On his show "Real Time," comedian and HBO host Bill Maher said the policy of taxing things that are bad to get people to stop doing them should be extended to religion and "let's put one on Sunday school so they don't get stupid."
"If we levy taxes — sin taxes, they call them — on things that are bad to get people to stop doing them, why in Heaven's name don't we tax religion?" asked Maher toward the end of his show on Friday.
"A sexist, homophobic, magic act that's been used to justify everything from genital mutilation to genocide," he continued. "You want to raise the tax on tobacco so kids don't get cancer? Okay, but let's put one on Sunday school so they don't get stupid." more >>
Larry Alex Taunton, the founder and executive director of The Fixed Point Foundation, says in his newly released book that the late notorious atheist Christopher Hitchens was contemplating conversion to evangelical Christianity before his death. Though still recovering from a near fatal accident, Taunton is talking about The Faith of Christopher Hitchens, released on April 12.
"Amazon ran out two days ago. The book has been in high demand. It's gotten a lot of visibility," Taunton, who is known for debating atheists, told AL.com in an interview.
Hitchens, who died in 2011, became a close friend of Taunton, and they went on two long road trips together, "with Hitchens reading aloud from the Gospel of John on one of them," the news website says, adding that the Christian author is also friends with British atheist Richard Dawkins. more >>
The American Library Association has revealed that the Bible is among the books most often challenged and called to be banned in libraries.
"You have people who feel that if a school library buys a copy of the Bible, it's a violation of church and state," said James LaRue, who directs the Office for Intellectual Freedom for the American Library Association, according to The Associated Press.
"And sometimes there's a retaliatory action, where a religious group has objected to a book and a parent might respond by objecting to the Bible." more >>
On this Sunday's third episode of "The Story of God" with Morgan Freeman, the actor takes on the topic, "Who Is God?" and visits Pastor Joel Osteen and Lakewood Church to get some answers.
"I believe God is our Father, the Creator, Somebody that gives us purpose and destiny," Osteen, who pastors one of the largest churches in America, responds. "Sometimes it's hard for people to say 'how can I believe in something I can't see?' But it's what you choose to believe, through faith."
A wide-eyed Freeman resistantly listens as Osteen speaks. more >>
A resolution calling for a secular alternative to the National Day of Prayer in May, called the "Day of Reason," has been introduced in the U.S. House.
Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the District of Columbia in the U.S. House of Representatives, put forth the resolution earlier this week, urging that the Day of Reason take place on May 5, the same day as this year's National Day of Prayer.
"The National Day of Reason celebrates the positive impact the application of reason has had on humanity. The evolution of my Silicon Valley district into the world's center of innovation came about through the use of the scientific method and the application of reason. These are fundamental pillars that scientists and engineers in Silicon Valley and around the country depend on to develop new technologies and cures for diseases," Honda said in a press release. more >>
Following a recent trip to Japan, one of the most atheistic countries in the world, City Harvest Church Pastor Kong Hee said the people are "hungry" for Jesus Christ, and he expects to see a revival in the country.
"We have a deep love for Japan and for our beautiful Japanese brothers and sisters-in-Christ. Their hearts are so hungry for the Lord Jesus and His Church. They are believing that God is opening up Heaven and pouring out His Holy Spirit afresh upon this generation," Kong said in a Facebook message, reflecting on a ministry trip he and his wife and fellow CHC pastor, Sun Ho, made to Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Osaka and Kyoto earlier in April.
"Sun and I were so stirred and moved in our spirits. We can hear the sound of revival in our hearts, and sense that the harvest is definitely ripening," he added. more >>