Pastor-turned-atheist-humanitarian targeted with vicious online attacks from Christians

As blogger Hemant Mehta at The Friendly Atheist reports:

It was almost a year ago when Ryan Bell, a professor and former pastor of a Seventh-day Adventist church, announced that he would “try on” atheism and “live as if there is no God” for 12 months…

But he got a taste of what being an atheist was like much sooner than expected. Less than a week after announcing his experiment, Bell was fired by his Christian employers at Azusa Pacific University and Fuller Theological Seminary… Readers of this site came through in a big way and helped raise more than $27,000 for his family…

In an NPR story today, he told reporter Arun Rath that atheism just makes more sense to him now‘:

“I’ve looked at the majority of the arguments that I’ve been able to find for the existence of God and on the question of God’s existence or not, I have to say I don’t find there to be a convincing case in my view.  I don’t think that God exists.  I think before I wanted a closer relationship to God and today I just want a closer relationship with reality.””

Bell has a new job, by the way, putting his Humanism in action. He’s working with a group called People Assisting The Homeless (PATH). He worked with them when he was a pastor, but now, it’s just more evidence that he can still be good without God.

A few days before, the Christian Post quoted him in a story titled “Ex-Pastor Who Took Yearlong Break From Faith Asks ‘Why Do I Need Religion to Love?’ May Announce Atheism Soon:”

“The question I am asking right now [is] why do I need religion to love?…I want to be for something good, but I don’t want boundaries, and religion just feels like a very bounded thing.”

The Post’s Christian readers were angered: Continue reading

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Horoscope matching: the massive bigoted astrology industry wrecking young Hindus’ lives

“I am a manglik boy and I love a non-manglik girl and she wants to marry me, I also want the same but I can’t marry her coz I am manglik. What should I do?”  (Quora)

What dark bigotry is this, you ask?  Is a “manglik” a member of India’s untouchable caste?    Nope.  Caste bigotry is still very real, but increasingly considered socially and legally unacceptable.  There is, however, another karma-based bigotry that remains perfectly acceptable and mainstream.  What, you ask, is this horrifying “manglik” condition that is breaking so many young hearts?

Quite simply, a manglik is someone whose astrological horoscope has the planet Mars in the “wrong” place: Continue reading

Pressure Mounts in India to Discard Astrology as Another Anti-Progressive Superstition, Like Caste

In the west, where most of us snicker when asked “What’s your sign?” and the Reagans were mocked for their secret White House astrologer,  it’s almost impossible to grasp astrology’s place in India.  Astrology is simultaneously considered by many in the mainstream as both science and religion,  as closely intertwined with Hinduism as caste belief — just more acceptable. Continue reading

About those “7 Mysterious Photos That Have Never Been Explained”… Apparently Google Has Never Been Explained to Some People

This was posted two days ago and is rapidly spreading across the Net.

These 7 Mysterious Photos Have Never Been Explained… And Probably Never Will Be

Sometimes an image is captured that just cannot be explained.  The bizarre, and often ambiguous, photographs in this article have remained unexplained for over half a century in some cases…

You’d think Google would have made it harder for these writers to post these lists with a straight face, but nah. Continue reading

China struggling with parents planning C-sections & abortions to prevent babies with bad zodiac sign

Disturbing news from China Daily this week:

Many more babies will be born before the Year of the Horse ends, because couples in China try to avoid having babies in the Year of the Sheep, which starts on Feb 19, 2015. The reason: traditionally it is believed that “sheep babies” lead difficult lives...

But such is the influence of superstition on some people that they undergo cesarean section, even without going into labor, to give birth before the onset of a year they consider unlucky. Doctors warn that premature cesarean section is a violation of the laws of nature which could affect the baby’s brains and health, but some people ignore their advice.

In other words, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.  China News reported last month that: Continue reading