News And Links For Atheists: Videos Debating The Historicity Of Jesus.

VIDEO: YouTube series about Bart Ehrman’s book on the historicity of Jesus

The first video in the series is simply called “Bart Ehrman,” but the series covers the issue thoroughly.

VIDEO: Matt Dillahunty: The Superiority of Secular Morality

Study: Atheists Have Lowest ‘Retention Rate’ Compared to Religious Groups

“What these findings reflect is that in the U.S. atheists are for the most part ‘made’ as adults after being raised in another faith. It appears to be much more challenging to raise one’s child as an atheist and have them maintain this identity in their life,” Dr. Mark Gray wrote at CARA’s blog.

Gray also noted that, “of those raised as atheists, 30% are now affiliated with a Protestant denomination, 10% are Catholic, 2% are Jewish, 1% are Mormon, and 1% are Pagan.”

Jehovah’s Witness, congregationalist and holiness churches had the next lowest retention rates at 37 percent, 37 percent and 32 percent, respectively. Thirty-eight percent of those who grew up with no particular religious faith or belief system remained that way.

That’s right. We’re even lower than Jehovah’s Witnesses, who were the second (or was it third? This stupid post makes it hard to tell!) lowest group mentioned. This is kind of a bummer. Until you realize that, technically, we kicked their asses.

Really, it’s just measuring how many people remain in these groups who were raised to be members of them. I’m not sure what that means for the rest of us who turned to them later in life.

Scientology TV Is Coming

Someone took my 2nd most evil dream and actually went and did it. This, or a Watchtower Channel, would give me many hours of glorious riffing right in the comfort of my own home. If only the Society would bring back it’s old radio stations from yesteryear, we could all be having a blast right now.

Alas, I’m having a hard time believing that the Scientology Channel will come to pass. But the mere possibility of it deserves at least mention. If only in anticipation of the crazy that must follow.

Please, please, PLEASE do this Scientology. For me. And let us know if the Watchtower Society contacts you about the details of how it was done.

Kirk Cameron Named ‘Champion of Marriage’ in New Video

Please submit your funniest jokes to the comment form below.

And while you’re at it, I dare you NOT to visit the YouTube page and check the comments. And no, you can’t rate the video. (Typical.) Incidentally, I was as curious about this group as you probably are, especially in light of the fact that the video has a strong religious vibe. Before you ask, yes, the group is all about stopping gay marriage. Big shock.

Does anyone know how letting gays marry hurts the institution of marriage? Anyone? Anyone? Didn’t think so. But thanks for playing.

Dominionism: Conspiracy Theory or Actual Movement?

With the rise of the Religious Right in this country and the temporary liberal backlash that was seen in the election of Barack Obama, which led to a similar backswing right back to the right in the election of many Tea Party freshmen to the House of Representatives. There has been a rise in religious undertones in this country. There has also been a large increase in the number of people that publicly subscribe to conspiracy theories and what many mainstream people would outlandish ideas.

Death threats force sex-positive blogger underground

News And Links For Atheists: Atheist Video Documentaries

I’ve seen a few websites that offer documentaries for your viewing pleasure over the years. Here is one I had not heard of until recently. They have documentaries on all sorts of topics, including atheism, science, and indie films. And they’re free. There are several famous offerings for those who haven’t seen them yet. These are probably the two most famous:

VIDEO: Religulous

Follow comedian, Bill Maher, as he travels to the world’s religious destinations in order to interview some of religion’s strangest adherents. Various Muslims, Jews and Christians all pass before his jaundiced eye. Maher goes to a Creationist Museum in Kentucky, which shows that dinosaurs and people lived at the same time 5000 years ago.

I LOVED Religulous!

VIDEO: The God Who Wasn’t There

I actually won a DVD of this by participating in the Blasphemy Challenge a while back. But for those who don’t have it, you can see it here for free.

VIDEO: Believe and Be Saved – Christianity and Cognitive Science 1

In Christianity right belief is the toggle that sends people to heaven or hell. Belief is uniquely important to Christian spirituality. That makes the psychology of belief particularly important to understanding Christianity.

The one above is a series I’ve been watching on YouTube. It’s not very long, but it’s good.

Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman supports the historic existence of Jesus

[Ehrman’s] newest book has turned some of his perennial critics into fans, at least temporarily. In “Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth,” Ehrman decimates the persistent arguments of those who not only deny the divinity of Jesus but insist that no such man ever even existed.

I have read several of Ehrman’s books with great interest. I had heard that he wrote something defending the historicity of Jesus recently. That surprised me a little as I actually have doubts about the historicity of Jesus myself–the arguments against it (some of which are mentioned in The God Who Wasn’t There video above) seem compelling. I am aware of the claim that many scholars seem to feel that Jesus may have been based on a real person, but always thought that was merely their personal impression. (Or a way of keeping the torches and pitchforks at bay.) Some have already tried to refute Ehrman’s book. If you’ve read it, feel free to leave some remarks in the comments below for us.

Creepy crew reportedly from Church of Scientology keeping tabs on Katie Holmes, daughter Suri

Mormons quit church in mass resignation ceremony

I’ve actually been thinking that something like this could be an exciting news event for ex-Witnesses, too. A bunch of us have been bouncing it around on Facebook. Expect to see a Facebook group dedicated to the idea soon. Assuming it’s still safe, however, as…

Mormons turn to Facebook evangelism

Mormon missionaries are now using Facebook to try to convert new members – and have taken part in more than 1 million online chats in the last year alone.

All I can say is nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Anyone Heard Of Sparlock, The New Ex-Jehovah’s Witness Meme? – IsaacJ –

I see my comment on Sparlock finally made an appearance at Richard Dawkins website. Care to talk with MANY others about it? I’m also trying to build entries for Sparlock on Wikipedia and even the Uncyclopedia. Feel free to drop by and lend a hand! Hopefully, they won’t be taken down before they’re whipped into shape.

News And Links For Atheists: Video Featuring Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

VIDEO: Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris & Ayaan Hirsi Ali

A Celebration of Reason – 2012 Global Atheist Convention
13-15th April – Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre
Presented by the Atheist Foundation of Australia

VIDEO: Why creationism isn’t science

VIDEO: How 2 Debate Theist “Gotcha!” Arguments

Nonbelievers Who Aren’t Atheists?

What is worthy of criticism, however, is the disingenuous claim that one’s refusal to identify as atheist is the result of some high-minded, principled position, if in fact it is not. If we refuse to identify as atheist even though the term, objectively applied, would accurately describe us, then we should at least be honest about the reasons.

Wikipedia Bans Church of Scientology

Wikipedia has banned the Church of Scientology from editing any articles. It’s a punishment for repeated and deceptive editing of articles related to the controversial religion. The landmark ruling comes from the inner circle of a site that prides itself on being open and inclusive.

Atheist Acceptability on the Rise in America

The good news for nonbelievers is that, for the first time ever, more than half the American population would vote for a qualified, open atheist for president. A recent Gallup poll shows that 54 percent of Americans would not consider a candidate’s atheism to be a disqualification for holding the nation’s highest office.

The bad news, however, is that atheists still rank lowest among the groups listed.

Giant cross on government land: Supreme Court declines cases, for now

The Supreme Court refused to take two cases in a longstanding church-state dispute over the 43-foot Mt. Soledad cross on federal lands in La Jolla, Calif. The court expects that lower courts may yet resolve the issue.

Loch Ness monster cited by US schools as evidence that evolution is myth

Circumcision ruling condemned by Germany’s Muslim and Jewish leaders

For The Disfellowshipped, The Bad Associates, And The Disowned: You Really Do Have A Choice

Whether you’re a former Jehovah’s Witness who has been disfellowshipped1 or an atheist who has been disowned from a deeply religious family, take heart. This doesn’t have to be a soul tearing rejection from the only family you will ever get. Far from it.

Here’s what you need to know: no matter what you’ve been told, you can choose your family. Only your relatives are determined by genes and blood. Family is different. Because family is about relationships. If your relatives are bad news…or reject you because they think you’re bad news…you can choose another family based on any criteria you like. Realizing this can put you back in charge of your own life. Even if that means striking out on your own and leaving your old, dysfunctional family behind.

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  1. Disfellowshipping is like being excommunicated with a huge dose of shunning iced on top. None of your Witness relatives or friends will even speak to you once you’ve been disfellowshipped. Of course, many ex-Witnesses are shunned just because they’re seen as a bad associate. But that’s another story.