American Atheists faced a new kind of discrimination this week, from a Notary Public.

Managing Director Amanda Knief and President David Silverman walked into their local TD Bank to have some donation documents notarized and the notary turned them away for “personal reasons.”

Many wondered what would happen if an atheist had refused service to a Christian because of personal reasons. This story would be national and a public outcry against such discrimination would ensue. This role reversal would not be tolerated, and it shouldn’t be, just as what happened should not be tolerated.

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Episode two of “Cosmos,” hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson, aired this week. Toward the end of the program, Tyson made one of the best statements one could hope would sink into the minds of young and old viewers alike and—most importantly—creationists.

The astrophysicist proclaimed that there is no shame in admitting you do not know something and that the real shame is pretending to know everything.

Just as we saw Ken Ham do when debating evolution with Bill Nye, Ham was able to claim he knew everything Nye honestly claimed he did not know by simply saying, “Bill, I do know how X happened, it’s all explained in this book,” referencing the Bible. Ham is ashamed about the fact that he cannot admit what he does not know. Instead, he would rather go on pretending to know things he does not know, which is the definition of faith.

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When you build a skyscraper using steel beams you build it using crossbeams. When these buildings come down, there is a high chance some of those crossbeams will remain standing.

When two planes took down the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001 it should really be of no surprise steel crosses were left standing.

What should be a surprise is that someone pulled one of these from the rubble, had it then cut to look more like the Latin cross worshipped by Christians around the world, blessed by a priest and then called a “miracle.”

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What lessons can we take from the recent debacle in Arizona? What did their anti-gay bill tell us about the direction of the Christian Right in this country?

After the veto of Arizona’s bill SB 1062, the bill ready to allow religious discrimination against homosexuals by business owners, the Christian Right is fired up. However, one aspect that seems very overlooked is the fact that the right does not care as much if this law, or laws like it are signed into law. What they do care about is that they make it as far as the governor’s desk and grab national media attention.

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Arizona dodged a bullet. Their Governor Jan Brewer thankfully vetoed a very discriminatory law this week. A law that would have made discrimination, based solely on sexual orientation, legal under the premise of religious freedom.

The bill, if signed would have allowed Arizona business owners to refuse service to couples, specifically homosexual couples, if the business owner didn’t agree with their “homosexual lifestyle” because of his or her religious beliefs.

The bill did manage to make it through both houses of the State Congress and landed on Brewer’s desk. After much deliberation, the governor vetoed. Much speculation is out there as to why she vetoed, from kindness, to financial interest, even to the NFL threatening to pull the Super Bowl.

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Like it or not, atheism has become more than a “lack of belief in gods”.

Sure, if you want to pull out a dictionary you can prove me wrong and say that is all atheism is. Yet doing so would be naive as to the world we live in and ignoring the movement that is happening all around the world.

Many people want to call this movement by many names, humanism, secularism, skepticism, or your choice of label that strategically avoids the word atheist, but when your movement is made up of at least 99% atheists, guess what, you have an atheist movement.

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We are living in two Americas at once. One is progressive where politicians and states move towards equality, same-sex marriage is becoming legal one state at a time, abortion rights move in favor of a woman’s choice, and marijuana is becoming legal, making this victimless “crime” a crime no longer.

This is the America many of us dream of, a steady progression, or evolution of ideas and acceptance. It moves towards treating all people equal, giving them autonomy over their own bodies and removing stigmas from substances that have been proven to cause no harm.

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It happened. Bill Nye faced off against Ken Ham to discuss evolution versus creation. Though this had been strongly advised against, it carried on as planned. Of course, it should have because the fallout of pulling out a debate would have been worse than the debate itself.

So what happened during the debate? Did it hurt evolution? Not at all. Nye presented a powerful and strong case for why the theory of evolution is the best explanation for the diversity of life on this planet. He presented understandable slides that show geological evidence for the age of the earth and explained how species diverged over billions of years.

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This article originally appeared on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science and was later republished by Alternet.

Scientists should not debate creationists. Period. This may sound harsh but let’s start by looking at what sparked this statement. TV personality and science advocate Bill Nye (Bill Nye the Science Guy) has accepted an invitation to debate Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis / The Creation Museum on February 4, 2014 at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.

This is a bad idea and here is why.

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When it comes to American politics, most people think of two parties: the Republicans and the Democrats. Now everyone knows we have third parties, but usually people only think independents, and after the 2000 election many will reference the green party that Ralph Nader ran under.

One party that is fighting to make an impact however is the Libertarian party. However, they are not doing so as a true third party. Sure, Gary Johnson ran for president as the Libertarian candidate, but his campaign was an underfunded joke and he did not even manage to make a dent in the national election and failed to even make it on all 50 state ballots.

What we are seeing, however, is republicans running as republicans, but claiming to be Libertarians. Senators Ron Paul and his son Rand Paul are the two most famous. While holding onto their GOP electorate, they claim to fight for the libertarian agenda, arguing for smaller government, removing the government from everyone’s personal lives, etc.

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