Show Me How the Bible Hurt You

I came across this page from an ad right here on Patheos. It's another of those proselytizing Christian websites that seeks to convert people in the guise of "answering questions" they may have about the Bible and Christianity. Its creators have chosen to stay anonymous, except to describe themselves as "a diverse group who believes that, when engaged thoughtfully, the Bible can be one of the most exciting, surprising, and life-giving books in the world".This is all boilerplate-standard … [Read more...]

Why Skeptics Fall For Misogynist Ideology

Since I've spent much time condemning religious sexism and misogyny, it's only fair to acknowledge that atheists aren't free of it either. Case in point: this article from the Daily Beast, which makes a case that Robert Fisher, a 31-year-old Republican state representative from New Hampshire and an out-of-the-closet atheist, is the creator of the popular "Red Pill" forum on Reddit where misogynists congregate.Based on evidence presented in the article, Fisher created the Red Pill forum in … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Sakura

After a rainy, gloomy week where I live, the sun finally came out and the weather warmed up, and every plant and tree seems to have burst into bloom overnight. That includes these cherry trees, which exploded in dense bunches of pink flowers as if staging a fireworks display to usher in the spring:I feel a philosophical affection for the Japanese cultural interpretation of these flowers, which they call sakura. The cherry blossoms bloom en masse but fade and fall away almost as quickly, … [Read more...]

The Fountainhead: Why So Serious?

The Fountainhead, part 1, chapter 6It's not looking good for Howard Roark. He's alone in the world again, as his mentor has been forced into retirement with his health failing and his spirit broken.Meanwhile, Peter Keating's star continues to rise. Rand tells us how things are going for him in this clever metaphor:It was Peter Keating's third year with the firm of Francon & Heyer. He carried his head high, his body erect with studied uprightness; he looked like the picture of a … [Read more...]

Do Right-Wing Christians Want People to Be Destitute?

This article was originally published on AlterNet in 2014.The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is now in its fourth year, and the numbers point to a solid success. Thanks to Obamacare, millions of people can afford health insurance for the first time, and millions more still have health insurance because now they can't be dropped by their insurance company for getting sick. The once-astronomical growth of costs has slowed substantially, and in some markets is even … [Read more...]

On the Morality of: Privacy of the Dead

[Note: This post contains major spoilers for the S-Town podcast.]I've been listening to S-Town, the popular and controversial new podcast from NPR reporter Brian Reed. It was undeniably fascinating as a work of literature, a modern spin on the Southern Gothic genre. But after finishing it, I shared the concerns that others have had about it, and I wanted to write about why.The genesis of the podcast came when Reed was contacted out of the blue by John B. McLemore, a resident of a rural … [Read more...]

The Fountainhead: A Randian Guide to Retirement

The Fountainhead, part 1, chapter 6After losing their last chance at a big commission, Henry Cameron and Howard Roark both know that the end is in sight. Finally, the day they've been dreading arrives:In February of 1925 Henry Cameron retired from practice.For a year, he had known that the day would come. He had not spoken of it to Roark, but they both knew and went on, expecting nothing save to go on as long as it was still possible. A few commissions had dribbled into their … [Read more...]

The Solar System’s Ocean Worlds

If we ever overcome our differences and make it into space, there's a universe of wonders waiting for us. This month, NASA unveiled another of those wonders with the announcement of hydrothermal vents on Enceladus.Enceladus is one of Saturn's moons. Although it's tiny, barely 300 miles in diameter, it has a long history of tantalizing skywatchers. It's the most reflective body in the solar system because it's entirely covered in ice. The Voyager 2 flyby found a smooth and geologically young … [Read more...]

The Barbarism of Religious Honor Codes

You may have a mental image of Mormons as relentlessly nice, polite to a fault, persistent but basically harmless. But underneath that carefully crafted facade, they're just as regressive and misogynist as all the other major religions. In 2017, the Salt Lake Tribune won won a Pulitzer Prize* for an article series that proves the point: examining "the perverse, punitive and cruel treatment given to sexual assault victims at Brigham Young University, one of Utah's most powerful … [Read more...]

The Fountainhead: The Buried Past

The Fountainhead, part 1, chapter 6I've mentioned Ellsworth Toohey, the sinister socialist architecture critic who turns out to be the Big Bad of this novel. Now he's taken the first step in his malevolent plan for world domination, and it's... *dramatic chord* writing a book about architecture.Sermons in Stone by Ellsworth M. Toohey was published in January of the year 1925.It had a fastidious jacket of midnight blue with plain silver letters and a silver pyramid in one corner. It … [Read more...]