Why are Americans still afraid of atheism?

You'd think we'd be over this fear by now.

NEW YORK - MAY 10: GOD FRIENDED ME stars Brandon Micheal Hall (pictured) in a humorous, uplifting drama about Miles Finer (Hall), an outspoken atheist whose life is turned upside down when he receives a friend request on social media from God and unwittingly becomes an agent of change in the lives and destinies of others around him. (Photo by Jonathan Wenk/CBS via Getty Images)
  • 51 percent of Americans would not vote for an atheist president.
  • Though America wasn't founded as a Christian nation, religion has always had a strong influence.
  • It wasn't until the 1950s when religion gained its current prominence in the national imagination.
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Germany denies Pastafarians religious rights

All the prayers in the world to the Flying Spaghetti Monster probably won't help.

(Public Domain)
  • The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has been denied the rights of a religion in Germany.
  • Church members were seeking permission to erect public signage.
  • Are views of opposition expressed as satire less valid than the ideas they oppose?
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Life as a skeptic is summed up in this parody documentary

This parody documentary skewers both the skeptic and the superstitious, and accurately shows what issues skeptics face.

  • A video from QED 2018 has made the rounds on the internet, poking fun at skeptics and the credulous alike.
  • It features a nearly perfect impression of Sir David Attenborough, jabs at peddlers of pseudoscience, and sharp British humor.
  • The clip reminds us that while it can be difficult to be a skeptic in a superstitious world we must take a moment to laugh at these difficulties.
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Dogma-free meditation for calming your mind

How to stay present and stop your mind from fixating.

  • Damien Echols was wrongfully imprisoned and put on death row for 18 years. He credits dogma-free meditation with helping him stay sane during that difficult time.
  • Keeping your mind in the present moment requires practice, but mastering meditation of any kind can show clear medical benefits like lowered blood pressure and better sleep.
  • Damien's meditation technique of choice was Magick, or what he describes as energy circulation via non-religious rituals.
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How we know right from wrong without God or religion

Do we really need an imaginary guy-in-the-sky to tell us what's right and wrong? Not anymore, says Skeptic Magazine's Michael Shermer.

Do we really need God or religion to tell us what's right and wrong? Michael Shermer, the publisher of Skeptic Magazine, says that this kind of celestial-spiritual guidance really isn't necessary. Or particularly effective. He makes a great case for being a moral realist — for example, studying past examples of war or slavery to learn morals from them — is much more effective than going back to mysticism like, say, The Bible, a fantastical book written by committee some 2,000 years ago and hardly updated since. Michael's new book is Heavens on Earth: The Scientific Search for the Afterlife, Immortality, and Utopia.