The blog Ungodly News has created a whimsical periodic table of atheism, and I was surprised and pleased to find out that I’m on it:
I’m an actinide, if you can’t find me – one of the green rows on the bottom, labeled as “The Wicked of the Web”. I’d never have counted myself as one of the basic and indivisible elements of atheism, but given the distinguished company I’m listed among, this is a true honor! You may now commence the jokes about making compounds of atheists…
In other news, here’s a quick link roundup:
• I was happy to hear that Geert Wilders has been acquitted by a Dutch court, putting an end to the shameful prosecution of a man for exercising the right of free speech. Whatever one thinks of Wilders’ ideas, the correct way to respond to an argument is with another argument, not the threat of punishment. The court’s ruling recognized this principle, even if it disappointingly described his opinion as “the edge of what is allowed”.
• The self-help guru James Arthur Ray has been convicted of negligent homicide in the deaths of three people in a sweat lodge at an October 2009 retreat he organized. Woo is not harmless, not even the vague and fluffy-headed New Age variety.
• Via Andrew Sullivan, this haunting and gorgeous short film of Saturn and its moons, made by splicing together thousands of still images from the Cassini mission.
• In the wake of (unfortunately small and sporadic) protests by women across Saudi Arabia asking for the right to drive, a Saudi Arabian doctor has appealed for the right to choose her own husband. The fact that women are still denied these incredibly basic human freedoms ought to be a cause for national embarrassment in this ignorant and backwards theocracy.
“It is clear that Bell is not comfortable with the idea that billions of people may suffer in hell. But then, who is comfortable with that? The majority of evangelicals who hold to the orthodox understanding of hell… are troubled by its implications.”
Maybe those evangelicals should consider listening to their consciences for once.