Phil Pullman: No one has the right to not be offended

I can't tell you how many times I've gotten emails or comments on the site saying I was being needlessly offensive, and I should go out of my way to avoid hurting the feelings of others. These messages have even come from other atheists who disapprove of my use of strong language or mockery. Here, Phillip Pullman (author of "The Golden Compass") echoes how I usually respond to these accusations: no one has ...

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TGA Podcast: Episode 88

Welcome back to another episode of The Good Atheist Podcast. On today's show, Ryan and I talk about the Pope and his inability to accept reality, why NZ still has a lot of growing up to do, why Americans are still crazy, and how Thomas Paine never got a break (or why pamphlets used to be awesome). It's 30 minutes of TGA gold, so don't miss out. ...

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City council tries to change Good Friday to “Spring Holiday” and fails

"Good Friday" is creepy. As a holiday, I'd say it ranks pretty high up on the weirdo-meter (the biggest one in my book is the cryptic and disturbing celebration of Passover, where Jews celebrate God killing the first born children of Egyptians and "passing over" their own kids). For starters, millions of Catholics celebrate the crucifiction of their messiah, as though his supposed torture and eventual death ...

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America, you still crazy

Normally, if you hear about a plot by an armed civilian militia trying to kill government officials, you figure it's happening in some unstable developing country. It's hard to believe in this day and age, the most powerful and wealthy country in the world also seems to have similar problems with armed maniacs trying to overthrow the present authority. A few days ago, police and FBI agents arrested 9 home g ...

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Bill Donohue blames parents for priestly abuse

Oh Bill, will you ever stop being such an ignorant piece of crap? Here he is blaming the families of raped children for failing to "report" the abuses to the authorities. Well, in case he forgot, it's not easy to stand up to the Church when you're a believer, and the children who suffered those abuses were also told to keep their mouths shut. You wouldn't want to actually blame the rapists themselves, or ev ...

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NZ Christians won’t allow woman the right to end her own life

When health care reform was first proposed in the United States, one of the talking points raised by conservative idiots trying to scare the general public was the dreaded "death panels", a supposed government entity that would be "whacking" old people willy-nilly. Rational minded policy makers failed to dissuade the public (who were spoon-fed this nonsense by right wing talking heads) that this threat was ...

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Pope thinks abuse scandal is “petty gossip”

It must be nice to not have to answer to any authority whatsoever when you've committed a series of heinous crimes. While the secular world tries to grow enough balls to bring Pope Benedict XVI to justice (I really wouldn't hold my breath, people), the pontiff is still free to try and play down the seriousness of the allegations against him and other senior officials in the Vatican. Recently, the Pope sent ...

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TGA Podcast: Episode 87 1/2

After a 2 week break, The Good Atheist Bonus show is back, and in full form. This week, Ryan and I answer a fan question about how to deal with the death of a loved one, and why we have 'relationships' with them even after they die. Also on the agenda, we continue to talk about the insane controversy in the Vatican over Pope Benedict's willful protection of known pedophiles. ...

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Sinead O’Connor was way ahead of her time

Man, remember when Sinead O'Connor tore up the picture of Pope John Paul II saying "fight the real enemy"? Well imagine she did that same stunt today but with Raztinger's picture instead; I'm not sure she would cause as big a firestorm now. I can't imagine how much courage it took back then to take a stand against such a large institution, but we owe a lot to the bravery of folks like Sinead who chose to sp ...

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New York Times fingers Pope

Yes, I've always wanted to use a headline like this, and today seemed like the perfect time to do it. Plus it helps that it's completely true; the New York Times has supposedly come up with definitive evidence that Ratzinger was not only aware of Reverend Peter Hullerman (formerly known only as "H") had molested children and, rather than notify authorities, simply transferred him to another parish despite a ...

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