GO AD-FREE FOR $1

Here are 6 ways religion does more bad than good

Most British people think religion causes more harm than good according to a survey commissioned by the Huffington Post. Surprisingly, even among those who describe themselves as “very religious” 20 percent say that religion is harmful to society. For that we can probably thank the internet, which broadcasts everything from Isis beheadings, to stories about Catholic hospitals denying care to miscarrying women, to lists of wild and weird religious beliefs, to articles about psychological harms from Bible-believing Christianity.

Keep reading... Show less

Why is the Bible so poorly written?

Millions of evangelicals and other Christian fundamentalists believe that the Bible was dictated by God to men who acted essentially as human transcriptionists. If that were the case, one would have to conclude that God is a terrible writer. Many passages in the Bible would get kicked back by any competent editor or writing professor, kicked back with a lot of red ink—often more red than black.

Keep reading... Show less

Did you catch this hidden theme in 'The Handmaid's Tale'?

If The Handmaid’s Tale offers any sign, Margaret Atwood has read more of her Bible than many Christians. Superficially, Atwood’s dystopian novel is littered with biblical names and phrases: Gilead, Mary and Martha, Jezebel, Milk and Honey, All Flesh, Loaves and Fishes, Lilies of the Field, the Eye of the Lord, Behemoth, and many more.

Keep reading... Show less

Here are 5 reasons to suspect Jesus never existed

Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.”  In other words, based on the evidence available they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity. At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.

Keep reading... Show less

Christian conservatives want to regulate sex -- and deny it to the poor

Sexual intimacy and pleasure are some of humanity’s most cherished experiences. The so-called “best things in life” include natural beauty, fine dining, the arts, thrilling adventures, creative pursuits and community service. But love and orgasms are among the few peak experiences that are equally available to rich and poor, equally sweet to those whose lives are going according to plan and to many whose dreams are in pieces.

Keep reading... Show less

Anti-choice smear campaign backfires as women defy social stigma to tell their abortion stories

This week, two generations after the Supreme Court legalized abortion in the U.S., many women will be commemorating the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by speaking openly, some for the first time, about their own abortions. While some live with regrets—as with any important life decision—most say explicitly that they do not.  More often they express gratitude that the ability to terminate an ill-conceived pregnancy allowed them to become educated and financially secure and to raise children they love with men they love:

Keep reading... Show less

Here is how the Bible condones terrorism

Islamists aren’t the only ones with instructions for terrorism in their holy book.

Last fall, Dutch pranksters put a cover from a Quran over a Bible and then asked passersby to read aloud homophobic, violent, or sexist passages that violate modern moral sensibilities. The texts shocked people who had never immersed themselves in the Iron Age world of the Bible writers, a world in which daughters can be sold as sexual slaves and most of us deserve the death penalty—you included.

Keep reading... Show less

How atheists, feminists and other progressive activists cope with online harassment and death threats

More than twenty years have passed, but Jonathan Hutson still vividly remembers one specific day during his stint as editor of a New Hampshire weekly.

Keep reading... Show less

When the American debate about abortion was sane -- and why that changed

People would be surprised by how much less toxic gender politics were in the 1970s than they are now.

Keep reading... Show less

Celebrating love and light: Here are 10 holiday tips for the post-religious

Is the holiday season more glitter than glow for you lately?  Are you a former Christian who finds that hymns don’t resonate anymore?  Do you roll your eyes about the “war on Christmas” manufactroversy?  Does the cherubic little Jesus-in-a-Manger fail to flood your body with sweetness?  Do you feel mixed about participating in a religious holiday now that you’re not religious? Get the scrooge out with these ten tips:

Keep reading... Show less

The sex-negative message in the 'Virgin Birth'

The birth story of baby Jesus celebrates the promise of new life, but for girls it also sends a harmful message. How can we acknowledge this without spoiling the rest?

Keep reading... Show less

Here are 5 reasons to suspect Jesus never existed

Most antiquities scholars think that the New Testament gospels are “mythologized history.”  In other words, based on the evidence available they think that around the start of the first century a controversial Jewish rabbi named Yeshua ben Yosef gathered a following and his life and teachings provided the seed that grew into Christianity. At the same time, these scholars acknowledge that many Bible stories like the virgin birth, miracles, resurrection, and women at the tomb borrow and rework mythic themes that were common in the Ancient Near East, much the way that screenwriters base new movies on old familiar tropes or plot elements. In this view, a “historical Jesus” became mythologized.

Keep reading... Show less

This Republican Jew is fighting to defend American Muslims -- here's why

Mikey Weinstein directs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, a pit-bull watchdog defending separation of church and state in America’s armed forces. Most of the time when MRFF engages, it is because a service member has reported some type of violation and asked for assistance. Over 95 percent of MRFF’s clients are practicing Christians, who nonetheless reject being forced to participate in a superior officer’s Bible study or prayers, or who believe their vow to defend the Constitution bans state-sanctioned, state-funded religion, period.

Keep reading... Show less

How Iron Age literacy spawned modern violent extremism

Why aren’t Muslim and Christian extremists extremely peaceful? The answer lies in the Iron Age setting of the Bible and Quran—when literate cultures replaced the Golden Calf with the Sacred Text.

Keep reading... Show less

Here are 12 Christmas traditions that aren’t about Jesus or shopping

For a variety of reasons, the birth story of Jesus may not be something that you personally embrace or want to celebrate with friends and family.

Keep reading... Show less

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.