Friday, July 10, 2009

News for the First Week of July!

NYC Atheists Bus Campaign:
It seems that the local atheist organization, NYC Atheists I joining the bandwagon with D.C., London, and others, and comissioning an ad campaign for the MTA's buses. Two dozen buses across NYC will have the message, "You don't have to believe in God to be a moral or ethical person," plastered across their sides.

Atheist Billboard in Idaho:
You know what goes great with potatoes? Butter, sour cream, chives...oh! And atheism!

The sign in Moscow, Idaho, along Highway 95 and Sweet Avenue reads, "Want a better world? Prayer not required."

Atheist Billboards in Florida:
Yay for atheist activism! We're finally standing up and really getting our message out there. A sign in Florida reads, "Being a good person doesn't require God. Don't believe in God? You're NOT alone!"

I have to admit, seeing a "Don't believe in God, You're not alone," sign in New Jersey a few years back was one of the things that really made me feel good, helped me feel less lonely about my lack of belief, and was one of many little pushes that got me moving towards my involvement with atheist activism.

I love these signs and I hope they keep putting more out!

Pharmacists Forced to Supply Pharmaceuticals:
Gasp! In Washington State a federal appeals court has ruled that pharmacies must dispense Plan B pills regardless of personally held religious beliefs. Supposedly, this could have wide ranging effects over the whole of the Western United States.

If you ask me, provide the pills or get a new profession.

Free Speech Outlawed in Ireland:
Blasphemy has been outlawed in Ireland! This idea has been rolling around in the UN for a while, but it has become reality in Ireland where any speech that is blasphemous and results in causing an outrage has been deemed illegal and punishable by a 25,000 Euro fine. This covers not only published statements and broadcast statements, but mere utterances as well! It gets worse. Your blasphemous materials, lets say a copy of "The God Delusion," may also be confiscated--by force.

For the full text of the legislation as well as some interesting consequences, check out this post.

Daniel Radcliff is an Atheist:
Score one for the team! Catholics have Braveheart, Scientologists have Ethan Hunt, but we atheists now have freakin' Harry Potter!

Radcliff was quoted as saying, "I'm an atheist, but I'm very relaxed about it. I don't preach my atheism, but I have a huge amount of respect for people like Richard Dawkins who do. Anything he does on television, I will watch."

Take that, muggles!

Pope is an Idiot:
Oh, wait, that's not news. Never mind. Well, I do have an article here about the supposed bones of St. Paul being exhumed and tested by Vatican scientists. Basically, they took the bones out of a sarcophagus that hasn't been touched since before we had, oh I dunno, documentation, dated them to the first or second century, and have yet to report on whether or not there are signs of trauma from Paul's reported beheading. But, based strictly on the dating, the Pope is saying that they have conclusive evidence that these are the bones of St. Paul.

Now that I think of it, my heading for this news item was pretty spot-on.

Chores Instead of Rape in Afghanistan:

A while back I reported on the fact that Afghanis essentially made marital rape legal. Well, that has been reversed and now its illegal, as long as women do the house work. Um...yay, I guess?

Shroud of Turin May Have Been Fabricated by Da Vinci:

MAY have. The gist of it is this: the facial features and dimensions seem to match up with those of Da Vinci from drawings and the Shroud first appears in the general time around the life of Da Vinci. But really, the shroud first turns up long before Da Vinci was even born, and even if it had been created during his lifetime its a stretch to say he was its creator when the only thing you're going on are a handful of drawings of one man. Sorry, but I'm having a hard time being convinced that Da Vinci was the ONLY person able to do this, which is the only reasonable reason to posit such an idea. Why Da Vinci? The shape of the features match? There's a lot of people that have been over this planet, and I'm sure many others fit the bill. In my opinion, I think it's just a bunch of Dan Brown infused excitement rolling off the Angels and Demons movie and the ucoming sequel novel. Check the article out and judge for yourself.

Game Show to Convert Atheists:
There's a game show being put on in Turkey when a bunch of religious leaders try to convert atheists to any one of their religions. The winner gets a free vactions to the holy land of their chosen religion. I can't describe any more. I'm typing with one hand because the other one is clasped to my head in bemused exasperation.

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