Atheist author and biologist Richard Dawkins, who was Prospect magazine's "world's top thinker" last year, has not been nominated for the title this year. Pope Francis, meanwhile, was nominated.
The magazine compiles a list of individuals they identify as "engaging most originally and profoundly with the central questions of the world today" and asks people from around the world to vote on the nominees.
Conservative Christian talk show host Pat Robertson discussed "openly hostile" atheism during a recent broadcast of "The 700 Club," suggesting that those who grow excessively angry at the mention of God may have had a dysfunctional childhood.
Robertson and his co-host, Terry Meeuwsen, were fielding a question from Sandra, a viewer, who wrote in to the show regarding a coworker who is "openly hostile at the mere mention of God."
"I work with an atheist and at one time I thought I could witness to her and bring her to Jesus. She gets openly hostile at the mere mention of God. She gets very angry just hearing the word God. Should I just abandon the idea of being a positive influence on her and just let her perish?" Sandra questioned. more >>
Conservative television host Bill O'Reilly spoke bluntly about his faith and public image in a recent interview, lashing out against atheist Bill Maher and also discussing his own personal faith and how he deals with his "haters."
While promoting his book Killing Jesus, released last year, O'Reilly addressed why nonbelievers in the public sphere, such as well-known atheist Bill Maher, are so critical of believers. O'Reilly, who hosts the Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor," said nonbelievers ridicule religion because they don't want to be judged.
"[Atheists] believe that religious people are judging their behavior, and they don't want to be judged. They want to do what they want," O'Reilly told The Washington Post's Sally Quinn for her OnFaith blog. more >>
A small independent faith-based movie took No. 1 in the box office for films opening in 1,000 or fewer theaters, bringing in "an incredible" $8.56 million in its first three days.
God's Not Dead, a low-budget film that portrays a college student who accepts his atheist professor's challenge to provide a defense for the existence of God and Christianity, played in 780 screens this weekend, earning enough to be ranked No. 5 overall in the U.S. box office, behind 300: Rise of an Empire.
The film is already in seventh place for all-time box office haul among all faith-based movies, and in first place for those that opened in fewer than 1,000 screens, according to Box Office Mojo. For reference, Courageous and Fireproof brought in $9.1 and $6.8 million respectively. more >>
The Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs sanctioned "Ask an Atheist" days last week in the campus' academic building.
Air Force Academy officials announced Wednesday that it would be allowing the campus's Freethinkers Club, an authorized cadet club, to hold "Ask an Atheist" days at the campus's Fairchild Hall, an academic building. The atheist-themed days were held on Wednesday and Thursday part of the student group's annual information fair. Other student groups, such as the Christian Faculty Fellowship, also set up informational booths down the hall from the Freethinkers Club's "Ask an Atheist" table.
Academy officials said in a statement that all cadet groups are allowed to hold information fairs because members of such clubs are volunteers and their beliefs are not officially linked with the views of the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Academy has about 90 cadet clubs focusing on several areas of interest, including sports, religion and hobbies. more >>
Questions regarding Capt. Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, continue to arise as the search for the missing plane enters its 14th day on Friday. Journalists scouring through the pilot's social media activity have found he "liked" atheist-themed videos on YouTube.
As investigators searched Shah's home just outside of Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, they discovered that he "liked" and subscribed to multiple atheist channels on YouTube. According to The New York Times, out of the dozens of videos Shah "liked" on the platform, four consisted of well-known atheists explaining why they didn't believe in religion. The pilot also subscribed to the official YouTube channel of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, and the channel for Eddie Izzard, a British comedian also known to be atheist.
As The Huffington Post points out, although some media outlets have depicted Shah as possibly a Muslim extremist who intentionally crashed MH370 in a suicide mission, the fact that he frequented atheist YouTube channels paints him more as a moderate secularist. more >>