Humanist Candidate Jillian Freeland Will Face GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn in Election
Jul 1, 2020

By Hemant Mehta Since 2007, Rep. Doug Lamborn has represented Colorado’s 5th District in Congress. This is a guy who has argued Humanist chaplains should not be allowed in the military because the “chaplain corps is historically a religious institution.” His protests led to the rejection of one well-qualified applicant in 2018. One reason he’s been able to promote this form …

In Scotland, Humanist Weddings Are Now More Popular Than Christian Ones
Jun 26, 2020 · 1 

By Hemant Mehta Humanist weddings — officiated by non-pastors yet carrying all the appropriate legal weight — have been legal in Scotland since 2005. And now, according to new data from the National Records of Scotland, Humanist weddings are more popular than Christian ones. In 2019, there were 5,879 Humanist weddings, constituting 23% of all marriages. There …

New Report Features First-Hand Accounts of “Humanists At Risk” Around the World
Jun 25, 2020

By Hemant Mehta Last year, when Humanists International released its annual “Freedom of Thought Report” describing serious cases of discrimination and persecution against atheists around the world, the bottom line was that 69 countries still believed blasphemy was a crime. The death penalty applied in six of them. 18 countries punished apostasy (leaving religion), and 12 of …

Leaving Religion Does Not Mean Leaving Society
Jun 23, 2020

By Ryan P. Burge and Paul A. Djupe Since the beginning in this country, it has been socially desirable to be religious. Americans have positive feelings toward religious people, on the whole, and negative feelings toward those who reject religion, which puts pressure on individuals to at least pretend to be religious. That was the …

Javed Akhtar on Richard Dawkins Award: It tells the world there are people in India who express views that aren’t popular
Jun 11, 2020 · 1 

By Priyanka Sharma Javed Akhtar’s transformation from being a writer of diverse cinematic stories and songs to an unflinching voice advocating secularism and freedom of speech has been noteworthy, but he never thought his ideas would travel as far as Center for Inquiry, which has honoured him with the prestigious Richard Dawkins Award. Akhtar is …

Lawsuit Says Atheist Parolee Spent 5 Months in Jail for Not Going to Bible Study
Jun 10, 2020

By Hemant Mehta In 2015, atheist Mark Janny was released from jail. (The reason he was there is irrelevant to this story.) His parole officer, John Gamez, told Janny that if he wanted to remain out of prison, he would have to live at the Denver Rescue Mission, a Christian homeless shelter. That shelter’s rules required residents to …

In Mixed News for Atheists, Democrats’ Religiosity Has Withered In Last 12 Years
Jun 8, 2020

By Terry Firma Fodder for the right-wing outrage machine: The percentage of Democrat and Democrat-leaning voters who identify as Christian has sharply declined since 2008, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center. [The] report … found that while 73% of Democrat voters were Christian in 2008, by 2019 the percentage had dropped to 52%. The large decline came …

The Somali atheist activists who get death threats
Jun 4, 2020

By Layla Mahmood “I am going to kill you. I am going to find you. I am going to cut your head off,” was one of the threats that Ayaanle, a Canada-based Somali atheist, received. “[But] that’s kind of normal,” the founder of the True Somali Freedom Page (TSFP) says sardonically as he talks about …

A Black Republican on the Cincinnati City Council Just Came Out as an Atheist
May 29, 2020

By Hemant Mehta I swear that headline is accurate. In November of 2017, Jeff Pastor was elected to the Cincinnati City Council in Ohio. There were nine seats up for grabs and 24 candidates. Pastor edged past the finish line and won the final seat. His campaign biography is interesting enough, but it’s a Medium post from last week that’s getting attention now. …

Atheist “A” Logo Found Near Graffiti at Site of Burned Down Mississippi Church
May 22, 2020

By Hemant Mehta We posted yesterday about how the First Pentecostal Church in Holly Springs, Mississippi had burned to the ground shortly after the church sued the city over its stay-at-home orders, which were stricter than those for the state as a whole. (That lawsuit was prompted by police going into the church during a Bible study …

‘Like a robot’: Indonesia’s nonbelievers struggle to blend in during Ramadan
May 20, 2020

By Ramadani Saputra The presence of agnostics and atheists is not often felt in conservative Indonesia, where society largely defines itself along religious lines. Widespread belief in traditional family values stokes fear in nonbelievers that they will be rejected by close relatives for their perspectives and often prevents them from speaking their minds. As Muslims …

Yes, It Can Be Hard to Be an Atheist in America; Now We Have the Data
May 13, 2020

By Chrissy Stroop Are the nonreligious a marginalized group in America? When I brought this question up to a friend who lives in New York the other day, he was skeptical. Practically everyone he knows is an atheist, he says, as if this were the most natural thing in the world. As someone who grew …