Pete Stark: The Reaction

It has now been over a week since U.S. Representative Pete Stark announced his nontheism, and so far the reaction from the religious right has been surprisingly tepid. As far as I know, none of their heavyweights have responded - not frothing bigots like William Donohue, not advocates of intolerance like James Dobson, not the cult-controlled Washington Times, not even the many fundamentalist fanatics that still remain in Congress. I confess myself surprised. But although the major propaganda … [Read more...]

CAP Alert Reviews III

It occurred to me recently that I haven't done a post poking fun at the CAP Alert site in quite a while. Well, I intend to correct that oversight right now. For your entertainment, here are some of the more laughably bizarre reasons why the CAP reviewer saw fit to deduct points from various movies:Dungeons & Dragons: "many, many images of a form fitting breastplate - female"How dare those depraved Hollywood liberals imply that men and women are different shapes!King Kong: "human … [Read more...]

The Congressional Nontheist Is Revealed

Following up on my earlier post, the Secular Coalition for America has made good on its promise and has revealed the name of the first openly nontheistic member of the U.S. Congress: Democratic representative Pete Stark, a seventeen-term House member representing California's 13th district.I didn't expect a nontheist to be a supporter of George W. Bush, and I'm glad to say that isn't the case. On the contrary, Rep. Stark seems to have his priorities in exactly the right place: he is a member … [Read more...]

A Freethinker in Congress!

A brief update to pass along an exciting e-mail alert I received last night from the Secular Coalition for America:On Monday, March 12, the Secular Coalition for America, a national lobbying group representing Americans who do not hold a god-belief, will make history by announcing the name of the first open nontheist member of Congress.Yes, you read it right - there is an atheist in Congress, and one who is willing to step out of the closet and identify themself! I have no idea who it might … [Read more...]

Subduing the Earth

Christianity's relationship with the environmental movement has always been a rocky one. While some groups of Christians view protecting the planet to be a sacred imperative, others - an alarmingly large number of others - believe that God gave us the Earth to use and exploit in any way we deem fit, and since Jesus is coming back real soon to destroy the world anyway, it really doesn't matter what we do to it in the meantime.Now, Pharyngula gives us not one but two examples of prominent … [Read more...]

FFRF at the Supreme Court

Tomorrow, February 28, will be a date of tremendous importance for all friends of church-state separation in the United States of America. For tomorrow, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom from Religion Foundation will be presenting oral arguments before the nine justices of the Supreme Court, in the case of Hein v. FFRF. The principle at stake is whether American citizens, by virtue of their status as taxpayers, have the right to bring suit against the executive branch of the … [Read more...]

Theocracy Watch IX: A Religious Police State

I have written in the past about the paranoid, twisted obsession that most religious fundamentalists have with sex. Rather than viewing it as a natural, healthy part of human life, and a source of pleasure and emotional connection when engaged in responsibly, excessive religious devotion leads some believers to view sex as a menacing and ever-present temptation to sin that must be resisted at all costs. Some of these go even further and view sex not only as a great sin, but seemingly the only … [Read more...]

Advice to a Christian

Via Feministe, I've come across a post called A request for advice, on a blog titled Contraception and Christianity. The author, Contraskeptic, is an evangelical Christian wrestling with the issue of whether it is a sin to use birth control.As Contraskeptic explains, his wife has been through three difficult, stressful pregnancies, all three of which were C-sections. The third pregnancy was unplanned, and occurred despite their efforts to avoid it by restricting sexual intercourse to the one … [Read more...]

The Blasphemy Challenge

Inspired by a post on Debunking Christianity, I'd like to chime in on the "Blasphemy Challenge" conceived of by an atheist group called the Rational Response Squad. This challenge encourages people to film themselves denying the existence of the Holy Spirit, the one unforgivable sin according to certain interpretations of the Bible, and post it to the internet.The intent is to gain coverage for the atheist movement through tactics that cause shock and stir up controversy, one of the few … [Read more...]

Free Speech Under Siege at the United Nations

The United Nations, which was founded after World War II with the noble goal of preventing further violence and conflict between nation-states, is losing its way.The U.N. has historically been a great supporter of human rights, including the most important of them all, the right of free speech. Consider Articles 18 and 19 of the Fundamental Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by unanimous resolution of the General Assembly in 1948:Article 18.Everyone has the right to freedom of … [Read more...]


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