By Christy Barritt
Atheists Gather to Celebrate Non-belief
Nearly 20,000 atheists showed up at Washington D.C.’s National Mall in March for the Reason Rally.
The Reason Rally was billed the world’s largest gathering of atheists and secularists. The group came together to celebrate reason and to share anti-religious sentiment through performers, speakers. and other activities.
Best-selling author of The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, was the headline speaker. He encouraged fellow atheists to ridicule those who claim to be religious.
“Mock them, ridicule them in public,” he urged. “Don’t fall for the convention that we’re all too polite to talk about religion.”
According to the online news site “The Blaze,” American Atheists president David Silverman told the audience, “God is a myth. Closet atheists, you are not alone.”
Several Christians went to the rally to pass out water and offer a gentle response to the message presented.
Christianity Growing in Iran
According to the persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA, the number of Muslims converting to Christianity in Iran is growing at a phenomenal rate.
Workers with Open Doors said they’re witnessing a Christian revival in a country known for its hostility toward those outside of the Muslim faith. Only 40 years ago, there were an estimated 200 believers in Iran. Today the number is estimated to be 370,000.
Most of the growth has been through the house church movement, where believers hold secret meetings out of fear of persecution. Iran is ranked fifth on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List of the top 50 worst persecutors of Christians.
Open Doors is an international non-profit that supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas.
For more information, visit their website:
Proposition 5 TV Ads Take Center Stage in Anchorage
Gay activists asked television stations in Anchorage, Alaska not to run certain ads encouraging people to vote no on Proposition 5 in March as the city faced a vote on a controversial law that would ban “gender-identity discrimination.”
The two 30-second TV ads that caused the stir featured animated characters. The first was a gym owner who had to let anyone use whatever locker room he or she prefers based on each person’s “gender identity.” The second was a daycare owner faced with hiring a cross-dressing applicant. A narrator said at the end, “If she hires him, she risks losing customers. And if she refuses, she can be fined or imprisoned.”
Gay activist groups asked local TV stations to ban the ads, calling them “offensive” and “dehumanizing.”
Groups on both sides ran radio and television ads.
One in 88 Children in United States Has Autism
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in 88 U.S. children have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.
The study was published in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
Researchers also found that the disorder varies by sex. Autism spectrum disorder is nearly five times more common among boys than girls, with approximately one in 54 boys diagnosed and one in 252 girls.
Autism is a developmental disability affecting the brain’s normal development of social and communication skills. Those with autism also experience restricted or repetitive behavior. The severity of symptoms varies from person to person.
Researchers are continuing to try to identify risk factors for autism and develop therapies for those with the disorder.