinkers are holding a protest during the day and a rally & after-party in the evening.  At the protest, they’re expecting national media in attendance, since the practices of Ken Ham and his ark park have raised quite a bit of controversy over the past months and years. From religiously-based hiring practices, to securing millions in tax incentives for a religiously motivated project, to forcing employees to sign chastity pledges, to being just plain anti-science but marketing to impressionable children, this young earth creationism-focused “Genocide and Incest Park” (as TSF calls it) has been the focus of countless news and blog articles recently.

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An Appeal to Republicans: Changing the Motto Is a Cost Savings

In Christiansburg, VA (a town whose name makes me shudder even more than my own hometown of Churchville), the Board of Supervisors has voted 4-3 to affix the national motto, “In God We Trust,” to the walls of its meeting room.

Church and StateWhile such a decision will not likely be challenged in court, other similar cases surrounding the motto have been and will continue to be until the motto is changed back to its original e pluribus unum.  So why not end the controversy?  Save some government cheddar and avoid future waste by changing the national motto back to something inclusive, something our Founding Fathers intended, and stop wasting taxpayer money fighting to stick God on everything with a blank space.

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No, That’s Not What ‘Free Speech’ Means

bus benchYet another Christian leader has confused preferential treatment with First Amendment-protected free speech this week. Pastor Lawson Perdue of Charis Christian Center in Colorado Springs has been notified by the local transit bench billboard company that his “Jesus is Lord” ads will no longer be allowed on the benches they control.  The rationale he was given for this change in policy is that the ad company is trying to prevent having to allow hate speech in the future by not allowing “Jesus” on the benches either.  This change was made after an unknown complaint was filed with the company.

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SecularVoices is on FtB! Obviously.

Well here it is — the obligatory introductory first post.  So let’s get this out of the way and start bringing in the real content.

You’ll notice the title of this blog is “SecularVoices on FtB.”  That’s because I run, a site that features about a dozen secular writers, and I plan to keep it running.  So over here on FtB, I plan on doing most of the writing myself, most (if not all) of which will be reblogged on the main site but pointed here after the intro.  Along with my posts, I plan on featuring some of the best pieces from the main site, so you’ll get a taste of the rest of the SecularVoices staff as well.  This isn’t a mirror site of SecularVoices, but more of a bonus content and highlight reel type thing.

A little about me and my place in the freethought/secular movement:

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because I have a common name.  Or you might know me as the Executive Director of Young Skeptics, a critical thinking after-school program for elementary school kids.  We’re currently working on national expansion, so I’ll be sure to post updates on that here as well.  Check out the websiteFacebook page, or (new) Twitter feed for more info on that organization.

Prior to that, I ran, a church/state blog where I did most of the writing and eventually migrated to  Aside from blogging, I published my first book last year called Understanding an Atheist: A Practical Guide to Relating to Nonbelievers, a book aimed at improving relationships between atheists and their religious friends and family.  Finally, I’ve been known to speak at conferences or secular groups here and there, most recently the Reason Rally Mini-Con.  I’m also scheduled to speak at the Ark Encounter Protest & Rally/After-party on July 7th, so check that out!

That’s about it for this one. Check out the Facebook and Twitter feeds to the left, please subscribe, and for the love of Jesus Christ and all things imaginary, come back often and tell your friends.