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On the Margin of Error

Link Round-Up 10/26/2014

From IS to Truman Copote, from Hirohito to Malala Yusafzai, this is the most recent round of link-round-ups.

Love, Joy, Feminism

Counseling in the Hands of Emotionally Abusive Parents

One summer home from college, my parents insisted that I meet with our pastor. I was questioning evangelicalism and exploring other Christian faith traditions, and my parents were very concerned about me. So they set up a meeting and sent me off. I could have refused, I suppose, but I was living with them and dependent on them for transportation, so I really wan't in a place to put up too much of a fuss.

Natural Wonderers

Is It Possible to Be ‘Neutral’ When Talking About Religion?

In a post last week, I suggested that the world would be better off if more people presented religion to children not from a standpoint of indoctrination, but from a standpoint of education — that is, in a relatively neutral way. The post prompted a skeptical commenter to question whether this was possible. He said: How do you ensure [Read More...]

Friendly Atheist

Is It the Year 2014 A.D. or 2014 C.E.? One Hard-to-Offend Atheist Offers an Alternative (of Sorts)

When I say that we all have gaps in our knowledge, of course that's meant to make my knowledge deficits sound no worse than yours. But sometimes I wonder.A few weeks ago, I beheld the term C.E. (coupled with a four-digit calendar year) for the first time. Oh, I'd seen it before, and had easily inferred from the context that it meant the same as A.D., but I suddenly realized I didn't know what the two letters stood for. So I Googled it.Common era. Also, B.C.E.: Before Common Era. Right.They did strike me as fine inventions on one level: I can appreciate that they offer neutral alternatives to what I and probably billions of other people have been taught in school over the generations: the quintessentially Christian terminology of B.C. (Before Christ) and A.D. (Anno Domini = the Year of the Lord).But both sets of terms still take as their zero point the birth of the (possibly fictional) Christian savior, so I couldn't quite see how we'd booked real progress in disassociating ourselves from normative Christianity.And neither, it turns out, can this guy.

Year Without God

Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi and the importance of religious reform

The selection of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi as co-recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was widely hailed as a victory for the human rights of children, and especially girls. I was personally thrilled with the choice, having been charmed by Malala’s many interviews following the publication of her autobiography, I Am Malala. I [Read More...]

Mr. Deity's Diary


Dear Diary: Played the back nine at Augusta today with Zeus. Larry had to caddy for both of us as Zeus’ boy had been abducted by one of the other Greek Gods the night before and was having a hard time walking. Growing tired of Zeus’ stories, which inevitably end up with him “nailing” some [Read More...]


Death by a Thousand Emotional Microtransactions

How much do you care what people think of you? How much do you care what people you’ve never met think of you? How much do you care what people you’ve never met think about any individual choice you make or opinion you share? How much do you care what people you’ve never met think [Read More...]

Progressive Secular Humanist

Texas: Next Lieutenant Governor believes God speaks through ‘Duck Dynasty’

Republican Texas lieutenant governor candidate Sen. Dan Patrick is crazy for Jesus, which makes him at once both dangerous, and absurd. By all accounts, Patrick, a two-term state senator running for lieutenant governor, is destined to win the November election for lieutenant governor, assuming the office of what many argue is the most powerful political [Read More...]

NonProphet Status

Playlist Celebrating Vlad’s Return

For the past two weeks-ish, our benevolent dictator, Vlad, has been gone doing real world things at the North Carolina State Fair. But starting next week, he’s back! Celebrate all weekend with the NPS Celebrates Vlad’s Return playlist! “In Kind” by BRAIDS This understated art rock track by Montreal-based BRAIDS is the perfect way to slow-start any playlist. I particularly [Read More...]

Godless in Dixie

God Does Exist

A couple of summers ago I spent entirely too much time in online discussion groups arguing with people about whether or not gods exist. I say “gods” because there were several being debated. Of course, where I live, everyone safely assumes that only one particular deity is even on the table for discussion. But the [Read More...]

What Would JT Do (WWJTD)

All day Extra Life stream! Raising money for sick children!

Total so far: $1,104/$2,500 Most recent donor: Adam $100 Ok, we’re gaming to raise money for sick children! Watch live video from JTEberhard on For those who don’t know about the Extra Life movement, here’s a video that tells the story: Here’s the situation: I blogged yesterday how I would be starting my fundraiser [Read More...]

Camels with Hammers

Responses To Claims That LGBT Labels “Shouldn’t Matter”

Lala Stone is a journalism masters degree candidate at the University of Texas at Austin. In response to my fairly widely read post from the summer Why Do We Need Labels Like “Gay”, “Bi”, “Trans”, and “Cis”? she sent me some interview questions for a long form article she’s writing about sexual minorities who refuse to [Read More...]

Rational Doubt

Back to the Future

Editor’s Note: “Brian,” the seminary student who wasn’t, sends an instructive and reassuring letter to his younger self about his life course. The message: Life is complex and trusting your gut is better than cursing and dismissing your doubts.                             ========================== To:      Brian at age 18 From: Grown up Brian Re:      Priceless Insight and Advice [Read More...]

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