Speaking at Long Island Atheists

LIAtheistsSpeaking

Two weeks from today, I'll be speaking on Long Island about secular morality, courtesy of the Long Island Atheists Meetup Group. If you're in the area, come out and see me!WHAT: Secular Morality in the Modern Age WHEN: Saturday, August 15, 2015, 4:00 PM WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Central Nassau, 223 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, NYNo admission charge. Donations welcomed. … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Bare Branches

IcyBranches2

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter III've written about the things that shouldn't be present in Galt's Gulch but somehow are: handmade tractors, orange groves, an entire industrial infrastructure that seemingly sprang up out of nothing. However, just as important is what's not there, because Ayn Rand either didn't grasp the necessity or simply overlooked it. And one of those lacunae is a huge one.Rand unintentionally betrays the depth of the problem when Dagny asks Ragnar Danneskjold how … [Read more...]

There’s No Religious Freedom to Refuse Service

BirthControlPills

Last week in Washington state, another special religious privilege bit the dust. The Ninth Circuit appeals court ruled unanimously that a pharmacist doesn't have the right to refuse to fill a prescription for emergency contraception:A unanimous three-judge 9th Circuit panel on Thursday decided that the rules are constitutional because they rationally further the state's interest in patient safety. Speed is particularly important considering the time-sensitive nature of emergency … [Read more...]

The Cognitive Dissonance of Pro-LGBT Christians

RainbowFlag

My post last week asking LGBT people and allies why they still consider themselves Christian touched off a firestorm. Both in the comments here and on Twitter, I got a flood of responses from liberal Christians - some polite and friendly, others extraordinarily hostile and aggressive.There were several objections that came up repeatedly. I want to gather these common objections so I can respond to them in one place:There are LGBT-friendly and inclusive Christian churches. This was a … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: The Half-Made World

Something I've often wondered is why so many great or classic fantasy stories are set in a real or fictionalized Europe. Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis' Narnia series, Robert E. Howard's Conan series, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, The Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell... the list goes on and on. And it can't just be chalked up to European fantasy authors being more popular, since some of the authors of these … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Jolly Roger

PirateShip

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IILeft alone in John Galt's house, Dagny is cooking breakfast when a visitor arrives:She was setting the table, when she saw the figure of a man hurrying up the path to the house, a swift, agile figure that leaped over boulders with the casual ease of a flight. He threw the door open, calling, "Hey, John!" — and stopped short as he saw her. He wore a dark blue sweater and slacks, he had gold hair and a face of such shocking perfection of beauty that s … [Read more...]

The Manhattan Option

In retrospect, the coming of marriage equality to America may well be the high-water mark of religious influence. This was the one social change that Christians fought against harder than any other, and they still failed to stop it. It's not a stretch to conclude that this will irreversibly taint their moral credibility in the eyes of future generations, even if they come to terms with it - and there's precious little evidence that they have any intention of doing that.Even before this … [Read more...]

Pro-Gay Christians, Wouldn’t Atheism Be Easier?

ProAndAntiGayChristians

I have to wonder what could possibly be motivating gay and gay-affirming Christians to stay in the church. Last week, another one was unceremoniously tossed out:Julie Rodgers rocked the evangelical world last year when Wheaton College announced they would be hiring the celibate gay Christian as an associate for spiritual care in the Chaplain's office. In a new blog post, Rodgers announces her affirmation of same-sex relationships and marriage equality.And Wheaton College says Rodgers … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Beneath the Skin

Between Florence + the Machine, Quiet Company, and Metric this fall, 2015 is working out to be a great year for new releases from artists I like. And you can also add Of Monsters and Men, Iceland's skald-rock power band, whose second album Beneath the Skin came out this year. It's suitably epic, with a hint of lava rock and moss: … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Lilies of the Field

OrangeTree

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IIOn the morning of her second day in the valley, Dagny wakes up in John Galt's house (not in his bed - not yet, anyway). He greets her at the door, saying that he has to go out and fix some things:"I have to go down to the powerhouse," he said. "They've just phoned me that they're having trouble with the ray screen. Your plane seems to have knocked it off key. I'll be back in half an hour and then I'll cook our breakfast."...She answered as … [Read more...]


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