A Pennsylvania teenager faces up to two years behind bars after posting pictures to Facebook in which he simulates receiving oral sex from a statue of Jesus.
The unnamed 14-year-old says he posed with the statue, which sits outside a Christian organization in Everett, Pennsylvania, called Love in the Name of Christ, in late July. The pictures are being used as evidence that the teen may be guilty of desecrating an object of veneration.
WRITTEN BY LIZ EMERY, AAI NEWS TEAM
Atheists long enjoyed watching Christopher Hitchens “slap” believers, especially during formal public debates. But debaters accepting Hitch’s baton must likewise prepare diligently or get “slapped” themselves during debates. In the following article, Liz Emery offers valuable insider’s advice to atheists intent on debating Mormons. Raised and homeschooled by Mormon parents in Utah, Liz served in multiple Church leadership roles and was accepted to study at Bringham Young University. She instead attended Utah State University, where she wrote a weekly column for the university’s newspaper. Today she lives in Chicago, but continues to study the Mormon Church.
The recent debate between biblical literalist Ken Hamm and scientist Bill Nye has raised an old question: Is it useful for atheists to debate believers, or do debates give unnecessary validity to irrational arguments? Religious arguments rest solely on faith, not scientific evidence, and debate formats do not allow secularists to conduct a course on epistemology. Victor Stenger has argued convincingly that debates favor Christian apologists who regularly perform in front of audiences and that atheists face a formidable task in preparing properly.
By Carlos S. Moreno
According to CNN, this fall, for the first time in U.S. history, an openly atheist candidate is running for Congress. James Woods is fighting an uphill battle as a Democrat seeking to represent the very Republican 5th Congressional District in Arizona.
There are now no openly atheist members of Congress, even though nearly 20% of Americans report having no religious affiliation, according to the Pew Research Center, and between 5% and 10% of Americans do not believe in a supreme being.
According to Religion Dispatches, after three years of nearly constant Sturm und Drang on the part of U.S. bishops over the contraception mandate comes word that some of the same Catholic universities have been covering abortions all along. Loyola Marymount’s insurance plan, as its president recentlyconfirmed, has included elective abortion coverage for the past 25 years.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, host Brian Stelter spoke with radical Muslim cleric Anjam Choudary, who last week got into a fifteen minute-long shouting match with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity.
Stelter start with question: “When you saw the video of Jim Foley being beheaded earlyer this month, how did you react?”
“There is no doubt that beheading someone is terrorising act and I believe that is Islamic State agenda to terrorise enemies to leave Muslims alone. Remember that as far they are concerns American and British committed all kind of atrocities in that same aria.” Choudary answered.
According to the article from Religion Dispatches, former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, ambassador of the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, is now a layperson awaiting criminal trial in the Vatican for sexual abuse of young people. After intensive negative press, the Vatican announced on August 25 that since he was no longer in their service, Wesolowski is not covered under diplomatic immunity and could potentially be extradited presumably to either his native Poland or the D.R. where he had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. There’s always more to a story than meets the eye, and in this case it isn’t pretty.
Saudi Arabia’s religious police has threatened to jail those behind two videos, including one promoting atheism, according to local media.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (the Haia) has denied a man who appears to be one of its personnel in a clip is a member of the Haia, according to Arabian Business.
In the video, the man, standing next to a Haia-marked vehicle threatens homosexuals and men who blackmail young women.
By Lydia Green
According to BBC, Amerli is surrounded by towns and villages taken by the Sunni jihadist militants of Islamic State (IS), the residents of this small Shia Turkmen community about 180km (110 miles) north of Baghdad have been living under siege for two months.
There is no electricity, little medicine and food supplies are dwindling. Unlike recent US intervention to help save members of the Yazidi religious minority trapped on Mount Sinjar in north-western Iraq, there is no dramatic plan to rescue people here.