An Atheist in Church

This past Sunday, I went to church and had a wonderful time.No, I haven't converted, nor am I thinking of doing so. I was there to accompany my girlfriend, who's a lapsed Catholic and is seeking a new church to attend. We went to a Unitarian Universalist church on Long Island. That Sunday there was a relatively small congregation, I'd guess between thirty and fifty people. The church itself was a pleasant modern building with a high, sloping ceiling and tall picture windows in the back. There … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Elvis

In the book God?: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist, William Lane Craig (debating Walter Sinnott-Armstrong) makes the following argument for why God chooses to remain hidden:"Could God reveal himself more clearly?" Of course, He could: He could have inscribed the label "Made by God" on every atom or planted a neon cross in the heavens with the message "Jesus Saves." But why would He want to do such a thing?...[T]here is no reason at all to think that if God were to make His … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Site Slowness

Has anyone else noticed that this site seems to have gotten dramatically slower in the past week or two?Lately, it's been taking me minutes to load even the simplest administration pages. When I load the front page or other public parts of the site, it seems somewhat better, but still slower than it used to be. This has happened to me logging in from multiple locations, and I haven't noticed a comparable slowdown in any other website I visit.If you've experienced this also, please leave a … [Read more...]

"Were You There?"

"We need to ask ourselves this question: 'Where do we put our faith and trust? In the words of scientists who don't know everything, who were not there? Or in the Word of God — the God who does know everything — and who was there?'"—Ken Ham, "Were You There?"I've been reading this stomach-turning story about young-earth creationists taking groups of children on tours of real museums, using the exhibits and displays of real science in the service of lies. This isn't the first time this … [Read more...]

On One-World Government

One of the recurring fantasies of Christian end-times believers is that, after the Rapture, the world will be united into a single government which will be presided over by the Antichrist. As such, these believers view any sign of increased global peace or cooperation as an ominous sign of growing Satanic influence. (Oddly, increased war is also taken to be a sign of the approaching Rapture - go figure.) Hence, Rapture Ready's Rapture Index tracks "Globalism" as one component of its prophetic … [Read more...]

Michael Medved: Clueless Dominionist

I don't make it my mission to slap down every loudmouth religious-right crackpot on the internet. Really, I don't. If I wanted to make it my mission, I could do nothing else, but it wouldn't accomplish anything and it wouldn't make for a very interesting site.However, the other day, this giant, flaming meteor of stupidity landed in my inbox, and it was just too tempting not to have a go. The author of this benighted epistle is Michael Medved, nationally syndicated right-wing radio host. In it, … [Read more...]

Firebrands

I've been watching the "Four Horsemen" video, a two-hour conversation among four of today's leading atheists: Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Daniel Dennett, and Christopher Hitchens. Right at the beginning, Dan Dennett brings up a point that's also been on my mind. Speaking about his pre-publication editing of Breaking the Spell, in an effort not to offend religious readers:"...it's a no-win situation, it's a mug's game. The religions have contrived to make it impossible to disagree with them … [Read more...]

Theocracy Watch XIII: "You Have No Right to Be Here"

Recently, the state government of Illinois proposed a $1 million grant to rebuild the historic Pilgrim Baptist Church, which was destroyed by a fire earlier this year. Atheist Rob Sherman testified before the House State Government Administration Committee to oppose this blatant violation of the separation of church and state.What happened next was difficult for me to believe. Here's a transcript of an exchange between Sherman and state representative Monique Davis, as reported by Eric Zorn of … [Read more...]

Popular Delusions IX: Numerology

As you can see from this picture, the building where I live has no thirteenth floor:But of course, what this picture depicts is a mathematical impossibility. My building does have a thirteenth floor; it's just that it's mislabeled as the fourteenth floor, with all the floors above it similarly mislabeled by one.This may be a small thing, but every time I step into the elevator, it's a jarring reminder of how superstitious beliefs still permeate our society. I can see the logic in, say, a … [Read more...]

Legal Thuggery Against Neurodiversity.com

Kathleen Seidel, author of the Neurodiversity weblog, writes extensively about issues related to autism. Among other things, she gives the scientific perspective on claims that autism is caused by vaccination. One of her recent posts, The Commerce in Causation, concerns the career of one Clifford Shoemaker - a lawyer who's represented hundreds of clients making this allegation, including an ongoing suit, Sykes v. Bayer. Many of these cases have come before the federal Vaccine Injury Compensation … [Read more...]


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