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Black Nonbelievers Speak Out

2 Feb

African Americans for Humanism (AAH) has launched an ad campaign, highlighting the rise in religious skepticism among African Americans. Coinciding with Black History Month, the campaign features prominent African American humanists from history along with contemporary activists and organizers.

AAH is a program of the Council for Secular Humanism that supports nonreligious African Americans.

Ads began appearing January 30 and January 31 in New York City; Washington, DC; Los Angeles; Chicago; Atlanta; and Durham, North Carolina. On February 6, the campaign will be launched in Dallas. Advertisements will be placed on roadside billboards and in public transit sites. The Stiefel Freethought Foundation provided substantial creative and financial support for the campaign.

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Even Rainbow Horses Couldn’t Save This Book

5 Dec

In Heaven Is for Real by Todd Burpo with Lynn Vincent, a four-year old boy named Colton awakens from emergency surgery with a tale of heaven. His “divine” vision includes images of a rainbow-colored horse that only Jesus could ride, God and his chair that are “reaaally big,” and the Holy Spirit that “shoots down power” from heaven to help us. Along the way, the young boy meets his grandfather for the first time and, of course, hears a message of a coming last battle and glory for Christians.

Because I’m a skeptic at heart, a book like this wouldn’t usually catch my attention. But I just had to read about this rainbow horse! However, when I realized the book is actually written by the young boy’s father, Todd Burpo, all visions of magical ponies vanished from my mind and suspicion set in. Burpo is a pastor of Crossroads Wesleyan Church in Imperial, Nebraska (population: 1,762), from where he broadcasts Sunday sermons via the local radio station. Would this religious man take advantage of his young son?

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