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Member since: Sat Jul 3, 2010, 12:24 PM
Number of posts: 19,705

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Congresswoman did not swear oath on a Bible

Kyrsten Sinema was sworn into Congress Monday, but with a twist: She didn’t swear on a Bible. The newly elected representative for Arizona’s 9th district swore her oath of office on a copy of the Constitution instead. Sinema refuses to confirm she is an atheist, as many believe, saying merely that she is “not a member of a faith community” and that all Americans deserve both “freedom of religion and freedom from religion.” Keith Ellison of Minnesota also bucked the Bible trend in 2007 when he decided, as the first Muslim elected a member of the House, to swear on Thomas Jefferson’s personal copy of the Quran.


Bravely Done!

REVIEW: Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer

In this review of “Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer” by David G. McAfee, I should start with what brought this book to my attention in the first place.

On December 28, 2012 we received the following distraught message in the inbox of the Better Off Damned facebook page:


This message was troubling, to say the least. In addition to a personal response, we forwarded this to our community via the screen-capture above, which lead to an overwhelming outpouring of support for this girl. It was with these comforting and supportive comments and messages that several people recommended to Michelle a new book aimed at helping people in coming out as an atheist.
It was this which prompted me to contact the author and check out this book for myself, in the hopes that it could be a valuable resource I could suggest to others struggling with the difficulties of being open about their non-belief.

The very first thing I can attribute to it’s author, David G. McAfee, before having read a single page of his work, is his absolute sincerity in making a genuine attempt to help guide fellow non-believers through this process. I mentioned Michelle and what she was going through, and without hesitation he reached out to her by generously allowing us to send her a free copy of his book, which she was overjoyed and very appreciative to receive. David also shared Michelle’s ordeal on his own pages, bringing even more community support in her direction. This sense of community is one of the notions stressed in the book.

From the back of the book:

“This essential guide to coming-out as a non-believer has been written to make it easier for atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and non-believers of all ages and backgrounds to be open about their non-religiosity while minimizing the negative interactions in familial, social, and professional circles.

As a survival guide for non-believers who wish to come out, this book provides advice and resources for those interested in publically rejecting religious dogma as well as real stories from non-believers who have experienced coming-out to less-than-supportive family or friends.

Whether you’re new to disbelief and looking for the cleanest possible break from your former faith or you’re a lifelong atheist who wants to establish a sense of community with like-minded people, this guide provides useful resources including: tips for handling potential conflicts with believers, the author’s answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on behalf of believers, and numerous references to support groups, services, and advocacy organizations dedicated to non-theists.

From dealing with grief from a secular perspective to handling potential clashes in religious worldviews between significant others, this book offers multiple perspectives from non-religious individuals who have generously shared their experiences to help those atheists who may find themselves in similar situations.”


Registered sex offender chosen head pastor at a church in Texas

DEFENDING a decision to appoint Claude Gilliland III, 54, to the post of senior pastor at the New Heart Family Worship Center in Cleburne, Texas, the retiring head of the church, Carl Roye, pointed out great men of God in the Bible who had sinned too.

David was an adulterer and a murderer, Roye said. He added:

Paul the apostle, he was a murderer and God forgave them and used them in a great way. I think He loves Claude Gilliland just like He loves Carl Roye and just like He loves you or whoever.

Though the church board knew about Gilliland’s past, the congregation didn’t find out Gilliland was a registered sex offender until after the vote.

Gilliland was convicted in 1993 of sexual assault.


According to this report, Texas Department of Public Safety records show that Gilliland was convicted of sexual assault on a 35-year-old woman. He is required to annually re-register with the state. PublicData.com records show Gilliand was also convicted of theft and driving while intoxicated.

Cleburne Deputy Police Chief Amy Knoll said there are no laws, at least locally, that govern how Gilliland chooses to live or work. And because his offence was against an adult, there would have been no laws about his interaction with children.

He was, however, listed among all sex offenders residing in Johnson County in an October Times-Review story that warned parents about trick-or-treating at offenders’ homes.


Gagged priest ‘playing’ with handcuffs at church gets stuck, calls 911 for help

A gagged priest at Springfield’s St. Aloysius church called 911 late last year and asked them for help because he had been “playing” with handcuffs and he got stuck.

Audio of Father Tom Donovan’s Nov. 28 911 call was published by the Illinois Times on Thursday.

“I’m stuck in a pair of handcuffs and I’m going to need help getting out before it becomes a medical emergency,” Donovan tells the dispatcher in a muffled voice.

“You’re stuck in a pair of handcuffs?” the dispatcher replies.

“Yes,” Donovan admits. “I was playing with them so I need some help getting out.”

When police arrived at the church, they discovered that the priest’s voice had sounded garbled because he was also wearing a gag, according to the Illinois Times.

Although the Diocese of Springfield had been provided with a police report and a audio of the 911 call, they had refused to comment on the incident.

“I wouldn’t be able to tell you where Father Donovan is,” diocese spokesperson Kathie Sass said. “There’s a matter of privacy there.”

Sass told The State Journal-Register that Donovan had been granted a leave of absence in December for “personal reasons.”

Raw Story (http://s.tt/1xYnM)

While there is SOOOOOO much that I would like to say, I'll instead leave that to the rest of you. Enjoy.

On edit: I see that this was posted in GD as well. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022130461
so let's call this a crosspost.

What it feels like when a believer wants to debate evolution...

600 Guitarists Pictured In Darjeeling Playing John Lennon's Imagine As Tribute to India Rape Vicitim

More than 600 guitarists in Darjeeling performed a singalong of John Lennon's Imagine in tribute to the gang rape victim whose death has stirred the nation.

Male and female students and activists played the song simultaneously in what was a planned world record attempt.

It was performed at the Darjeeling Tea and Tourism Festival, originally intended to pay tribute to 50 years of the Liverpool band, according to the Times of India.



What a wonderful, secular response to this tragedy.
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