and the apparent reason cited is the election of President Obama: “Now is the time to strike,” said playwright Tracey Scott Wilson, whose play “The Good Negro” about the civil rights movement had a successful off-Broadway run this year.The election of the first black U.S. president is having an enormous influence on culture and theater, Wilson said. “Obama is everywhere,” she said. “This is a seismic event.” Some plays shown off-Broadway include “Ruined” by New York playwright Lynn Nottage, about… Read more

Via Open Left comes these remarks (worth reading in full) from Clio Bluestocking on the appallingly shallow and badly framed ways that her students are conceiving of the abolitionist movement: For example, in the past few years, I have read essays that refer to the conditions of slavery as a “lifestyle.” I have read essays framing the strengths and weaknesses of the different methods of anti-slavery societies as the successes or failures of the members’ determination, perseverance, and work ethic…. Read more

Rod Dreher stresses that he has nothing but good will towards Evangelicals and does not mean to bash them but nonetheless relays these interesting critiques of the movement from a couple of former Evangelicals who wound up becoming Orthodox after disaffection with contemporary Evangelical marketing and practices: I pointed to a particular megachurch, and told a story about how a young Evangelical friend decided he’d had enough of that place, and megachurch Christianity, on the day he was watching the… Read more

From ScienceBlogs’ Ed Brayton. The law states, in part: 36. Publication or utterance of blasphemous matter. (1) A person who publishes or utters blasphemous matter shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable upon conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €100,000. [Amended to €25,000] (2) For the purposes of this section, a person publishes or utters blasphemous matter if (a) he or she publishes or utters matter that is grossly abusive or insulting in relation to… Read more

Anyone who cites a film’s being “depressing” as a fatal criticism of said film immediately conveys to me that we will never, in a million years, be simpatico.  Jon Canter has a piece in The Guardian on the topic and he profiles Charlie Kaufman’s latest masterpiece: Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York is a feelbad classic. I’ve seen it twice and urge you to do the same. Both times it gave me a mid-life crisis. But that’s a recommendation. I’m 56…. Read more

In the context of trying to make sense of the Palin phenomenon and her recent resignation, Andrew Sullivan perfectly sums up the problem with the current state of America’s right wing establishment: And this helps explain the broader problem with American conservatism right now. It is less a movement than an industry. From Fox News to talk radio to conservative publishing houses, it has created an alternate and lucrative media reality that is worth a fortune to those able to… Read more

Camels With Hammers is honored to be included in the current “Carnival of the Godless”–a blog carnival which features atheism blogs. Thanks to StateofProtest for running the carnival!  I highly recommend you peruse some of the blogs profiled there. We also have been remiss in not mentioning sooner that we are now on The Atheist Blogroll. Many thanks to Mojoey both for maintaining the blogroll and especially for admitting us to it.  We’ll be adding the logo soon and we… Read more

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Of course by now we should all know not to believe anything we read in chain e-mails, but since they still show up with hysterical claims rather frequently, it always helps to have facts on hand for those who send them to us. So, here is Politifact’s investigation of the chain e-mail claim that “The ACLU has filed a suit to have all military cross-shaped headstones removed” with a thorough refutation that led to their classifying the rumor as a… Read more

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