Atheist author and neuroscientist Sam Harris announced a new book on Wednesday titled Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion, set to be published later this year.
"Waking Up is for the 30 percent of Americans who follow no religion, but who suspect that Jesus, Buddha, Lao Tzu, Rumi, and the other saints and sages of history could not have all been epileptics, schizophrenics, or frauds," states a description for the book on Amazon.
"Throughout the book, Harris argues that there are important truths to be found in the experiences of such contemplatives – and, therefore, that there is more to understanding reality than science and secular culture generally allow." more >>
American Atheists is putting up a new billboard making fun of prayer outside Metlife Stadium in New Jersey, where the Super Bowl is scheduled to take place on Sunday.
The 14 feet by 48 feet billboard features a man in a priest uniform with the text "A 'Hail Mary' only works in football. Enjoy the game!" referring to the Roman Catholic prayer to the Virgin Mary and also the name of a long-forward pass in football.
An atheist lawmaker in Nebraska has introduced a bill that would strip churches and religious organizations in the state of their property tax exemptions.
State Senator Ernie Chambers (D-Omaha), an atheist, said at a Nebraska Revenue Committee meeting last week that he believes his new bill, Legislative Bill 675, will help ease the tax rates of Nebraska citizens by requiring churches and religious organizations to pay property tax. Additionally, Chambers argued that the bill could reduce the need for state aid to local governments and schools. The bill continues to allow nonreligious educational and charitable organizations to remain tax exempt.
"The purpose of LB 675 is to help the state gain more revenue, rather than less, by taking away churches' property tax exemptions," Chambers read in his Statement of Intent at last Friday's committee meeting. "If taxes were paid on the many churches and cathedrals and temples in every city in this state, perhaps the state's assistance to local governments and schools would be diminished considerably – leaving more in state coffers for other purposes." more >>
Atheist and comedian Bill Maher recently made the shocking comment that there is "no more psychopathic mass murderer than God." Maher, who is known by many to make intentionally controversial comments relating to religion, received criticism on social media for his comments.
The comedian, who hosts the HBO talk show series "Real Time with Bill Maher," said in an interview with The Atlantic's Scott Stossel that he thinks people who believe in God are "insane," noting that the God portrayed in the Bible's Old Testament is a "mass murderer."
Maher was responding to Stossel who asked if the comedian believes in the argument of Pascal's wager, which states that atheists could be wrong by betting that there is no God and therefore be dooming themselves to an eternity in hell. more >>
A lawyer who specializes in religious liberty cases has expressed approval of the Defense Department's recently announced new policy on religious grooming for military personnel.
Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told The Christian Post that the Wednesday announcement by the Pentagon was a "good step."
"We think that it's a very good step in that it incorporates, for instance, much of the language from the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which applies to the federal government," said Blomberg. more >>
A Wisconsin university has removed the Gideon Bibles from the guest rooms of one of its conference centers after an atheist group complained that keeping them in the rooms is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion.
An attorney for the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), the nation's largest group of atheists, agnostics and skeptics, sent a letter complaining about the Bibles to Ray Cross, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin Colleges and University of Wisconsin-Extension, back in November.
The books, which were in the guest rooms of The Lowell Center on the UW-Extension campus in Madison, were placed there by The Gideons International. After reviewing FFRF's concerns, however, Cross replied in a letter stating that the Bibles would be removed from all guest rooms by Dec. 1, 2013. more >>