Small-Town Blowhard Kills Jesus

I wrote a piece for my local newspaper some weeks back, and it came out today in the Times Union newspaper of Albany, New York: Atheists Aim for Goodness.Anytime you have a letter or an opinion piece on atheism in your local paper — something well worth doing, by the way — you get a storm of letters in response. Nice Christians diligently explain why you can't possibly be right, and how you have no logical basis for your atheism, and even how there are no such things as real atheists.The fol … [Read more...]

In Which I Admit to Being Wrong

Kudos to the lot of you! I’m more than a little pleased with how the discussion worked out in comments to my Liberal Knees post about the burkha.All of the comments were thoughtful, most were lengthy, and none of them were flames against me or the other readers/commenters.Best of all, I learned some stuff, and I hope others did too. There were more nuances in the issue than my simple formulation of “I don’t get to wear a mask in public; I don’t think anyone else should.”Most telling was the … [Read more...]

Stilling the Jerk of My Liberal Knees

Look at this picture (click to embiggen) of a woman arrested in France for refusing to remove her veil. A tiny, defenseless woman, a plucky warrior for the rights of a minority to live and breathe free, is manhandled by racist government thugs.It came up on my Facebook wall recently, from a group called the Muslim Defense League (MDL) United We Stand, Divided We Fall (“Fighting against racism, fascism and oppression”).The photo caption was “A Muslima is arrested in France for refusing to remo … [Read more...]

If NASA Made Home Movies

Big-screen this and watch. … [Read more...]

The Great Debate

I went to the “great debate” – Does God Exist? – last night at Binghamton University in Upstate New York. The event was double-hosted by the Campus Bible Fellowship and the Secular Student Alliance.Ex-Mormon Erin M. and I caught a ride with Michael McElroy, all members of the local atheist Meet-Up group, Capital Region Atheists and Agnostics. Nice trip, the both of you. I enjoyed the wide-ranging conversation immensely. Sorry I fell asleep on the late-night return trip; hey, I’m old. —Oh, yeah, … [Read more...]

Earth Day 2012: Thoughts Like Falling Leaves

[This is a reprint of a piece I did several years ago, slightly edited for 2012.]Leaf OneCon games and sleight-of-hand magic work because, one, we humans only have so much attention to spare at any one moment, and two, they direct that attention deliberately in one direction. If you look at where the finger points, you miss … well, everything else.Like the movie teen backing through a darkened doorway in the serial killer’s lair, we focus intently on one thing while something more imp … [Read more...]


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