The Cognitive Dissonance of Pro-LGBT Christians


My post last week asking LGBT people and allies why they still consider themselves Christian touched off a firestorm. Both in the comments here and on Twitter, I got a flood of responses from liberal Christians - some polite and friendly, others extraordinarily hostile and aggressive.There were several objections that came up repeatedly. I want to gather these common objections so I can respond to them in one place:There are LGBT-friendly and inclusive Christian churches. This was a … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Beneath the Skin

Between Florence + the Machine, Quiet Company, and Metric this fall, 2015 is working out to be a great year for new releases from artists I like. And you can also add Of Monsters and Men, Iceland's skald-rock power band, whose second album Beneath the Skin came out this year. It's suitably epic, with a hint of lava rock and moss: … [Read more...]

#SSAcon 2015 Recap


I'm on my way home from Columbus, Ohio, where this weekend I was at the 2015 convention of the Secular Student Alliance. I haven't been a student for a good while, but you don't have to be one to attend! Columbus is a hip midwestern city with great art, music, food and drinks, and the weekend was full of friends old and new from the blogosphere and from past speaking trips in Ripon, Wisconsin and Mobile, Alabama (who drove more than sixteen hours to be there!).There were nuts-and-bolts talks … [Read more...]

Answering Questions from #IndyTOT

This past week, I was in Indianapolis for two live Q&A events with my Christian pal Andrew Murtagh. One was at Theology on Tap, a Catholic young-adult outreach program; the other was at Crosspoint, a non-denominational evangelical church. Both had excellent turnout, probably around 150 people at each. Speaking before two overwhelmingly Christian audiences felt a little like going into the lion's den, but they were unfailingly fair and polite - and besides, what better place to defend atheism … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: July 5

• Iceland repeals its blasphemy law, which they apparently had until now?• Three cheers for California! The state legislature ends all non-medical exemptions for mandatory vaccination, despite vociferous protests from die-hard anti-vaxers.• In the wake of the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage, some Christians are writing optimistically about the last-ditch option of retreating into their own closed enclaves. One homeschooling parent explains that "relative … [Read more...]

Debate in Indianapolis This Week!


Reminder: This coming week, I'll be in Indianapolis for two live events as part of my ongoing conversation with Christian author Andrew Murtagh. The audience at both is likely to be mostly Catholic, so if you're in the area, come out and help balance the scales!First:WHAT: Indianapolis Theology on Tap WHEN: Wednesday, July 1, 7 PM WHERE: Tow Yard Brewing Company, 501 S. Madison Street, Indianapolis, INAnd second:WHAT: Faith vs. Doubt Night (requires ticket, but they're … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Solstice


In spite of all our technology crafted to isolate us from the natural world, human beings feel the call of the seasons, the axial pull of gravity and sunlight. We gather across the millennia, drawn by the same deep impulse that first inspired the ancient builders to rear these stones.Image: Summer solstice gathering at Stonehenge, June 2014. Via Paul Townsend, released under CC BY-ND 2.0 license. … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Ship to Wreck

Florence + the Machine has just released How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, their first new album in almost four years. Florence Welch is in full form, singing about love lost and heartbreak with all the storm and fury that magnificently tempestuous voice is capable of. Alanis Morrisette only wishes she could get this much musical mileage out of a breakup: … [Read more...]

If You Promote a Story That Turns Out to Be False, Don’t You Have an Obligation to Correct It?

In August 2013, almost two years ago, I wrote about a discouraging story in which skeptic Karen Stollznow wrote about years of harassment by a colleague, later alleged to be CFI's Benjamin Radford. Seven months later, in March 2014, I wrote an update when I heard that Radford was threatening to sue for libel and Stollznow was seeking help to put together a legal defense fund.That was the last I heard about this... until Wednesday of last week, when I got an e-mail from a friend alerting me … [Read more...]

Support CFI’s Freethought Rescue Project

In light of the continuing murders of atheists in Bangladesh and the apathy of the Bangladeshi government, the Center for Inquiry has launched a very worthy project: a Freethought Rescue Fund to bring threatened activists to the U.S. or other secular-friendly countries and help them live here in safety. (At least one of the murdered bloggers, Ananta Bijoy Das, had sought a visa to Sweden but was refused.)As CFI announced this week, they've already helped bring over the Bangladeshi author and … [Read more...]