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Atheists and Elvis

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Arab Spring

American Atheists, the national nonbelievers organization bringing its annual convention to Memphis this Easter, is out to prove that they're equal-opportunity religion teasers. Last December, the advocacy group got the local media salivating — and the local church community hyperventilating — by erecting a billboard depicting a grumpy-looking dark-haired girl in a Santa hat scribbling a note to the holiday elf. "All I want for Christmas is to skip church," it read. "I'm too old for fairy tales."

Earlier in March, a second billboard campaign launched depicting a happy-looking dark-haired girl wearing bunny ears with the text, "An atheist convention on Easter Weekend? Looks like we're skipping church again!"

The most recent edition features the same girl with bunny ears but is written entirely in Arabic. The translation: "An atheist convention featuring Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Easter Weekend? Looks like we're skipping mosque again!"

Ali is a Somali-born politician, activist, and fellow at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

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Neverending Elvis

From wads of hair to rare recordings, Elvis is always for sale. This week, Julien's Auctions announced the impending sale of a TCB tour bus Elvis bought for J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, a gospel group that sometimes doubled as the King's backing vocalists. The fully restored bus, which Sumner decked out like a rolling Elvis shrine, was in at least one accident — when Presley took the wheel and summarily drove the bus into a cornfield.

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