Why Peter Singer Hates on Guide Dogs & the “Make-a-Wish” Foundation: Reflections on “The Most Good You Can Do”

Recent new stories have ranged from the absurd to the inane, and most recently, to horror. The famed neurosurgeon and current presidential candidate Ben Carson confirmed that he continues to believe — despite all evidence to the contrary — that the Egyptian pyramids were not built as graves for pharaohs, but instead were built to store grain by Joseph, a character in the biblical book of Genesis. That’s absurd. There has also been a lot of inane hubbub about Starbuck’s plain red holiday coffee c … [Read more...]

“How the Founding Fathers Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible”

This past Tuesday was Election Day. But overshadowing any voting this week is the countdown to Election Day 2016, when the ballot will include the candidates seeking to become the 45th President of the United States. So as our nation increasingly turns its attention to November 8, 2016, I would like to explore some of the roots of the partisan divide in our county using The Jefferson Rule: How the Founding Fathers Became Infallible and Our Politics Inflexible by David Sehat, an Associate P … [Read more...]

Vampires, Witches, & NPR: The Legacy of Margot Adler

I first heard Margot Adler’s voice on the radio — along with Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Lakshmi Singh, Sylvia Poggioli, Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Kai Ryssdal, and so many others. I learned their names through repetition as they signed off at the end of new stories on “Morning Edition” or “All Things Considered”: Margot Adler, NPR News, New York. There were many opportunities to hear Adler, who was an NPR reporter for more than three decades prior to her death from cancer in 2014 at the far too young an … [Read more...]

Why “Columbus Day” Should Be “Indigenous People’s Day”

In August, the County Council where I live voted by a slim 4-to-3 margin to repeal an “English-only” ordinance that had been passed in 2012. In reading the many impassioned letters to the editor about this issue, one missing component from almost all the English-only supporters was an acknowledgement of the history of this land — now called Frederick, Maryland — prior to the founding of the United States, less than 250 years ago. Many of the arguments seemed grounded in a worldview that English i … [Read more...]

“Practicing Safe Texts”: Misquoting Moses, Misquoting Jesus, Misquoting Muhammad

I try to post about Islam from time to time for at least two reasons. First, it is important to learn about the world’s second largest religion. There are approximately 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and 2.1 billion Christians. And current statistical projections have Islam on track to become the world’s largest religion by 2070. Second, there is a lot of Islamophobic misinformation that needs to be corrected. For instance, contrary to the popular stereotypes that all Muslims are Arabic and wo … [Read more...]

“Do You Really Want to Know?” From Pope Francis & Kim Davis to Copernicus, Darwin, & Marx

The singer-songwriter Peter Mayer’s tune, “Do You Really Want to Know” traces two monumental paradigm shifts in how we humans understand ourselves. The first was the Copernican Revolution in the wake of astronomer Nicolai Copernicus’ 1543 book, On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, which demonstrated that our planet is not the center of the universe. The sun, moon, and stars do not revolve around us; we are merely the third rock from the sun. And I love Mayer's lyrically imagined conversa … [Read more...]


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