I have already recorded a video giving my immediate post-theater reactions to The Force Awakens and written out a spoiler-free review of the movie. Now I’m writing analyses of various aspects of the movie one by one. Here’s my take on the treatment of Luke Skywalker in the film. Read more

Come discuss Star Wars with us by joining the Camels With Hammers closed Facebook group for people who have seen The Force Awakens or don’t mind learning spoilers. This is my review that spoils no plot points. The closest to spoiling plot beyond the very basic things in commercials already is to note that a few things one might have hoped are in the film are simply missing or virtually missing. If you’d like to watch my video talking in spoiler-full terms about the film, it’s here. The… Read more

Lex and I got to see The Force Awakens tonight because it premiered in France today. I was going to first write a spoiler-free review but I was so hyped up with my frustrations that I wanted to vent them up front and I can’t really explain what’s wrong with the movie without talking about it in detail. So this video is my fresh out of the theater ranting with Lex response to the things that the movie did, and… Read more

Jon Stewart returned to The Daily Show last night to chronicle his trip to Capitol Hill to lobby Republican Senators who are refusing to support funding for the renewal of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act which for 5 years has provided funding for 9/11 first responders suffering illnesses most likely contracted at Ground Zero but which required renewal this autumn. Check out the videos below for your daily dose of information about how despicable hypocritical right wing politicians exploit patriotic… Read more

The show Adam Ruins Everything has a humorous and informative clip from the show in which they debunk common myths about hymens and speak out against vile, invasive “virginity tests”. Even if you knew most of this information, as I did, this is a terrific resource for remedial sex education for your friends and family members and, in particular, the young people and bigots in your lives. If the schools in our country won’t educate about sex, it’s up to… Read more

When my ex-Muslim friends today were giving glowing reviews to Asra Nomani for her courageous and insightful appearance on Meet the Press yesterday, I was led to investigate the declaration from Muslim Reform Movement, of which she was a cosignatory. And I was blown away by it. It is a wonderful declaration, in many ways far surpassing the low bar of “moderate religiosity” that all too many progressives, in the thrall of religious privilege and a bigotry of low expectations, are… Read more

A personal account of a moderate Muslim’s dilemma with blasphemy. Read more

I have two SIX students committing to attend a new section of Philosophy of Religion in December 2015. I am aiming to make this round of the class specifically as a philosophical counter-apologetics treatment of the subject, designed to specificlaly help deconverts from religion and other non-believers understand the intricacies of the best theistic philosophy of religion arguments and the best counterarguments to them. My tentativesettled plan is to hold this class on Friday nights 8pm-10pm 10pm-12am Eastern Time. (We’ll work out… Read more

This is a guest post by Chris Attaway.  Deconversion can be a difficult process, not least because the people around you are oftentimes less than understanding. This is doubly the case if you deconvert after a bad experience, because people will assume that you deconverted strictly because of that experience. I’ve certainly had people assume I converted because of bad people. The truth is, yes, certain morally repugnant Christians did move me along the path to deconversion — but not… Read more

This is a guest post by Hiba Krisht, an ex-Muslim writer and bisexual woman. It is adapted with her permission from her response on Facebook to this meme: Look, if we’re going to expound upon the virtues of meticulously and accurately acknowledging the multifaceted character of Muslim belief and practice, then when we do that we simply can’t cherry-pick for ourselves which aspects of Islam we want to acknowledge and which ones we want to minimize or rationalize away. We… Read more

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