Some Sadly Necessary Remarks on the #wiscfi Intro

Hey everyone - I'm checking in from the final day of the Women in Secularism 2 convention in Washington, D.C. I'm going to write a full wrap-up later (and I enjoyed it enormously, I want to be very clear about that), but there's something that cast a cloud over this weekend, and I want to clear the air about it first.Although every other speaker this weekend was a woman, as you'd expect at a conference about women in secularism, Ron Lindsay, the president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry, … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: Snap Responses to Current Events

In the Times this week, Israel's ultra-Orthodox rabbis are enforcing gender apartheid by sending their own women and girls to flood the Wailing Wall plaza, so that women who actually want to pray there can't get in:“They’re trying to change the religion and politics in Israel — they should do that in the Knesset and not at the Kotel,” Ms. Beskin said, using the Hebrew terms for Israel’s Parliament and the Western Wall. “The rules should be, honestly, just respect the tradition here.” … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: May 5

Coffee

• A Christian fundamentalist couple that believes in faith healing has now killed two of their children by refusing to seek medical care for them. This likely violates the terms of their probation, agreed to in 2011 after the death of their first child, in which they agreed to obtain medical care for any of their other children who needed it.• John Paulk, the former chairman of the "ex-gay" ministry Exodus International, has recanted. In a statement, Paulk said he no longer … [Read more...]

A Change for the Worse

Well, as you've probably noticed, the blog is back to using Disqus. This wasn't my decision, and I'm not happy about it. Disqus offers no advantages over the built-in WordPress commenting system, as far as I'm concerned. Plus, because it's based on active scripting, it's inherently slower and less accessible, and its moderation capabilities are substandard. It gave me constant headaches on Big Think, and I expect the same will be true here.If you run into any problems, as I'm sure you will, … [Read more...]

April Speaking Recap

SSALogo

Thanks to everyone in the Secular Student Alliance affiliates at Ripon and Oshkosh, who hosted my trip this past week to the great state of Wiscons(in). Aside from a minor air travel-related mishap on the way out (and I only blame US Airways for that), it went very well! I toured the rural wilds of Wisconsin, tried some of the local microbrew - I enjoyed Spotted Cow - and spent an afternoon in picturesque downtown Ripon, which has a kind of Norman Rockwell charm. I also spoke closer to home, at … [Read more...]

Upcoming Speaking Events in Wisconsin

SSALogo

Later this week, I'll be in Wisconsin for two speaking events, courtesy of some local SSA affiliates. If you live in the area, come out and say hi! I'll be giving the same talk at each one - my speech on objective ethics from a secular viewpoint, "The Science of Morality" - so if you miss the first one, you'll have a second chance. I'll post exact locations for the talks as soon as I have them.WHEN & WHERE: Secular Student Alliance at Ripon College Ripon College Thursday, April 25, 5 … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Boston Bombings

I wanted to write something yesterday about the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon, but I was too angry and depressed over it all to jot down something coherent. I still don't think I have anything profound or helpful to say, especially since we still know nothing about who did this or why. And as Amanda Marcotte reminds us, we may not find out more for months or years, if ever.Despite a pretty low level of irresponsible speculation, that not-knowing can't help but fan the flames of … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: April 14

Coffee

• My wife Elizabeth is raising funds for the National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon, and has just one week left and less than $200 to raise to get to her goal of $1,000. Help out!• And if you need some motivation, anti-choicers are harassing and terrorizing the staff of the newly reopened family-planning clinic in Wichita once owned by the murdered Dr. George Tiller. One of them, David Leach from the group Army of God, calls the clinic's existence "a gauntlet thrown down by someone … [Read more...]

Reflections on #AAcon13

AAConvention

I'm writing this in the airport, on my way home from a weekend in Austin, Texas for the 50th anniversary convention of American Atheists. New York is all bare gray branches, still; it's too early in the season even for buds. By comparison, Austin was a startling riot of green, with tree-lined streets and forested riverbanks that bloomed explosively in the perfect, gorgeous warm weather. The branches were thronged with big, sleek black birds (grackles, according to a thread on B&W) that kept up a … [Read more...]

Coming to Austin This Weekend

AAConvention

This coming weekend, I'm going to be in Austin, Texas to attend the 2013 National Convention of American Atheists. I'm not going to be in town for long - I'm getting in on Friday afternoon and leaving Sunday morning - but I'm definitely planning to pack as much fun as I can into the time I've got! Who else is going to be there? … [Read more...]


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