Sioux Falls Atheists
Sioux Falls Atheists and Atheism, Agnostics and Humanism

33 Atheism & Humanism News Articles
from 1st Quarter of 2015
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source

3-31-15 A messy political U-turn in Indiana
A messy political U-turn in Indiana
Having introduced the benign sounding - bland even - Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana's Governor Mike Pence has found himself under sustained and ferocious attack - because it seemed as though this bill was a licence for the businesses and organisations of Indiana to be able to say to people: "You're gay, and with my new religious freedom protection, I am not going to serve you." And so some shops around Indiana found it necessary to put up signs saying: "We serve everyone" - to make clear that gays and lesbians would still be welcome in their shops.

3-31-15 New religion law: 'Homophobic' bill 'damaging' Indiana
New religion law: 'Homophobic' bill 'damaging' Indiana
The governor of Indiana is calling on lawmakers there to "fix" a controversial law meant to protect religious freedoms. Critics say the legislation could be used to discriminate against homosexuals. The bill has provoked a national outcry, with businesses, lawmakers, and celebrities calling for action.

3-31-15 Indiana law 'grossly misconstrued' says governor
Indiana law 'grossly misconstrued' says governor
The governor of Indiana has defended a new law that has unleashed a wave of condemnation across the country. The measure gives firms and groups the right to express their religious beliefs in the way they do business. The governor went on the attack after a number of famous names, corporations and sporting institutions warned that business owners now had a licence to discriminate against gays and lesbians. Signed into state law last week, the bill prevents the state from forcing people to provide services they say are contrary to their religion.

3-27-15 Indiana boycott urged after 'religious freedom' law passes
Indiana boycott urged after 'religious freedom' law passes
Activists have encouraged a boycott of Indiana after the US state enacted a "religious freedom" law, which they say discriminates against gay people. Supporters say the law prevents the state from forcing people to provide services contrary to their religion. Similar bills are being considered across the US as court rulings have made gay marriage legal in more states. Several groups plan to do less business with the state, and celebrities criticised the law on Twitter.

3-25-15 Phil Robertson uses made up 'rape story' to rant against atheists.
Phil Robertson uses made up 'rape story' to rant against atheists.
The star of the US TV reality show Duck Dynasty is facing criticism after a speech that included a graphic story about an atheist family being raped and killed. Atheist groups denounced the speech, saying it was unlikely Robertson actually knows any atheists. In 2013, he was suspended from his TV show and quickly reinstated following derogatory remarks about homosexuality. Robertson has since become a political figure. He recently spoke at CPAC, a large gathering of American conservatives that included presidential hopefuls such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. (Webmaster's comment: Another person whose mind is filled with hate for anyone that is different. Note the conservatives that are in his audience. Birds of a feather flock together!)
(Webmaster's comment: The percentage of Atheists in America is 2.0-2.5%, but by all measures they make up a much smaller percentage of the persons in prison. Morally they certainly seem to be no worse than any other group.)

3-25-15 El Salvador's Archbishop murdered as he celebrated Mass
El Salvador's Archbishop murdered as he celebrated Mass
The murder of the Archbishop Oscar Romero, as he celebrated Mass on 24 March 1980, was a turning point that tipped El Salvador into civil war. Executions, kidnappings and torture were commonplace in the Central American country, as the US-backedmilitary government tried to quell opposition. In his Sunday sermons, broadcast by radio around the country, Archbishop Romero listed the abuses and demanded an end to the repression. (Webmaster's comment: Still in the news. Notice who was backing the murderous dictatorship in El Salvador. The United States always backs pro-American dictatorships no matter how brutal!)

3-24-15 Indiana set to enact 'religious freedom' bill
Indiana set to enact 'religious freedom' bill
The governor of Indiana is poised to enact a "religious freedom" law, which opponents say will give state businesses a licence to discriminate against gay and lesbian customers. Supporters say the bill prevents the state from forcing people to provide services contrary to their religion. Similar bills are being considered across the US as court rulings have made gay marriage legal in more states.

3-18-15 US Presbyterian church recognizes gay marriage
US Presbyterian church recognizes gay marriage
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the US will formally recognize same-sex marriages after decades of debate. With nearly 1.8 million members, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the biggest Protestant group in the US to endorse the ceremonies.

3-15-15 The traditional mystics going online
The traditional mystics going online
West Africa's marabouts, or spiritual guides, have advised their followers for centuries. And far from being at odds with the modern world, they are adapting and thriving in the 21st Century, says Jane Labous.

