43 Atheism & Humanism News Articles
from 2nd Half of 2014
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12-27-14 Egypt cuts 'gay wedding video' jail terms
Egypt cuts 'gay wedding video' jail terms
A court in Egypt has reduced to one year the three-year jail sentences given to eight men for appearing in a video alleged to be of a gay marriage.The latest court case comes amid reports that Egypt is enacting authoritarian laws at a rate unmatched by any other country for 60 years.
Gay Marriage Laws Around The World
12-19-14 Will religion ever disappear?
Will religion ever disappear?
Atheism is on the rise around the world, so does that mean spirituality will soon be a thing of the past? Rachel Nuwer discovers that the answer is far from simple. A growing number of people, millions worldwide, say they believe that life definitively ends at death - that there is no God, no afterlife and no divine plan. And it's an outlook that could be gaining momentum - despite its lack of cheer. In some countries, openly acknowledged atheism has never been more popular.
12-19-14 Virgin births: The sharks, snakes and turkeys that reproduce alone
Virgin births: The sharks, snakes and turkeys that reproduce alone
Virgin births are no longer rare. They happen everywhere, in ways we still don't fully understand. (Webmaster's comment: I guess the "Virgin" Mary isn't the only one.)
11-27-14 The Bible-Constitution connection
The Bible-Constitution connection
Texas' State Board of Education has approved new history textbooks that say the U.S. Constitution was based on the Bible. A group of university professors complains that the textbooks are filled with "inventions and exaggerations" about Christianity's influence on the Founding Fathers, but board chairwoman Barbara Cargill said students will now learn about the country's "rich religious heritage."
11-24-14 The mysterious disappearance of a celebrity preacher
The mysterious disappearance of a celebrity preacher
Aimee Semple McPherson was one of the most glamorous women in the US in the 1920s. The evangelical preacher put on theatrical church services and used ground-breaking radio broadcasts to teach the gospel - but one mysterious episode in her life has never been fully explained.
The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.
- Founded by Aimee Semple McPherson who opened its first church, Angelus Temple, on 1 January 1923.
- Today there are 1,719 Foursquare churches in the US.
- More than 66,000 meeting places around the world in 140 countries and territories including the Philippines, Kenya and the Dominican Republic.
- The term Foursquare Gospel comes from the book of Ezekiel, who saw God revealed with four different faces: a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle - McPherson equated these with four aspects of Jesus.
11-19-14 Largest study of gay brothers homes in on 'gay genes'
Largest study of gay brothers homes in on 'gay genes'
MANY gay people say they have always known they were different. Now we have taken a step towards understanding why. A major study of gay brothers has yielded the best evidence yet that gay people are born that way. It links sexual orientation in men with two regions of the genome highlighted by previous studies - suggesting that being gay is biologically determined.
11-19-14 Gay gene discovery has good and bad implications
Gay gene discovery has good and bad implications
The finding that male homosexuality has a strong genetic component should be a boon for gay rights - but it could backfire. FOR gay rights activists, it's a dilemma. Does it help or hinder their cause if science shows that homosexuality is partly or largely biologically determined, rather than a lifestyle choice?
11-17-14 What did St Paul say about women?
What did St Paul say about women?
Can two sides in a debate - both composed of sincere, intelligent people - look at precisely the same set of evidence and reach precisely opposite verdicts? "Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says." First letter to the Corinthians. "I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet." First letter to Timothy. (Webmaster's comment: What could be clearer? No matter what religion you practice or what system of government you live under or what culture you live in, historically women are chattel and subservient to men.)
11-13-14 Growing religious persecution 'a threat to everyone'
Growing religious persecution 'a threat to everyone'
Across much of the globe, at the start of the 21st Century, religion is once again a matter of life and death - quite literally in Iraq and Syria, while elsewhere, admitting or defending your faith can land you in jail. Of the 196 nations surveyed, between 2012 and 2014, the report concluded that religious freedom was compromised in 116, where religious minorities experienced persecution, violence, and systematic discrimination. (Webmaster's comment: According to the report The United States is low in Persecution of Religious Freedom, but it has deteriorated. Only in Iran, Cuba, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe, and Taiwan has religious freedom improved.)
