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Atheism

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putin-religion

It was just announced that next year Russia will be instituting a government funded pilot program to teach multiple religions in 12,000 schools (purportedly as a school subject like any other other).

They’ll be offering Christianity (Russian Orthodox flavor), Islam, Judaism and Buddhism. They’ll also offer a course in comparative religion and “secular” ethics (nice.)

There’s speculation that this is simply a push by the powerful Orthodox Church to make it mandatory for children to learn about Christianity, all under the guise of pluralism.

From the Associated Press:

The proposal is part of a Kremlin effort to teach young Russians morals in the wake of a turbulent period of uncertainty following the collapse of the officially atheist Soviet Union.

Medvedev said preteen students at about 12,000 schools in 18 Russian regions would take the classes. They will be offered the choice of studying the dominant Russian Orthodox religion, Islam, Buddhism or Judaism, or of taking an overview of all four faiths, or a course in secular ethics.

Students and their parents must be allowed to choose freely, Medvedev said in addressing top clerics and officials at his residence outside Moscow. “Any coercion, pressure will be absolutely unacceptable and counterproductive,” he said.

Church and State are officially separate in Russia, but Church seems to be seeking a stronger role. Remains to be seen how this plays out.

Reminds me a little, of the Henry Ford saying about “choice” of color car. “You can have any color you want, as long as its black.” – LOL

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Posted on Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

richard-dawkins-god-delusio

Richard Dawkins is one of the most well-known and outspoken atheists in the world. He is also a evolutionary biologist at Oxford University, and a bestselling author of many books (including the The God Delusion and The Selfish Gene). He’s also famous for having coined the term “meme.”

This very controversial British documentary is a type of precursor to Dawkins’ book The God Delusion (which came out after the airing of this program). In the program, Dawkins argues that the world would be better off without religion of belief in God.

Note: Watch for the interview with disgraced pastor Ted Haggard. It’s pretty hilarious when he ends up chasing after Dawkins in a parking lot… I’ll leave it at that.

Regardless of your stance on religion, the program is very well done and interesting. It’s definitely worth watching. Enjoy!

The God Delusion – Part 1 – 47 minutes (video)

The Virus of Faith – Part 2 – 47 minutes (video)

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Posted on Sunday, July 12th, 2009

Coming this Fall to CBS…just kidding.

If you happen to be a fan of Turkish network broadcasting (as most Americans are), you’ll definitely have heard of the new reality show craze that’s sweeping the Ottoman Empire. It’s called Penitents Compete!

The premise: 10 atheists must make it through a gauntlet of religious leaders whose sole mission is to convert them to God. It’s a veritable Battle Royale: an imam, a priest, a rabbi and a Buddhist monk have one week to save the souls of the 10 godless heathens.

While some fear the program could create problems (do you think?), one sociologist says this just shows the yearning to learn more about religions

Instead of “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast”, the tagline is “Believe, Repent, God will Forgive You”

How did Mark Burnett NOT come up with this?

This show is supposed to air on the Turkish channel Kanal T.

UPDATE: 7/3/09 – Reuters just picked up the story and has some developing news.

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Posted on Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

Interesting documentary that came out last year. Not a serious, scholarly study. However, its pretty funny.

The documentary RELIGULOUS follows political humorist and author Bill Maher (“Real Time With Bill Maher,” “Politically Incorrect”) as he travels around the globe interviewing people about God and religion.

TRAILER

FULL VIDEO

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Posted on Monday, June 29th, 2009

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