Out of the Mouths of Babes

From the Win section of Failblog, this was too good not to share: … [Read more...]

Bowing to the Text

By way of The Panda's Thumb, I came across this story that just had to be shared.Regular readers of this site are probably familiar with the arch-creationist William Dembski, one of the founders of the intelligent-design movement. When I last wrote about him, I mentioned that he, like other creationists who insist their work is motivated strictly by science and not religion, has somehow ended up at a conservative Christian seminary - in Dembski's case, the Southwestern Baptist Theological … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Monticello

Earlier this year, I took a tour of Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and wrote about the experience. But on that same trip, I also had a chance to see a more hopeful sight, a monument to human reason rather than to false dogma: Monticello, the former home of Thomas Jefferson, now restored and turned into a museum. Unbelievably, photos weren't allowed inside the house, but I got some good pictures from the outside:Thomas Jefferson's home, Monticello, Virginia, February 2010. Photo by the … [Read more...]

New on Ebon Musings: The Origins of Orthodoxy

Over the past several months, I've been writing a lengthy new essay for Ebon Musings. I've finally put the finishing touches on it, and I'm quite proud of the result: go check out "The Origins of Orthodoxy".This essay covers a topic I've been interested in for a long time: the origins of the Christian New Testament canon. It's the story of which books made it into the Bible - and which ones didn't - and why, and all the historical twists and turns over the first three centuries that resulted … [Read more...]

Theocrats on the March in Israel

Since I wrote recently about the evil mullahs of the Middle East who ferociously resist the slightest spark of progress, I think it's worth pointing out - in the name of fairness - that destructive, theocratic insanity can be found in every religion. Christopher Hitchens has written an excellent column this week in Slate to remind us of that.The right-wing government that's currently in charge of Israel is continuing the policy of building homes for Jewish settlers on land seized by force from … [Read more...]

Making Non-White Atheists Feel Welcome

I was reading this outstanding essay by Alom Shaha, an atheist and ex-Muslim of Bangladeshi descent, who describes what it's like to come out as a nonbeliever in a tightly-knit, intensely religious community. But as he makes clear, the social and cultural pressure on people in his situation isn't just a matter of happenstance; it formed as a defensive reaction against a wider society that was bitterly prejudiced:My family was one of a large wave of Bangladeshi families who emigrated to the … [Read more...]

Help the Foundation Beyond Belief Finish Off 2010

Earlier this year, I wrote about the Foundation Beyond Belief and encouraged atheists to join, and I'm happy that some people took me up on that invitation. Well, the end of 2010 is almost here, and it's fair for FBB members and potential members to look for a year-end recap of the group's achievements. What did we do this year? Dale McGowan has the answer:In 2010 our members fed, clothed, and paid school tuition for 22 impoverished children in Nepal. We have funded science education in India … [Read more...]

The March of Tyranny in the Middle East

The invasion of Iraq was cheered by right-wing Christians as a way to bring democracy to a people oppressed by tyranny. And, on paper at least, it achieved that goal. But in reality, Iraq as a nation hardly exists anymore. The anarchy of the invasion unleashed a wave of sectarian bloodshed, and the fragile stability which the country now possesses survives mainly because the ethnic cleansing is essentially complete - because all the mixed Sunni/Shia neighborhoods have been destroyed, their … [Read more...]

This Holiday Season, Consider Atheism!

I was happy to read that this week that atheist groups are launching a new ad blitz, with ads extolling the virtues of atheism on billboards, buses, trains and print media. Significantly, atheist ads are also hitting the airwaves for the first time ever - thanks to a $150,000 donation from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, which is underwriting a TV ad campaign by the American Humanist Association.And the very best part of the AHA campaign is that the ads aren't just saying that … [Read more...]

A Personal Dilemma

I do my best to live consistently with my principles and to stand up for atheism in my personal life, as well as on the Web. But sometimes, even I fall short. I had one of those experiences this past weekend, and I'm still not sure how I should have handled it. I'm posting this to gather advice, in the hope that I'll do better if this happens again - or, if it's still not too late to stand up for myself, to figure out what the best response would be.My wife's godparents came over to our house … [Read more...]


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