11-12-14 Ever felt a ghostly presence? Now we know why
Ever felt a ghostly presence? Now we know why
GHOSTLY presences - the feeling of someone near you when no one is there - could be your brain's attempt to make sense of conflicting information. For the first time, the brain regions involved in such hallucinations have been identified - and a ghost presence induced in healthy people.
11-12-14 Mormon church polygamy: Joseph Smith 'had up to 40 wives'
Mormon church polygamy: Joseph Smith 'had up to 40 wives'
The Mormon church has said for the first time that its founder Joseph Smith had up to 40 wives. In an essay published on its website quoting "careful estimates", the church said the wives included a 14-year-old and others who were already married. (Webmaster's comment: The rich, the powerful, and celebrities will always get lots of women. Children fathered by them are seen as having a better chance of survival.)
11-11-14 Underwear, vigilantes and planets: Things we now know about Mormons
Underwear, vigilantes and planets: Things we now know about Mormons
The Mormon church chose to publicise the news that its founder, Joseph Smith, practised polygamy in an essay on its website. Many are on secretive and sensitive subjects that have been ridiculed outside the religion. Special underwear? Vigilantes? Their own planet?
11-6-14 'Ghostly presence' created in lab
'Ghostly presence' created in lab
Feelings of a ghostly presence - the sense that someone is close-by when no-one is there - lie in the mind, a study has concluded. Scientists say that they have identified the parts of the brain that are responsible for generating these spooky sensations. They have also created an experiment that makes some people feel like there is a ghost nearby.
11-6-14 Gay marriage bans upheld in four states
Gay marriage bans upheld in four states
A US appeals court has upheld bans on gay marriage in four states, a ruling that increases the chances the Supreme Court will soon rule on the issue. (Webmaster's comment: The conservatives won the elections 2 days ago and already they fell empowered to go back to intolerance.)
11-5-14 Pakistan arrests 43 over 'blasphemy' killings
Pakistan arrests 43 over 'blasphemy' killings
Pakistani police have arrested at least 43 suspects in connection with Tuesday's killing of a Christian couple accused of desecrating the Koran. Reports say the couple were beaten to death by hundreds of locals who then burned their bodies in the brick kiln where they worked in Punjab province.
11-4-14 The gay people pushed to change their gender
The gay people pushed to change their gender
Iran is one of a handful of countries where homosexual acts are punishable by death. Clerics do, however accept the idea that a person may be trapped in a body of the wrong sex. So homosexuals can be pushed into having gender reassignment surgery - and to avoid it many flee the country.
11-3-14 Right-to-die advocate Brittany Maynard ends life
Right-to-die advocate Brittany Maynard ends life
Brittany Maynard, the terminally ill cancer patient whose viral YouTube video reignited the debate on assisted-suicide, ended her life on Saturday. Since 1997, 1,173 people were granted lethal prescriptions and 752 patients used it to end their own lives. Mrs Maynard, 29, who was suffering from an extremely painful terminal brain cancer, died at home after administering lethal drugs on Saturday.
11-1-14 Why is Tim Cook of Apple the only major gay US CEO?
Why is Tim Cook of Apple the only major gay US CEO?
It's pretty startling that among the chief executives of the 500 biggest US companies only one, Tim Cook of Apple, is openly gay. His declaration this week that he is "proud to be gay" was hailed as an important moment for the gay community. Campaigners say they know of bosses of other big firms who are gay, but are reluctant to be open about it.
10-30-14 Apple chief Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'
Apple chief Tim Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'
Apple chief executive Tim Cook has publicly acknowledged his sexuality, saying that he is "proud to be gay".
