Read More Atheist Republic New Study Finds Atheists Are More Likely To Believe Aliens Exist
A report titled Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP), by the Office of the Director of the National Defense, released on June 25th, caused a flurry of debate regarding the existence of aliens. A study by the Pew Research Center, which is sparked in part by the ODND’s report, found out that religious adults are more likely to doubt the existence of alien life versus those who are less religious. 77% of both the Atheist and Agnostic participants say that their best guess is that life exists on other planets. Tom Flynn, the editor of the humanist magazine Free Inquiry, posited that religious people are less likely to believe in alien life because it undermines the core of their beliefs.
Hindu Militants Burn Kama Sutra Depicting Hindu Gods in “Vulgar” Poses
Bajrang Dal, the youth arm of the Hindu nationalist organization Vishva Hindu Parishad, burned a copy of the Kama Sutra in front of a bookstore. According to Bajrang Dal, the Kamasutra has inappropriately depicted Hindu gods. Referring to the various sexual positions shown in the books, calling the positions “vulgar” poses an “objectionable depiction of Lord Krishna.” The copy the group burned was taken from Latitude, a book chain and gift store located in Ahmedabad. Aside from a violent protest against a book that promotes a positive view of sexuality, the group also threatened to burn the book store if they continued selling copies of the Kama Sutra. The president of Bajrang Dal’s North Gujarat chapter, Jwalit Mehta, stated that the burning of the book is a warning to bookstore owners in Ahmedabad that if they keep objectionable material that hurt Hindu sentiments, next time the shops will be set on fire.
Pakistani Model Strangled to Death by Brother in “Honor-Killing”
On July 11th, Muhammad Aslam reported to the Defense B police station that his step-sister had been murdered and raped. Aslam stated to the police that he discovered his sister’s body on the floor during a visit to her house on July 9th. The victim is Nayab Nadeem, a 29-year old Pakistani model who recently returned from a trip to Dubai. The police were eager to resolve the murder case. Evidence collected from the crime scene indicates that Aslam was the last person to have seen Nadeem alive. Aslam then confessed to the murder. In his confession, he explained that he killed Nadeem because she was “disgracing the family’s honor,” due to his suspicion of her having relationships with different men. During his last visit, he and the victim had an argument, which led him to strangle her to death. To mislead the police, he stripped her clothes and made it appear as a rape-murder case. As of yet, no report indicates Muhammad Aslam being charged with murder.
Christian School Forces Coach to Quit for Refusing to Denounce Being Gay
On August 19th, Inoke Tonga, a volleyball coach at Valor Christian High School, was invited to meet in a “spiritual connection” session with some of his supervisors. He was repeatedly asked to confirm if there were “changes in his lifestyle” that the school’s superiors should know. It became apparent that the school authority had an issue with Tonga being gay and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. He was ultimately left with two choices. He could denounce being gay and delete his social media posts regarding his identity and support for the LGBTQ+ community, or he can continue living as a gay man, true to himself, but he would be forced out of his job. Tonga’s Instagram post gathered support from parents, students, and alumni. Students organized a walkout in support of Tonga and expressed their dismay with the school’s decision. An official statement from the school claims that Tonga “misrepresented many aspects of this matter.”
Arizona Family Tried to Kidnap Pregnant Woman Over Non-Muslim Boyfriend
Authorities arrested six family members in Peoria, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona, for allegedly trying to kidnap a 20-year-old female relative because she has a non-Muslim boyfriend and is approximately 5-months pregnant. In Maricopa County Superior Court, detectives filed a probable cause statement stating they believe the six arrested family members planned to send the woman back to Iraq. Once in Iraq, it is possible that both her life and her unborn child’s life would become victims of an honor killing. The family attempted multiple times to kidnap the pregnant girl. In March 2021, police said the victim, her boyfriend, and his family fled to Yuma, Arizona, to escape her family’s harassment and violence. But her family still found them at the hotel they were staying at and attempted to kidnap her again.
Court Rules Christian Teacher Suspended Over Pro-Trans Policy Should Be Reinstated
On June 8th, a Virginia Circuit Court judge ruled that Tanner Cross should be reinstated as a teacher after he was suspended. Judge James Plowman of the Loudoun County Circuit ruled that Tanner Cross was exercising his freedom of speech when he declared during a school board meeting on May 25th, that he would not use the pronouns of transgender students. Cross explained that he will not “affirm that a biological boy can be a girl and vice versa because it’s against my religion.” Less than three months after the appeal, the Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled in favor of Judge Plowman’s decision. The state supreme court has ordered, in support of Cross, his reinstitution as a PE teacher. School boards across Virginia have been updating or installing policies that promote and establish ways to help transgender students. Most of these school board discussions are met with severe pushback, especially in the bible belt.
New Study Shows Many Christians Perceive LGBT Acceptance as Personal Attack
In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, a team of researchers from the Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, revealed some interesting findings regarding the frame of mind of many conservative Christians. The research used data gathered from five separate studies conducted over three and a half years, from July 2016 to December 2020. In the study, the team found out that heterosexual white Christians subscribe to Zero-Sum Bias (ZSB) more than any other group. Zero-Sum Bias or Zero-Sum Thinking is a situational perception where an individual thinks that one person’s gains translate to a loss for the other person. Clara Wilkins, the study’s principal investigator, explained that since most White Christian Americans see Christianity as an integral feature of American culture, this puts them at odds with the LGBTQ+ community that they see as “having increasing social influence.” The team was able to identify that church leadership can use their influence over their followers to help facilitate intercultural acceptance.
Six Sentenced to Death for Murder of Bangladeshi Gay Rights Activists
On April 25th, 2016, Bangladesh’s top gay rights activist, Xulhaz Mannan, was brutally murdered along with actor Rabbi Tonoy. Both victims were figureheads, pillars in Bangladesh’s thriving LGBTQ+ non-profit advocacy group and community known as Roopban. Mannan and Tonoy were 35-years old and 25-years old at the time of their murder. They were instrumental in the creation and publication of Roopbaan’s magazine of the same title. Marcia Bernicat, the US Ambassador to Bangladesh at that time, condemned Mannan’s killing. Ansar Al Islam, a Bangladesh-based offshoot of al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the murder and other attacks targeting atheists and other secular activists. After more than half a decade passed, the Special Anti-Terrorism Tribunal has sentenced six men out of the eight charged for Mannan and Tonoy’s murder.
Atheist Author Greg Epstein Elected as the Chief Chaplain of Harvard
Greg Epstein is the current, newly-elected Chief Chaplain at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Epstein was able to identify the growing number of students in Harvard “who no longer identify with any religious tradition but still experience a real need for conversation and support.” He has introduced many to the idea that an individual’s relationship can be centered on one another instead of a deity. His election as the Chief Chaplain was unanimous. Epstein has also written for TechCrunch, one of the top online publications in Silicon Valley, where he explored the ethical aspects of technologies and their adaptations across different industries. His book, Good without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe, published in 2010, continues to be a source of influence on the rising demographics of humanists and atheists across the country.
Atheist Republic’s Blasphemy Battle Featured in German Humanist Publication!
On August 30th, the large German Humanist publication Humanistischer Pressedienst (HPD) published an article detailing Atheist Republic’s battle over blasphemy with the Indian Government! The Atheist Republic team discussed the media coverage the organization received and the statements that Atheist Republic’s CEO Susanna McIntyre gave to HPD. The team also revealed the special art made to commemorate the one year anniversary of Atheist Republic’s Sexy Kali blasphemous backlash!
Read More Atheist Republic New Study Finds Atheists Are More Likely To Believe Aliens Exist