3-15-15 St Patrick's Day: Gay groups in Boston parade
St Patrick's Day: Gay groups in Boston parade
Two gay and lesbian groups are due to take part in Sunday's St Patrick's Day parade in Boston for the first time. Until now, they have been banned by the organisers, who won support for their stance from the US Supreme Court. But the organisers, the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, had a change of heart and told Boston Pride and Outvets, representing gay military veterans, they were welcome.

3-5-15 Science 'squeezed out of primary schools'
Science 'squeezed out of primary schools'
Science is being squeezed out of English primary schools, with a third not providing the recommended two hours of teaching a week, research suggests. The Confederation of British Industry study also suggests science has become less of a priority in many schools.

3-4-15 Alabama Supreme Court orders halt to same-sex marriage licenses
Alabama Supreme Court orders halt to same-sex marriage licences
Alabama's Supreme Court has ordered the state's judges to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A federal ruling says banning same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. But the court in Alabama has decided that does not preclude state law being followed, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman. (Webmaster's comment: Send in the Federal Marshals and arrest the LAW-BREAKING judges. Let's put a stop to this criminal activity.)

3-2-15 Bangladesh Avijit Roy murder: Suspect arrested
Bangladesh Avijit Roy murder: Suspect arrested
Police in Bangladesh have arrested a man in connection with the murder of atheist writer Avijit Roy.

2-17-15 Frequent Church Attendance Highest in Utah, Lowest in Vermont
Frequent Church Attendance Highest in Utah, Lowest in Vermont
Slightly more than half of Utah residents say they attend religious services every week, more than any other state in the union. Residents in the four Southern states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas are the next most likely to be frequent church attendees, with 45% to 47% reporting weekly attendance. At the other end of the spectrum is Vermont, where 17% of residents say they attend religious services every week. (Webmaster's comment: South Dakota ranks down at number 31 with 31% of the people attending relgious services weekly.)

2-15-15 2016 updates: Scott Walker 'punts' on evolution
2016 updates: Scott Walker 'punts' on evolution
It has been just over 100 days since the 2014 US mid-term elections wrapped up with sweeping conservative victories. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is caught off guard by evolution question. Cue a stumble. BBC presenter Justin Webb asked Mr Walker about his views on evolution following a speech at Chatham House. His response: "I'm going to punt on that one", adding that he thinks it is a question politicians "shouldn't be involved in one way or another". Given that another presidential hopeful, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, got into an even bigger mess while in the UK when he endorsed "parental choice" in the measles vaccination debate, maybe it's time to rethink the British Isles as a safe trip for prospective candidates.

2-12-15 Federal judge orders Alabama official to allow gay marriage
Federal judge orders Alabama official to allow gay marriage
A US federal judge has ordered an Alabama official to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, after a three-day standoff. The ruling applies to Mobile County, where same-sex couples have been unable to wed because the local judge refused.

2-12-15 U.S. Satisfaction With Religion Settling at Lower Levels
U.S. Satisfaction With Religion Settling at Lower Levels
A slight majority of Americans, 53%, are satisfied with the influence of organized religion in the U.S. This level of satisfaction has changed little over the past three years, but remains down from what Gallup has measured previously -- including higher levels measured in 2001 to 2004 -- suggesting that Americans' satisfaction with organized religion has settled in at a new baseline.

2-10-15 Alabama gay marriage rollout in chaos
Alabama gay marriage rollout in chaos
Gay couples can be wed in only some parts of Alabama after the state's chief justice issued an order to stop judges from granting licences. The Supreme Court has refused Alabama's request to stop the marriages. But some counties have followed the order of Chief Justice Roy Moore and will not grant marriage licences to same-sex couples. Judges in other parts of in the conservative state have stopped conducting weddings altogether.

2-9-15 Alabama judge issues 'no gay marriage' order
Alabama judge issues 'no gay marriage' order
Judges in Alabama have been ordered not to issue marriage licences to gay couples, on the day a ban on same-sex weddings was due to be lifted. Chief Justice Roy Moore sent an order telling judges they were not bound by a federal court ruling that declared Alabama's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

2-6-15 Canada to allow doctor-assisted suicide
Canada to allow doctor-assisted suicide
Canada's Supreme Court has ruled that doctors may help patients who have severe and incurable medical conditions to die, overturning a 1993 ban.

2-6-15 Are there any homosexual animals?
Are there any homosexual animals?
Lots of animals engage in homosexual behaviour, but whether they are truly homosexual is another matter entirely. In some populations, homosexual behaviour among females is not only common, it's the norm.