10-30-14 Activists condemn Singapore court gay ruling
Activists condemn Singapore court gay ruling
Human rights groups have condemned a Singapore court's decision that a law banning gay sex is constitutional. Under Section 377A, men who engage in "gross indecency" privately or publicly can be jailed for up to two years. Government leaders have pledged not to enforce Section 377A, first introduced in 1938 by British colonial rulers. But they have also refused to remove it, saying it reflects the conservative mores of Singapore society. (Webmaster's comment: Which makes no sense whatsoever!)
10-19-14 Catholic synod: Gay rights groups 'disappointed'
Catholic synod: Gay rights groups 'disappointed'
Catholic gay rights groups say they are disappointed after bishops rejected proposals for wider acceptance of gay people, which had the Pope's backing.
10-13-14 Catholic synod: Vatican family review signals shift on homosexuality
Catholic synod: Vatican family review signals shift on homosexuality
Senior clerics taking part in a review of Catholic teachings on the family have called on the Church to adopt a more positive stance on homosexuality.
10-6-14 US rebuff to gay marriage opponents
US rebuff to gay marriage opponents
US Supreme Court rejects appeals against gay marriage in five states, Indiana, Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin.
9-28-14 Serbia Gay Pride march returns after four years
Serbia Gay Pride march returns after four years
Serbia's first Gay Pride march for four years has been held in the capital Belgrade, amid massive security, including special forces and tanks.
9-28-14 Sudan apostasy woman Mariam Ibrahim 'to campaign'
Sudan apostasy woman Mariam Ibrahim 'to campaign'
Mariam Ibrahim, the Sudan woman who escaped a death sentence imposed for renouncing her faith, says she wants to campaign for others who face religious persecution.
9-25-14 In U.S., Support for Daily Prayer in Schools Dips Slightly
In U.S., Support for Daily Prayer in Schools Dips Slightly
Many Americans still support proposals concerning religion in schools. Sixty-one percent of Americans support allowing daily prayer to be spoken in the classroom. Though still solidly above the majority level, this is down slightly from 66% in 2001 and 70% in 1999. A 9% drop in 14 years.
9-23-14 Demanding justice for women and children abused by Irish nuns
Demanding justice for women and children abused by Irish nuns
An inquiry last year into Ireland's Magdalene laundries, where for decades thousands of women were forced to work by nuns, found no evidence that workers were abused. But those who experienced life inside laundry walls angrily reject this, and are insisting that the nuns be held accountable. For decades, Ireland ignored the stories told by the former Magdalene laundry workers. After all, weren't people told by the priests that they were just fallen women, or the criminally insane, who deserved to be locked up for most of their adult lives and work, without pay, to atone for their sins? (Webmaster's comment: Seems the Catholic church is still running a cover-up. We have a very good movie on the Magdalene Sisters and the Catholic nun's abuse of women and children at The Magdalene Sisters.)
8-28-14 Time's "The Answers Issue" Everything you never knew you needed to know.
Time's "The Answers Issue" Everything you never knew you needed to know.
Atheism in Portland Oregon: 5,456 Meetup Members "We have refugees from the bible belt" says Sykvia Benner, of a group that meets frequently.
Religion in Prison: 0.07% - Percentage of U.S. prisoners who idenitify as atheist.
8-25-14 Push to ordain Mormon women leads to excommunication
Push to ordain Mormon women leads to excommunication
Kate Kelly was excommunicated in June for founding a campaign to ordain women to the priesthood. "You know, normally excommunication in our Church is for really grave sins like murder and child abuse," she says. "I was excommunicated for stating a fact, which is that men and women are not equal in our Church."
8-25-14 LGBT Americans Report Lower Well-Being
LGBT Americans Report Lower Well-Being
Significant differences seen in financial and physical well-being elements. Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) report lower well-being than non-LGBT Americans. LGBT Americans have an average Well-Being Index score of 58, lower than non-LGBT adults' score of 62. Importantly, these differences hold true even after taking into account the effects of gender, age, race and ethnicity, educational attainment, state of residence, and population density.
