The Author of The Cranston High School Prayer Outraged

This week, Jessica Ahlquist and the ACLU won their court case against Cranston High School West in Rhode Island. The school was ordered to immediately remove a banner containing an official school prayer addressed to “Our Heavenly Father” and ending in “Amen”, which hung over the school gymnasium as an unambiguous endorsement of the Christian [Read More...]

Marshmallow Man Thinks Michelle Obama Is Fat

UPDATE: The second quote below (with references to swimsuit models and Alex Rodriguez) is not from the Congressman, as I first reported, but from Rush Limbaugh. Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (pictured above) was reportedly overheard saying of Michelle Obama: She lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself And Rush Limbaugh put [Read More...]

In Memory of Christopher Hitchens, A Nietzschean Lion

Christopher Hitchens was not fond of Nietzsche. When I picked up his Portable Atheist I flipped to the table of contents to see what Nietzsche selections he’d included. And saw none. None?? Possibly the most famous, unabashed, and irreverent atheist of all time was not worthy of inclusion in Hitchens’s compendium? A brief remark found [Read More...]

Kentucky Church Excludes Interracial Couples

Is there any evil at all that the alleged Christian God, who is allegedly love itself, can prevent those who worship him from committing? He cannot even make it so that in 2011, all his American churches have caught up with repudiating racism? Before stepping down as pastor in August, Thompson told Harville that her fiance [Read More...]

On Not-Pologies, Forgiveness, and Gelato

Kinds of Forgiveness Let’s start with the theoretical. How should we characterize forgiveness, and when and why should we forgive people? Full forgiveness involves three things: 1. Waiving all just moral and/or legal penalties, including all forms of restitution and compensation, that we would normally demand for wrongdoing. 2. Restoring amicable emotional, social, and/or professional [Read More...]

Atheists Perceived As Less Trustworthy Than Rapists??

I may have underestimated in the past just how bad misperceptions of us are: Consider one of the experiments. One hundred and five students read a brief vignette about a man who fails to take responsibility when he hits a parked van with his car, and then pockets money from a wallet he finds on [Read More...]

The Eeriest Protest (Or Is It A Shaming?)

First some background. As you have likely seen by now, on Friday police pepper sprayed students at UC Davis: In response to that, one blogger suggested pepper spraying is torture. Do you think so? Also an assistant professor in English at the school, Nathan Brown, wrote an open letter to the Chancellor Linda Katehi. Linda [Read More...]

Is The Use of Pepper Spray Torture?

Yesterday digby discussed various cases of the use of pepper spray to argue that it is obviously torture. Is it torture? If it is torture but in some cases it could foreseeably prevent an altercation with greater likelihood of long term physical damage could it be justified nonetheless?  Is it only unjustified when applied to non-violent [Read More...]

Bullying or Debating? Religious Privilege or Freedom of Speech?

Jaime: Did you see the Republicans just endorsed the right to bully in schools as long as it’s done in the name of religion. Kelly: They did not. Jaime: Yes. They did. They perversely added to anti-bullying bill the right to bully as long as such bullying was based on “sincerely held religious or moral convictions.” [Read More...]


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