Friday Night Music: Sidelined

Shelley Segal is on tour in the U.S., and I got to see her perform at Rockwood Music Hall in Manhattan earlier this month. Here's one of the songs she played, a feminist folk anthem from her latest EP, Strange Feeling: … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Returning to Nature

In spite of all the damage we've done, our impact on the earth is more evanescent than you might imagine. I'm fascinated by books like Alan Weisman's The World Without Us or Jonathan Waldman's Rust: The Longest War, which describe how all the artifacts of our civilization would dissolve and disappear without human beings to maintain them. Here's a case in point: a long-abandoned pickup truck, left to peacefully rust and rejoin nature, in New York's Adirondack Mountains. Note how the wheels are … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: August 30

• Oliver Sacks has died. In his final column, "Sabbath", he talks about his humanism and his rejection of his Jewish upbringing when his mother discovered he was gay and was violently hateful towards him: "her harsh words made me hate religion's capacity for bigotry and cruelty".In his closing words, he contemplates the end with acceptance and peace:And now, weak, short of breath, my once-firm muscles melted away by cancer, I find my thoughts, increasingly, not on the … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Grace Potter

I don't see why you'd embark on a solo career when you're best known for a band that already has your name in its name, but why complain when the result is this good? Here's Grace Potter, of Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, showing off on her new solo album, Midnight: … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: Late Summer

A late summer afternoon, when ripe sun and yellow-orange air holds the crackle of autumn hidden inside like corn in a husk. The drowsy heat makes languor a pleasant option, but there's a road ahead that remains to be traveled before rest can come.Image credit: Olli Henze, released under CC BY-ND 2.0 license … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: August 8

• Niloy Neel, a Bangladeshi atheist writer, is brutally murdered in his own home by Islamists. He's the fourth secularist writer in Bangladesh to be assassinated this year, while the government continues to sit on its hands and do nothing.• Prayer can't fight the Ebola virus. But science can.• Today in "why are LGBT people still Catholic" news: a director of religious education at a Catholic school was fired for being a lesbian, and unaccountably seems surprised by it. … [Read more...]

Speaking at Long Island Atheists

Two weeks from today, I'll be speaking on Long Island about secular morality, courtesy of the Long Island Atheists Meetup Group. If you're in the area, come out and see me!WHAT: Secular Morality in the Modern Age WHEN: Saturday, August 15, 2015, 4:00 PM WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Central Nassau, 223 Stewart Avenue, Garden City, NYNo admission charge. Donations welcomed. … [Read more...]

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...]


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