8-21-14 Richard Dawkins: 'Immoral' not to abort Down's foetuses
Richard Dawkins: 'Immoral' not to abort Down's foetuses
Richard Dawkins, the atheist writer, has caused a stir on Twitter claiming it is "immoral" to allow unborn babies with Down's syndrome to live. But what do the relatives of people with Down's syndrome think about the comments?
8-11-14 LGBT Population in U.S. Significantly Less Religious
LGBT Population in U.S. Significantly Less Religious
Americans who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are significantly less religious than other Americans, a difference that is evident in religious service attendance, importance of religion, and religious identification. Almost half are classified as nonreligious.
8-7-14 Court weighs 4 states' gay marriage cases
Court weighs 4 states' gay marriage cases
CINCINNATI - Two Republican-appointed judges weighing the fate of gay marriage in four states didn't give much away as they peppered lawyers on both sides Wednesday with hard-hitting questions.
8-5-14 North Carolina restaurant offers 15% discount to customers who pray in public before eating
North Carolina restaurant offers 15% discount to customers who pray in public before eating
If wait staff at Mary's Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem spot customers praying in front of their meals, the guests are instantly eligible to have 15% quietly knocked off their bills.
8-3-14 The stigma of being an atheist in the US
The stigma of being an atheist in the US
Atheists in the US are rallying together, launching a new TV programme and providing support for those who go public with their beliefs.
7-29-14 Study: Religious children are less able to distinguish fantasy from reality
Study: Religious children are less able to distinguish fantasy from reality
If you expose your child to Moses, Muhammad or Matthew the Apostle, are they at a disadvantage? According to new research from Boston University, young children with a religious background are less able to distinguish between fantasy and reality compared with their secular counterparts.
7-28-14 Virginia gay marriage ban struck down by US appeals court
Virginia gay marriage ban struck down by US appeals court
A federal appeals court has struck down Virginia's same-sex marriage ban, in the latest in a string of judicial victories for gay marriage supporters.
7-28-14 China activists fight gay 'conversion therapy'
China activists fight gay 'conversion therapy'
Gay rights activists in China are preparing for what they say could be a legal milestone in their fight to stop homosexuality being treated as an illness. (Webmaster's comment: Blaming the parents and electro-shock therapy seem to be favorite elements of treatment.)
7-28-14 Religion Remains a Strong Marker of Political Identity in U.S.
Religion Remains a Strong Marker of Political Identity in U.S.
Little change in basic relationship over last six and a half years. Even as overall party identification trends in the U.S. have shifted over the past six and half years, the relationship between religion and party identification has remained consistent. Very religious Americans are more likely to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party and less frequently identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with those who are moderately or nonreligious.
7-21-14 Obama signs order protecting some gay workers
Obama signs order protecting some gay workers
President Barack Obama has signed an order banning federal government contractors from discriminating against gay and transgender workers. The executive order follows years of pressure from gay rights groups. Mr Obama cannot extend the protection to all American workers, however. The order comes after far broader anti-discrimination legislation stalled in the Republican-led House of Representatives.
(Webmaster's comment: Stalled by Republicans. Why am I not surprised.)
7-13-14 Pope Francis: 'About 2%' of Catholic clergy pedophiles
Pope Francis: 'About 2%' of Catholic clergy pedophiles
Pope Francis has been quoted as saying that reliable data indicates that "about 2%" of clergy in the Catholic Church are pedophiles.
7-10-14 Singapore withdraws gay penguin book from libraries
Singapore withdraws gay penguin book from libraries
Singapore authorities have withdrawn from libraries two children's books featuring same-sex couples, sparking controversy amid a debate on gay rights in the conservative city-state.
7-4-14 Nigeria atheist Bala 'freed from Kano psychiatric hospital'
Nigeria atheist Bala 'freed from Kano psychiatric hospital'
A Nigerian man detained in a hospital psychiatric ward because he did not believe in God has been freed, a humanist charity has said.
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43 Atheism & Humanism News Articles
from 2nd Half of 2014
Atheism & Humanism News Articles from 1st Half of 2014