Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. He is a former National Board Certified high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, where he taught for seven years.
Hemant has appeared on CNN and FOX News Channel (really). He has served on the board of directors for Foundation Beyond Belief (a charity organization targeting non-theistic donors) and was the chair of the board of the Secular Student Alliance (which creates and supports college atheist groups nationwide).
Earlier this month, the Secular Coalition for America announced a bracket with 16 state bills promoting religion through the government. Over several days, voters could choose the “Worst State Bill.” Today, they announced the winner: Mississippi’s House Bill 786. Officially known as the “Mississippi Church Protection Act,” it would allow churches to create a security team with lethal power in order to kill possible intruders. Members of that team would then be “immune from civil liability” in case anything went wrong. Read more
Last year, following the lead of Republicans in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama, Tennessee State Rep. Jerry Sexton filed a bill to make the Holy Bible the official state book: House Bill 615 didn’t ultimately go anywhere. It passed in the House, but the Senate did nothing with it, in part because even Attorney General Herbert Slatery said it was unconstitutional. But a Republican politician now wants to try again. Read more
The Quakertown Area School District in Pennsylvania is having one of those meaningless fights about being fair and balanced in science classrooms. But it’s not about evolution this time; it’s about climate change. The school board’s curriculum committee says it wants to adopt a textbook that shines a light on the “debate” surrounding global warming: Read more
Taslima Nasreen is an atheist who holds little back in her public criticism of religion, especially Islam. The Bangladeshi-born author left the country more than two decades ago, now lives in India, and has been threatened multiple times since then. Yet she continues to speak out in defense of women and freethought. For a while now, a group called the “All India Human Rights and Social Justice Front” has been trying to deport her and revoke her visa so she can never return. Read more
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: An atheist doesn’t want to take an oath to God in a courtroom, preferring instead to put his hand on the Constitution. Somehow this creates a scene, as if he’s making some over-the-top request. The only different is that, this time, it’s happening in India: Read more