News and Links for Atheists: A cancer diagnosis suspends Christopher Hitchens’ book tour

A cancer diagnosis suspends Christopher Hitchens’ book tour

Holy crap! I can’t believe I didn’t hear about this sooner.

VIDEO: Christopher Hitchens reviews ‘The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ’

Logo Designers: We need your help!

The producers, working behind the scenes of the Skeptologists TV series and other related TV projects needs the assistance of a talented graphic designer to help us create a new logo.

Here’s your chance to hit the big time. Well, sorta.

Billboard seeks to tell non-believers: you are not alone

The billboard isn’t meant to mock religion or even deny the existence of God, says Rhoades, the coordinator of the coalition. It’s a message to folks out there who don’t believe: There are other people who think like you. You, too, can find a community.

VIDEO: A Conversation Between Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking

Atheist-agnostic coalition promotes its patriotism

A statewide coalition of atheists and agnostics has placed billboards in six cities, including Winston-Salem, to show that the nonreligious also are patriotic, including one along a parkway named for a famous evangelist.

The sign in Winston-Salem is on Business 40 near Kernersville.

The sign is sponsored by the Forsyth Area Critical Thinkers and the Forsyth County Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. It shows an American flag in the background and the words “One Nation Indivisible.”

The words “Under God,” are left out, organizers of the campaign say.

What Atheist Should Be on Obama’s Faith Advisory Council?

President Obama has a “President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships” consisting of 25 people. They help advise the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Strikingly, there are no atheists on the Council.

There are Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, Muslims, Interfaith-supporters… but no non-theists.

My Answers to a Question People Often Ask Me About Atheism and Homelessness

Seems that people think her problems are her just rewards for being an atheist. I keep waiting to hear the same sorta crap about my migraines. ::Sigh::

A quiet place for free thinkers on the Internet

If you just want to see his site, it’s here.

Creation debuts on DVD

Creation, the 2009 film about Darwin starring Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connolly, will be available on DVD and for digital download on June 29, 2010. In her review of Creation at The Panda’s Thumb blog, NCSE’s executive director Eugenie C. Scott described it as “a thoughtful, well-made film that will change many views of Darwin held by the public — for the good.”

GodBlock Software Available!

GodBlock is a web filter that blocks religious content. It is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual, and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions. When installed properly, GodBlock will test each page that your child visits before it is loaded, looking for passages from holy texts, names of religious figures, and other signs of religious propaganda. If none are found, then your child is allowed to browse freely.

An Abundance of Amusing Apocalypticism

As a former Jehovah’s Witness, I know nothing about this.

After years of silence, Nate Phelps faces off with his anti-gay father

The father, the son, and a whole of lot ghosts: with the controverisal pastor Fred Phelps as a father, Nate’s upbringing resulted in a journey to atheism

On a related note, some may also find this link interesting.

PZ Myers on Kenneth J. Howell and Hate Speech

Mark Twain’s view of Christianity revealed

Sinead O’Connor No Longer Alone In Church Protest

In a 1992 appearance on Saturday Night Live, Sinead O’Connor sang an a cappella version of the Bob Marley song “War,” but substituted the word “racism” with “child abuse” in protest of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. What she did at the end of the song shocked viewers: She held up a picture of Pope John Paul II and ripped it in two.

Eighteen years later, amid continuing revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, O’Connor’s anger is matched by the public worldwide. A Facebook page has even been started called “Apologize to Sinead O’Connor NOW.”

Martin Gardner’s Signs of a Crank

When recreational mathematician Martin Gardner died earlier this year, he left us a huge number of books. One of these is called Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science. In his first chapter, Gardner went into some depth on characterizing cranks. Cranks are folks whom I encounter quite frequently in my work on Skeptoid; not only from the side promoting pseudoscience, but also from the side of skeptics. I find that a few skeptics are little different methodologically from the pseudoscientists they so fervently argue against, and so I believe it’s of great value to everyone to familiarize himself with Gardner’s list.

Hate Speech Comments – Almost Always Anonymous

Yeah, weird, isn’t it? I tend to get comments from people offended on behalf of Jehovah’s Witnesses who never respond when I leave my reaction to their posts. Kinda like getting a shotgun blast to the face, only they scamper off before you can hit’em back…or before you can present them with the aftermath of their knee jerk reactions. Nice.

‘Star Trek’ franchise an homage to humanist philosophy

At least it used to be. I think Trek slowly moved away from Roddenberry’s original atheist ideals over the years.

News and Links for Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Ex-Mormon Life After Apostasy

Ex-Mormon Life After Apostasy

I always found the similarities between Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons quite interesting, especially since so many ex-Witnesses seem to think that the Mormons have it better than the Witnesses. Ex-Witnesses will find the ex-Mormon’s responses to be easily adaptable.

