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SSA eMpirical No. 34 - Year End Celebrations!

Get Ready for Darwin Day 2009

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Repost with permission from the Humanist Network News.

This Feb. 12, people around the world will celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth.

Atheists Read Religious Texts for Charity

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Reading Religious Texts for Charity
Penn State Atheist and Agnostic Association member Yasic Naumenko (senior-physics) reads a passage from the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. PHOTO: Peter Tesoriero

This story originally appeared in The Daily Collegian Online (Penn State's morning newspaper) on 9/22/2008, and is used by permission.
Article by Erin Rowley, Collegian Staff Writer.

Nat Jackson read passages from the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster Saturday to crowds walking past the Allen Street Gates.

Before reading verses about how the Spaghetti Monster created the universe, he put on a black eye patch, the required attire for the Spaghetti Monster's believers.

That text was one of more than a dozen religious books -- including the Bible and the Quran -- put on display by the Penn State Atheist and Agnostic Association, of which Jackson (senior-anthropology) is president. Passersby could donate money in return for hearing club members read aloud from the book of their choice.

Advocating for Secularism at the University of Alberta

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by Ian Bushfield

In 2004, Paul Welke couldn't attend his convocation ceremony. The avowed atheist was in Bosnia at the time, serving for the Canadian Peacekeeping forces that were deployed there. The University offered him the ability to attend a convocation at a later date, but upon reading the Chancellor's charge to use his degree "for the glory of God and honour of you country," he pledged not to attend until the ceremony reflected his belief system.

He filed a complaint with the President's office, who put it forward to a convocation committee. That committee briefly debated the issue and subsequently brushed it aside as frivolous. They suggested that Welke could define "God" in any way he chose. Welke's response to his fellow atheists was that using God in a non-religious fashion was akin to shooting a three-pointer without a basketball.

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