Category Archives: secularism

French courts overturn burkini ban

As CNN reports, and as I expected, the French Council of State, an administrative court, has overturned the bans on “burkinis”—the full body coverings for beachgoing Muslim women—enacted in 15 French towns. What were these people thinking? Why would a burkini be banned but a full-body covering for a non-Muslim deemed okay if it were worn to […]

England and Wales are now predominantly nonreligious

There’s a new survey out about the religiosity of England and Wales, and although the Guardian report on it doesn’t link to the original study, it does give the salient results, which are these: The secularization of Britain is very rapid, to the point where most of England and Wales consists of people who say […]

University of South Carolina dumps its football chaplain

At the end of August, 2015, I wrote a longish post (see also here) about the Freedom from Religion Foundation’s (FFRF’s) “Pray to Play” report, detailing the incursion of religion into 18 public universities via the establishment of “football chaplains.” These chaplains, 100% of whom are Christian, are hired to pray with the players and get them to […]

Rubin report: Faisal Saeed Al Mutar and Melissa Chen

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is the founder of the Global Secular Humanist Movement, and Melissa Chen helps him run it; they’re from Iraq and Singapore respectively. I’m proud to join them and others as a moderator of the Global Secular Humanist Movement Facebook page, which has a huge readership (336,000 “likes”) and, to our credit, has been […]

Open thread: podcast-y goodness

by Grania It’s a cold grey day in Ireland, so an excellent way to spend the afternoon is curled up in your favorite armchair with a mug of coffee listening to podcast or two. I’ve put together a list in no particular order of some of the ones I dip into. Brady Haran: Numberphile – 10 minutes […]

Open thread: Susan Jacoby talks about people who go through religious conversion

by Grania There’s an interesting interview with Susan Jacoby over on Fresh Air (NPR) about her new book Strange Gods: A Secular History Of Conversion. Susan looks at people in history as well as current examples, and examines reasons why people choose to exchange one god for another. Interestingly, the answer is very rarely, as she calls it, […]

The “In God We Trust” police-car poll is now secular!

Yesterday I wrote about a sheriff in Virginia who had spent nearly $1500 of his personal money to outfit his unit’s police cars with “In God We Trust” decals. Sheriff J. D. “Danny” Diggs said this, among other things: “I’ve been thinking about this for a long time.” Diggs said.  “It honors God.  God has […]

OMG, more atheism in the New York Times: Susan Jacoby on “God Bless America!”

Can it be that the New York Times is finally recognizing that, yes, godlessness is an acceptable view in America? Perhaps, for they’ve published some atheist pieces lately, and the latest is Susan Jacoby’s “Sick and Tired of ‘God Bless America’” which is in this week’s Sunday Review section. Her pro-atheist-and-secularist piece is headed by the strange photo […]

Iceland: happy, atheistic, and science-loving

In The 2013 World Happiness Report, which I’ll mention shortly, Iceland ranks as the 9th happiest country in the world out of 156 countries polled; “happiness” incorporates several measures of well being (go to the report for the way they quantified happiness). Here are the ten happiest countries in the world: As I’ll show in about an […]

Church attendance in England dropping gradually but inexorably

According to the British Humanists, who give the sources for their statistics on their new post, weekly attendance at the 16,000 Church of England’s parishes has dropped to less than 1,000,000 for the first time in at least sixty years. First, here’s a graph from the Church’s own document showing the heartening decline of attendance over the last 54 years, […]

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