AUDIO: Blatant Blunders of the Watchtower Society Bittorrent download source!

Some MP3 downloads that might be of interest.

VIDEO: Wake up!

If you’re one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, this will no doubt bring a tear to your eye. But wait, what the hell are you doing here reading this?!?

Witnesses begin Remain Close to Jehovah! conventions

My wife just got back from one of these bad boys last night. This is usually when I’m in the most danger of hearing from the in-laws about getting back with old “Jah.” The phrase “Armageddon’s uh comin!” may be heard a lot in my near future if I’m not careful. ::Sigh:: Perhaps I wasn’t angry enough last time they tried to yank my back into the Tower? We shall see.

Berlin man committed to hospital for hate crime against Jehovah’s Witness

GREEN LAKE – A 35-year-old Berlin man who told police he punched an elderly Jehovah’s Witness in the face and head several times when she came to his door offering him a religious tract, has been committed to the state Department of Health Services for eight years.

Wayne W. Greening was found guilty in Green Lake County Circuit Court Friday of felony aggravated battery against an elderly person, a hate crime based on the woman’s religious beliefs. A Green Lake County judge ruled Greening’s guilt was modified due to the man’s mental disease or defect at the time the crime was committed.

Religion: I am a Jehovah’s Witness

“My beliefs offer me a refuge when things go wrong.”

Local missionaries spread the word one door at a time

BOULDER — On a balmy June morning, Kirsten Vail strutted up to a lone man waiting for the bus in Louisville and offered him the latest copy of the Jehovah’s Witness magazine.

“Oh, I’m OK, thanks,” the man said, plucking out one of his earphones to answer.

Grinning sheepishly, Kirsten left the bus station.

“I talked to him last week,” she chuckled.

It’s an honest mistake that happens when you spend almost 20 hours a week proselytizing.

Birthday Parties and Jehovah’s Witnesses

1. The Bible does not ban birthdays. Despite the fact that beheadings took place at both birthdays mentioned in the Bible, we are no where told NOT to celebrate them. This is important because the Bible is full of rules. God didn’t leave anything to guesswork when laying out the laws for Israel. Birthdays were obviously a well-known custom at that time. If God was particular enough to dictate how the Israelites cut their hair, wore their clothes and cooked their meals, he would have made explicit a ban on birthdays.

Raymond Franz Dead At 88

Raymond Franz

Thanks to the message boards at JWD, I recently learned that Raymond Franz has died. His books, Crisis of Conscience and In Search of Christian Freedom, did not play a part in my losing faith in the Watchtower Society. But they did for many other ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses. For some ex-Witnesses, these books were the only things that allowed them to feel that they hadn’t gone crazy after all. Especially those whose family and former friends told them they had.

Thanks Ray.

According to Wikipedia:

On May 30, 2010, Franz suffered a stroke. On June 2, his wife Cynthia had doctors remove life support, and Franz passed away not long after. He was 88.

Some of the better threads about it can be found here and here. If you wish to write to Ray’s wife, contact information can be found here.

One of the classier articles detailing some of Ray Franz’s life can be found here.

News And Links For Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses: Kingdom Hall Criticism

Lowell Community Responds to Kingdom Hall Criticism

As details emerge about what exactly happened the night of the homicide in Lowell, some opinions about the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ faith are starting to come to light — views that many say are untrue of the religion.

Jehovah’s Witness claims she was fired for beliefs

Jehovah’s Witnesses: Why they Continue to Grow and What are the Prospects for the Future?

This is a brief synopsis of the study on this subject which can be found in its entirety at: Why the Jehovah’s Witnesses Grow So Rapidly – A Theorietical Application Journal of Contemporary Religion, Vol. 12, No. 2, 1997

Jehovah’s Witness disowns son, aged five, who received life-saving blood

POLICE in Ghana were recently called to a hospital that had been besieged by a bunch of crazy Jehovah’s Winesses objecting to a blood transfusion for a five-year-old boy.

The Watchtower ’s market saturation

Dear Religious Cult Member

One particular evening, after repeatedly saying ‘No Thanks’, to someone trying to hand me a pamphlet a young man quipped as he left my porch, “Man, he’s a jerk.” I was incensed. I’m a jerk? This group had been working our neighborhood for their local brain washing Bible School. They give these Bible Schools cool names like ‘Youth On Fire’ and ‘Make A Difference’. It’s all the same brain washing crap. To make this short, I decided that I wanted to have a hand out of my own the next time one of these presumptive, uneducated savants darkened my door. So, I wrote the following.

I’m with this guy, as most readers can tell from my many articles on evangelism. Though I don’t get quite as ticked off until after I’ve asked them to leave me alone 10 or 20 times.

FUJW Reversible Jehovah’s Witness Keychain

The line for these bad boys starts to the left.