This week in Religion

My new weekly column for AlterNet will highlight the most insane news headlines from the religious right.If Christianity had its own PR flack, he would be slamming his fist on the desk right about now, as the faithful are spinning out of control. A Tennessee man, Ronnie Monday, and his friends thought they were doing the " Lord’s work," by raising money to erect a massive billboard in the town of Portland that called homosexuality an abomination. It quotes Leviticus 18:22: “You shall not lie … [Read more...]

We cannot ignore that religion plays a major role in child abuse

Photo: anieto2k

My friend M. Dolan Hickmon wrote the following article for Faith Street. In the article he discussed the harsh reality of the punishment many parents around the world carry out because of the examples set by their communities, their own parents and also their church. For me, the photos of the injuries Adrian Peterson inflicted on his young son stirred a particularly difficult memory: In it, I stand at the foot of my parent’s bed, frail and blond. Behind me, my father utters yet another m … [Read more...]

Ken Ham climbs into bed with white supremacist group

Is Ken Ham in bed with white supremacists?According to a blog posted on Americans United’s blog, he seems to be: We don’t know how Ken Ham feels about white supremacists, but he clearly has no problem partnering with one. If the company you keep says a lot about you, what does Ham’s relationship with Michael Peroutka say about him? Michael Peroutka is the founder of the Institute of the Constitution, a Christian nationalist group that supports white supremacists, and Peroutka is a current m … [Read more...]

Ken Ham wants to sell you a book he hasn’t bothered to write yet


Ken Ham knows a cash cow when he sees it, and that is one major reason I was against the Bill Nye debate as much as I was.Ham has announced that he has a new book available for pre-order. Being hailed as the “tell-all” book about the debate Ham says: Popular AiG speaker and author Bodie Hodge (my son-in-law) and I have written what we believe is a unique and powerful book about the debate — not just dealing with the content of the debaters, but detailing behind the scenes and personal inform … [Read more...]

If you’re going to call Richard Dawkins sexist you have to actually address sexism

An opinion piece in The Guardian by fellow Patheos blogger Adam Lee focused on the recent controversy surrounding Richard Dawkins, in which Lee accused Dawkins of being ignorant and sexist.Much like Lee, I came to atheism on my own and Dawkins played a major role in my activism, but unlike Lee, I am not ditching Dawkins for simple disagreements.Lee would most likely argue that these are not simple disagreements however as he seems to have joined the ranks of Ophelia Benson and PZ Myers … [Read more...]

The right is now trying to silence spanking critics

Adrian Peterson Photo: Mike Morbeck

Spanking is not a simple left and right issue. Yet that seems to be what Nancy French wants you to believe it is. Writing for the conservative propaganda machine the National Review, Nancy claims the left is spinning the issue of spanking at the time of the heightened outrage, and, “their story doesn’t even have to be true to be effective.”But what is not true? As I did in a previous post I pointed out the over 100 studies that show spanking is harmful. The consensus among psychologists is cl … [Read more...]

Yale Humanist group was wrong in trying to silence free speech rights

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

There was a lot of controversy this week over Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at Yale University. Originally Yale’s Muslim Students Association (MSA) spoke out against Hirsi Ali speaking claiming she lacked the credentials to speak on Islamic matters.This came as no surprise given that Hirsi Ali is critical of Islam and the MSA would want to do everything to silence any speech that criticized their faith. What did seem to shock everyone, as JT Eberhard points out, was to see the Yale H … [Read more...]

Stop trying to replace religion and instead make humanism something more

Photo: Joe Ravi / CC-BY-SA 3.0

I was critical of the idea of “atheist churches” when The Sunday Assembly made its big announcement, and I remained critical until I visited one during their US tour that brought them to my hometown.While I did enjoy myself, I wrote in a review for that I felt it was a little to church like and I did not really enjoy the singing and music because I felt as though I was back in church. However, I acknowledged then and now that this was not enough of a reason to write off The Sun … [Read more...]

Obama putting troops on the ground to combat Ebola outbreak

Photo: Screenshot

President Obama today announced his plans to combat Ebola, something that he sees a National Security Issue.I want to cite former labor secretary Robert Reich here, who posted on Facebook: President Obama calls the Ebola epidemic in West Africa a “national security crisis” and is sending 3,000 military troops to Liberia, where the epidemic is spiraling fastest out of control. According to a senior White House official, “the U.S. military will bring unique capabilities,” establishing a milita … [Read more...]

Climate science is missing in the US educational system


In what seems like an uphill battle to tackle climate change in the United States we often look towards future generations who should be much more scientifically literate and are much more liberal in their politics, meaning they will not simply tow the party line and deny climate change, but accept the overwhelming amount of evidence that supports it.One troubling aspect of this though is the lack of education in climate change that is being taught from K-12 and even through college and … [Read more...]