Link bomb #3

SHAFT Link Bomb

(Because it has been a while since the last link bomb, this will be the biggest one yeta nuclear link bomb, if you will.)

South Park’s creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone are about to unveil their first broadway musical, The Book of Mormon (it premieres at the end of February). The show tells the story of two young LDS missionaries who are sent to Uganda and quickly realize that their faith doesn’t equip them with answers to the suffering they encounter there. I’m excited to see it, but Mormons’ reactions are mixed.

Atheism is on the rise in the West, but in China, where there has been state-imposed atheism for decades, theism is stronger than ever. Eighty-five percent of Chinese either hold some religious beliefs or practice some kind of religion.

While an open revolution is underway in Egypt, there is a covert one here in America. Or so many on the Religious Right would have you believe. Conservatives worry that Muslims are sneaking Sharia law into the US through the commercial introduction of Halal foods.

The president of a Florida atheist group was ejected from a city council meeting because the mayor was offended by their t-shirt that read: “One Nation, Indivisible.”

The best torrent on the web isn’t a music download or pornography. This torrent includes dozens of texts relating to Mormonism, including academic articles, legal documents, and key LDS talks, manuals, and pamphlets.

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley may soon sponsor legislation to reform or remove religious and charitable organizations’ tax-exempt status. He argues the status quo is rife with abuses, and increased accountability and transparency is needed.

Check up on the “I’m an Ex-Mormon” campaign. There have been several new and compelling videos.

A study by the National Center of Education Statistics finds that 60% of science teachers in America are afraid to teach evolution, and 13% explicitly advocate creationism and intelligent design in the classroom.

Secular philosopher Daniel C. Dennett spoke to a conference of Canadian atheists and humanist about what should replace religion, if it even could/should be replaced at all.

Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato was brutally murdered on Thursday. His name was published among others in a hit list of the “top 100 homosexuals” in Uganda. Uganda’s homophobia made headlines in late 2009, when a bill was proposed to make homosexuality a capital offense punishable by death.

A homeless shelter in Georgia, ironically named the House of Mercy, won’t offer refuge to homosexual, bisexual, and transgender people. This despite the fact that 20-40% of the homeless youth population is LGBT. Also in Georgia, a Christian group attempts to burn a man alive for being gay.

Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins and James Randi thoroughly debunk Astrology.

Christopher Hitchens’ latest interview with C-SPAN is pretty disheartening. He doesn’t look or sound very good. His cancer is now at stage 4 (there is no stage 5). You can write Hitchens’ a letter of well-wishing and thanks here.

A mentally-disturbed woman hanged and burned her nephew’s (‘devil’) dog for chewing on the Bible. The joke’s on her though, because all dogs go to heaven.

In a recent New York Times op-ed, UCLA philosophy professor Tyler Burge contends that media reports about psychological and neurological findings are often guilty of exaggeration and reductionism.

Ben Goldacre at Nerdstock discusses a curious discovery: placebos are getting more effective.

Uh oh. Robots have evolved the ability to lie, and autonomous killer robots are right around the corner.

Last Sunday’s Deseret News boasted that by 2080, there will be nearly 270 million Mormons. I’m skeptical, but it’s possible. I would almost welcome that kind of growth. The more Mormons there are, the more ex-Mormons there will be, and thus the larger our audience!

Soldiers are required to take a ‘spiritual fitness test’, and if they fail (that is, if they do not generally conform to the evangelical brand of Christianity that is predominant within the military) they have to meet with a chaplain.

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call? Ghostbusters Exorcists. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that exorcism is back, and not just in Hollywood.

The American Atheists student scholarship deadline in January 31st. Apply! The winner is awarded $2,000 dollars, and the two runner-ups a $1,000 dollars each.

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