Threads of 2012

Mixed Media Painting (Detail) by Choichun Leung / Dumbo Arts Cen

To know where you're heading, it helps to know where you've come from. And with the last grains of sand slipping through the hourglass, now is the perfect time to look back over the year that was and survey the major themes which wove throughout my writing during the past twelve months. So, without further ado, here are the threads of 2012:The Emergence of Atheism PlusAs I expected, the battle against sexism and other prejudice in the atheist community and beyond continued to smolder … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: Hands Off My Freeze Peach!

FreezePeach

It's a slow news day. How about some internet drama to liven things up?As you all know, I've been writing a lot lately about sexism and misogyny in the atheist community. While most atheists are perfectly decent, rational human beings who understand the concept of treating all people as equals, and while we don't have anything like the centuries of accumulated prejudice and patriarchy of religious institutions, we do have a few retrograde individuals who think that sexist slurs and abuse are … [Read more...]

Questions for Pro-Lifers: The Results, Continued

Acorns

Last month, I posed a list of questions to people who identify as pro-life. In the long comment thread which ensued, there were a fair number of people who stepped up to respond, both some who were traditionally religious as well as some who said they were atheists (but more about that later on). In this post and the previous one, I'll survey and discuss their answers.The Penalty for DoctorsThe large majority of people who answered this question, to no one's surprise I'm sure, said that d … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: Courting the Votes of the Non-Religious

USCapitol

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, There Are Now As Many Nonreligious Americans As Evangelicals -- 6 Ways Politicians Can Court Their Vote. In it, I discuss the evidence which shows that nonreligious Americans are becoming a pivotal voting bloc - including evidence that they played a decisive role in President Obama's reelection - and pen some advice to politicians who want to reach out to us. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest: In this cycle, the specter of a … [Read more...]

Questions for Pro-Lifers: The Results

Acorns

Last month, I posed a list of questions to people who identify as pro-life. In the long comment thread which ensued, there were a fair number of people who stepped up to respond, both some who were traditionally religious as well as some who said they were atheists (but more about that later on). In this post and the next one, I'll survey and discuss their answers.Obviously, this is nothing like a scientific survey of the anti-abortion community. But there were enough responses to notice … [Read more...]

Miracle on 34th Street: The Value of Empiricism

MiracleOn34thStreet

Yes, you get a Christmas post! Atheists don't take the day off just because people think a mythological savior-god was born on this date thousands of years ago.So my wife and I were watching Miracle on 34th Street last night (the original, not the remake). In spite of everything I'm about to say, it's still one of the better holiday movies.* As Greg Olear points out on Salon, it's remarkably egalitarian, secular and anti-consumerist even by modern standards, much less by the standards of the … [Read more...]

Both Billboards and Soup Kitchens

AAHolidaySign

What strategy should the atheist movement adopt during the holiday season? Should we focus on doing good works as a visible proof that we're caring and moral people, or should we redouble our efforts to be loud and uncompromising in the face of an onslaught of religious schmaltz? That's the subject of the latest Deep Rift(TM) in the secular community, being debated in an article by Dan Merica on CNN as well as a rather caustic post by Andrew Tripp (whom you may remember from his recent guest post … [Read more...]

Weekend Presents: December 23

XmasTree

It's two more days before you can open the gifts under the tree, but I have some early presents:• Now hear this: I'm on the New Books in Secularism podcast, discussing my book Daylight Atheism.• Big news out of the Philippines: The legislature has finally passed a national Reproductive Health Bill, defying fierce objections by the Roman Catholic church. The bill, which had been stalled for years by church pressure, would create government-run health clinics to dispense contraception in th … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: Let’s Have A Rousing Welcome for the Pope

Postcards

On a related note to my last post, you've probably heard that the Pope recently took a bold step forward into the 21st century by joining Twitter. This is significant because it marks, to my knowledge, the first time that the Catholic church has ever taken a bold step forward on anything. (He chose the Twitter handle @Pontifex, I assume because @Popehat was already taken.)It's an interesting experiment, but I'm not expecting it to last. It's not just that the Pope's tweets so far have been di … [Read more...]

Reasons to Quit the Catholic Church: A Coda

PopeBenedict

Even though I just published a long list of reasons why good people should leave the Catholic church, it seems like new ones are piling up every time I turn around. Herewith are some of the latest arguments for all people of common sense and conscience to sever their association with this corrupt medieval dictatorship. First of all, via WWJTD?, this jaw-dropping story: Pope Benedict met with and personally blessed Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of the Ugandan Parliament, who's one of the most fe … [Read more...]


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