Please Don’t Plan to Picket Fred Phelps’ Funeral

Phelps1

Word is that Fred Phelps Sr., the founder of Westboro Baptist Church, is dying. His estranged son Nathan Phelps, reported on Facebook: I've learned that my father, Fred Phelps, Sr., pastor of the "God Hates Fags" Westboro Baptist Church, was ex-communicated from the "church" back in August of 2013. He is now on the edge of death at Midland Hospice house in Topeka, Kansas. I'm not sure how I feel about this. Terribly ironic that his devotion to his god ends this way. Destroyed by the … [Read more...]

Grieving Mother Mistreated by Heartless Atheists

crosses

Here's this article: Atheists Fight With Grieving Mom Over Roadside Crosses. Son dies in a auto accident at the age of 19, grief-stricken mother erects a memorial of crosses and flowers on city property, humanist group asks city council to disallow it. Good call? Bad call? Commenting on Facebook, Sinis Tergrin weighs in: I think it's pretty mean spirited to target a grieving mother. What kind of person complains about this based on the "separation of church and state"?? I thought we in … [Read more...]

Feeling the Pain of the Rich and Famous

PSH

Apparently actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died. He ROCKED "Capote," but hell, I liked him as far back as "Boogie Nights." There seems to be some doubt about his death: Yep, dead: Philip Seymour Hoffman found dead with needle in arm Nope, alive: Philip Seymour Hoffman Death Hoax ... but his Wikipedia page lists him as deceased, so I'm going with that. Considering it a "teachable moment," I said something unflattering about Whitney Houston back when she died of an overdose: "Whitney, … [Read more...]

Killing People, With Kindness

euthanasia

Watch this video of a 94-year-old man in an epic 65-meter footrace last year. Would it sadden you to know the winner, European masters athletics champion Emiel Pauwels, is now dead? And that he deliberately ended his own life a week or so ago? 95-year-old ‘Belgian Bolt’ holds big party before ending life by euthanasia In his hometown of Bruges he held a big party with friends and family two days before his death – and even downed two glasses of champagne for the … [Read more...]

It’s Starting to Look Like Christie is Toast

Here it is: Crimes were probably committed. Chris Christie Scandal Is An 'Impeachable Offense' If He Knew “Using the George Washington Bridge, a public resource, to exact a political vendetta, is a crime,’ New Jersey Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D) said. ‘Having people use their official position to have a political game is a crime. So if those tie back to the governor in any way, it clearly becomes an impeachable offense.’ ” Subpoenas are going out, including to the woman … [Read more...]

Yeah, About That “Atheism as Intellectual Luxury” Thing

rich

So ... THIS got written: Atheism is an intellectual luxury for the wealthy It starts with the writer's Reasoning Guy bona fides. An atheist at 16, Chris Arnade sneered at religion, even later becoming an actual scientist. Three years later I did escape my town, eventually receiving a PhD in physics, and then working on Wall Street for 20 years. A life devoted to rational thought, a life devoted to numbers and clever arguments. During that time I counted myself an atheist and nodded in … [Read more...]

Atheist Christmas Present from William Lane Craig

Fox Snooze

Eye roll. Fox Snooze gives us William Lane Craig writing A Christmas gift for atheists – five reasons why God exists. He starts out, annoyingly enough, with this: For atheists, Christmas is a religious sham. For if God does not exist, then obviously Jesus’ birth cannot represent the incarnation of God in human history, which Christians celebrate at this time of year. However, most atheists, in my experience, have no good reasons for their disbelief. Rather they’ve learned to simply … [Read more...]

God Crashes Train, Kills Four. Oh, wait …

rail crash

This story caught my eye because it happened fairly close to a place in the Bronx I drive to every weekday. New York's subway system covers the city itself, but also extends itself about 75 miles north to Poughkeepsie. This part of it is called "Metro North," and is a particular convenience to people who work in the city but choose to live a hour or so away in cheaper, safer towns. That train derailed Sunday morning, injuring scores of people and killing four. Taking a 30-mph curve at 80 … [Read more...]

Dying to Escape Hasidic Judaism

tambor

Generally I aim my verbal volleys at the Christian world, with the occasional whack at Islam. But this caught my attention after my recent riff on Hasidic Jews in Beta Culture: To Not Be Owned: Outcast Mother’s Death, and Questions About Jewish Sect’s Sway Over Children A women who left an ultra-orthodox Jewish sect committed suicide in September. Ms. Tambor, 33, had forsaken the Hasidic Jewish world in which she was raised and married, a decision that undermined her relationship with … [Read more...]

Is Handling Poisonous Snakes a Constitutional Right?

snakes

Pentecostal Pastors Argue 'Snake Handling' Is Their Religious Right Is it? I'm going to say yes, with certain reservations. 1) The snakes should be protected. 2) Anyone handling them should be experts licensed by the state in which the church exists. 3) The church offering the activity has to have insurance that covers accidents and liability — just as fireworks displays and rodeos have to have insurance — so that if the snakes escape, or if someone is injured or killed during … [Read more...]