2-8-15 Slovakia referendum to strengthen same-sex marriage ban fails
Slovakia referendum to strengthen same-sex marriage ban fails
A referendum intended to strengthen a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption in Slovakia has failed due to low turnout.Only 21.4% of those eligible voted, the national statistics office said on Sunday, well short of the 50% required for the ballot to be valid.

2-3-15 Vatican observatory where priests are also astrophysicists
Vatican observatory where priests are also astrophysicists
The mountains in Arizona are home to many observatories where scientists from all over the world come to study the cosmos. What is less well known, is that the Vatican has long had its own observatory here too.

1-31-15 Benedict Cumberbatch in call to pardon convicted gay men
Benedict Cumberbatch in call to pardon convicted gay men
Benedict Cumberbatch and Stephen Fry are among signatories of an open letter asking the government to pardon 49,000 men who were prosecuted for being gay.

1-28-15 Florida 'zombie cat' crawls out of grave
Florida 'zombie cat' crawls out of grave
A cat in Florida has had surgery after apparently clawing its way out of his grave following a collision with a car. Bart was discovered by its owner's neighbour in Tampa five days after he was found lying in the road stiff in a pool of blood, and was presumed dead. (Webmaster's comment: If this cat was born of a virgin cat all us Atheists will have to reexamine our beliefs!)

1-27-15 Creationism in class? by Patrick Anderson
Creationism in class? by Patrick Anderson
Creationism would be easier to teach in South Dakota classrooms if a bill in the state Senate becomes law, according to a California-based non-profit. The bill would allow teachers to critique the "weaknesses" of scientific theories without worrying about state or local education officials. The bill also mentions biological evolution and global warming as disputable topics.

1-26-15-Page 44 A Change of Heart: Inside the evangelical war over gay marriage
A Change of Heart: Inside the evangelical war over gay marriage
To Have and To Hold: Evangelicals are increasing split over same sex marriage by Elizabeth Dias

1-22-15 Satisfaction With Acceptance of Gay People Plateaus at 53%
Satisfaction With Acceptance of Gay People Plateaus at 53%
A majority of Americans (53%) are satisfied with acceptance of gay people in the U.S., a dramatic increase from the past 15 years, when satisfaction was as low as 32%. But satisfaction may be leveling off, as it is unchanged from 2014.

1-21-15 Women keep the faith as majority of men say they do not believe in God
Women keep the faith as majority of men say they do not believe in God
Muslims have the strongest faith in modern Britain while only one in six who identify with Anglicanism or other mainstream protestant churches are convinced of the existence of God. Women are almost two thirds more likely than men to believe in God, a major study of attitudes among middle aged Britons has found. Atheism and agnosticism are now the majority creed among the male population but almost two thirds of women believe in Heaven or an afterlife, according to the study which has been tracking 9,000 people now in their early 40s for more than 25 years.

1-16-15 US Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage
US Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage
The US Supreme Court will rule this year on whether gay couples have a right to marry across all states.

1-15-15 'In dog we trust' misprint on US sheriff's office rug
'In dog we trust' misprint on US sheriff's office rug
A rug has been removed from a sheriff's office in Florida after it was noticed that it read "in dog we trust" instead of "in God we trust". It took two months for the error at the Florida office to be spotted. (Webmaster's comment: How about "In Dogs We Trust")

1-15-15 How teenage hugs angered Islamic authorities in Malaysia
How teenage hugs angered Islamic authorities in Malaysia
A video of a Korean pop band embracing teenage girls in Malaysia has attracted heavy criticism and triggered a debate over the behaviour of young Muslim women in the country.

1-8-15 When believers marry atheists
When believers marry atheists
The UK is now more religiously diverse than ever but at the same time the number of people with no religion is at an all-time high. So how do you deal with your partner's faith in God if you don't have it? "I'm a confirmed atheist, I'm a born again atheist, basically I make Richard Dawkins look a bit undecided."

In the UK (United Kingdom) with a population of 59 million in 2001:

  • In the 2001 Census 20,635,298 were recorded as married
  • Of these 882,007 were in a mixed-marriage, in which both partners come from one of the following groups - no religion, and Christian or Muslim and Sikh
  • The most common combination by a long way was Christians married to those of no religion at 749,782
  • The next most common combination was Muslims married to Christians at 21,396
  • There were 13,457 Christians and Jews married, 336 Muslims and Jews
  • Figures for mixed-faith marriages have not been collated for the 2011 Census, though groups who support couples report anecdotal evidence of an increase
  • According to the 2011 Census four out of 10 people with no religion are aged under 25 and four in five are under the age of 50

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33 Atheism & Humanism News Articles
from 1st Quarter of 2015

Atheism & Humanism News Articles from 2nd Half of 2014