IN MEMORIAM: “Atheist Stephen Hawking Fed Homeless People in Church During His Funeral” ☮

When Stephen Hawking passed away, some Christians jumped at the chance to slam the world-famous cosmologist for his outspoken atheism.

I wonder how they’d feel after learning that, as his last act on this Earth, he fed 50 homeless people in a church and donated money to feed even more.

Hawking and his family arranged for dozens of homeless people to be fed during his funeral at the Wesley Methodist Church in Cambridge. The three-course meal included a note that said it was a “gift from Stephen.”

The scientist’s daughter Lucy Hawking contacted the charity, Food Cycle Cambridge, to tell them the family planned to make a donation so that people would be sitting down for a “hot meal on Stephen” while the funeral took place, the charity said.

A Food Cycle spokeswoman said the donation would, in fact, go towards far more meals than the 50 provided on the day, but she would not disclose how much cash was donated.

“The guests on Saturday were so surprised and touched by the family’s gesture and raised a glass to Stephen before tucking into lunch.”

That’s right, religious fundamentalists eager to use the brilliant theoretical physicist’s death to promote your own beliefs: Hawking’s legacy will include acts of kindness and respect, regardless of religious or spiritual differences, and charity to those who are less fortunate. It almost sounds like something a certain Middle Eastern carpenter might do.

Hawking took the high road on the way out of this world. It’s too bad his critics are stuck in the gutter.

So next time you are in a tough ethical quandary, just ask yourself: What would Hawking Do?

h/t: Friendly Atheist

ATHEISM: “Why African-Americans Associate with Christianity” / Atheist Experience / Tracie Harris and Phil Session ☮

CRITICAL THINKING: “A Frustratingly Dishonest Theist Caller” / Matt Dillahunty and Don Baker / The Atheist Experience

CHRONIC TRAMATIC ENCEPHALOPATHY: “For Ravens’ John Urschel, Playing in the N.F.L. No Longer Adds Up” ☮

One of the N.F.L.’s smartest players did the math and decided to retire after just three years in the league.

John Urschel, an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens who received much publicity for his off-season pursuit of a doctorate in math at M.I.T., told the team on Thursday that he was hanging up his cleats at 26.

Urschel’s agent, Jim Ivler, said Urschel was overwhelmed with interview requests but would not be speaking to the news media. On Twitter, Urschel wrote that “there is no big story here” and that the decision to retire was not an easy one to make, but “it was the right one for me.”

He added that he planned to return to school full time in the fall, “to take courses that are only offered in the fall semester” and spend time with his fiancée, who is expecting their first child in December.

Urschel’s decision came two days after the release of a study in which all but one of 111 brains of former N.F.L. players showed signs of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated hits to the head.

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