Doctors Work Tirelessly, Then God Performs Breathtaking Miracle

"I tell everyone, if they want to call it a modern-day miracle, this is a miracle," said Regan, 59, and a Catholic. "I have friends who are atheists who have called me and said, 'I am going back to church.' " I know some part of this is the simple desire to express boundless gratitude that a loved one survived. And another part is the ridiculous "drama" writing on the part of the reporter. But after a while, it just gets tedious. Like the 20th time you've seen an "evil twin" episode on a TV … [Read more...]

Indian, Martyr, Healer, Saint

Reporter Alyssa Newcomb penned a deeply embarrassing bit of silliness at ABCNews.com yesterday. First American Indian on Track Toward Sainthood Jake Finkbonner was near death for months with a flesh eating bacteria, but made a miraculous recovery that the Vatican credited to The Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, marking the second miracle for the 17th century Mohawk-Algonquin woman and clearing the way for her to become the first American-Indian saint. Pope Benedict XVI signed a decree Monday … [Read more...]

ABC’s Freak of the Week

Read this whole post before you click on the link at the end. And then think twice about clicking on the link. Seriously. It's disgusting, disturbing, and I'm including it only to make a point about something I think is even more disgusting and disturbing. No, I don't think this baby is a freak. I think he has a horrifying condition that would put a literal saint in a difficult ethical position, much less ordinary human parents. … [Read more...]

Values … Without God

The Foundation for a Better Life, at Values.com, has some TV spots I really like, about human values. The unexpected part is that, as near as I can tell, the purpose of the videos is to introduce viewers to simple lessons about decent behavior ... without at the same time attempting to shove Jesus down your throat. A sample: I couldn't figure out how to embed this one, which I could only find on the original site, but it's pretty good too. Something I said in my book Red Neck Blue Collar … [Read more...]

Argh.

Something I've been saying for years in private, and will now say again in public, is that I think humans, mostly, are not really very bright. I think we have what I call "fractional intelligence." The rare Einstein or Newton pops up from the great mass of us and does something brilliant, but for the most part, we're intellectual also-rans, riding on the coattails of the smart ones. And even the brightest among us don't shine all the time. Human intelligence is a sort of collaborative effort. I … [Read more...]

How To Be Wrong — Part 4 of 4

apology

Part 1 — Part 2 — Part 3 — Part 4 The most basic fact about an apology is that it’s a social act. Both the mistake that inspires it and the apology itself are carried out on a stage on which more than one person is involved. Meaning: An apology must be given, and it must be received. Which means there is a dynamic between apologizer and apologizee, or mistake-maker and mistake victim (or audience). If we believe, as I think we do, that the maker of a mistake has some sort of … [Read more...]

Is This Tailor-Made for PZ Myers’ Christmas List?

PZ, I know you'd love this. Admit it. Air plant pods. But they look like CEPHALOPODS!   … [Read more...]

Post-Hitch Dumbfuckery

Among many others, I read the piece on ABCNews.com about Hitch's death. The comments there and elsewhere have been mainly positive and even reverential, but some crossed over into the nasty. It's their right to say such stuff, certainly. But it's also ... revealing, let's say. These are verbatim, by the way: … [Read more...]

So Long, You Magnificent Sonofabitch

Well, shit. Woke up at 5 a.m. with a 50-mph wind roaring outside my window. Rolled over and picked up my phone to check the weather, and was immediately assaulted with Facebook posts praising Hitch. Clicked over to a news page and saw it. Dead at 62. Damn. Many times during my younger life, I asked the people around me "If there was a pill you could take that would make it possible for you to live forever, would you take it?" And I've been amazed at the answers, which consisted of a large … [Read more...]

Tax the Pope? Hey, It Could Happen!

Bloody hell. The European Humanist Federation estimates that the tax advantages of the Catholic Churches costs the Italian government 6 billion euros a year — roughly $7.8 billion US. Could that change? Well ... Italian Catholic Church under pressure to start paying property tax … [Read more...]