An Appeal for Haiti

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled flame war for this important announcement. As everyone has no doubt heard, Haiti was hit by a colossal earthquake last night; the city of Port-au-Prince is in ruins, and tens of thousands of people may be dead. If you’re able to help, please consider making a donation to the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders. And if simple human compassion doesn’t move you, consider it doing it to spite that wicked, heartless old fraud… Read more

Representative Theocracy

By Sarah Braasch Representative Bart Stupak from Michigan was paraphrased in a recent New York Times interview as saying that his resolve to defeat the healthcare reform bill, unless the bill includes his anti-abortion amendment language, is a straightforward matter of Roman Catholic faith. The article states that Representative Stupak said that he actually urged the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to toughen its stance on the legislation. Representative Stupak is also quoted as saying: “It’s not the end… Read more

On Sexism and Consciousness-Raising

I’ve written in the past about religion’s harm to women, and the way modern sexism is aided and abetted by ancient religious prejudices that still survive today. Every major holy book has sexist verses, but some of the most misogynistic and the most virulent can be found in the books referred to by Christians as the Old Testament. Since this text is the foundation for religions that comprise over half the population of the world, it’s small wonder that oppressive,… Read more

Reminder: Daylight Atheism St. Louis Meetup

In case anyone missed the earlier announcement, a reminder: I’ll be in St. Louis, Missouri this coming weekend, January 16th and 17th. We’ve already made plans for a meetup of area atheists/skeptics on Saturday night. If you’re in the area and are interested, it’s not too late to attend – leave a comment or send me an e-mail and I’ll forward you the details. Read more

Photo Sunday: Bird Rock

Monterey Bay, California, June 17, 2006. Photo credit: Peter Nothnagle. Click for larger version. Read more

Weekly Link Roundup

A couple of noteworthy articles from this week that I didn’t have time to write more about: • To begin with, there’s this excellent and in-depth profile of the FFRF’s Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, from a local alternative paper in Madison. • Archaeologists have discovered a genuine burial shroud from the first century CE. Unlike the Shroud of Turin, its radiocarbon date fixes it to the correct time period; it also has a very different weave than the… Read more

The Case for a Creator: A Universe Not Made For Us

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 7 The final section of this chapter concerns Gonzalez’s argument that the Earth is uniquely designed to make scientific discovery possible. His argument is that our planet is fine-tuned not just to allow the existence of life, but to allow us to find out important facts about the nature of the universe that wouldn’t be possible to discover if we lived anywhere else. (As an aside, it’s asinine for Strobel and his interviewees to… Read more

William Dembski on Faith Healers

Most of you have probably heard the name of William Dembski, one of the prominent advocates of intelligent-design creationism. Like all ID advocates, Dembski claims vehemently that his work is scientific and not in any way motivated by his religious beliefs, which is why he’s currently a professor of philosophy at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. But never mind that; today, somewhat surprisingly, I come to praise Dembski rather than bury him. That’s because I’ve come across… Read more

Losing Their Religion

I recently finished Daniel Radosh’s Rapture Ready!, a book exploring Christian pop culture and some of its stranger manifestations, from theme parks like Florida’s Holy Land Experience to the Ultimate Christian Wrestling pro circuit (no joke). But one event that he paid special attention to was Cornerstone, a Woodstock-like Christian music festival held each year in Illinois that routinely draws hundreds of acts and tens of thousands of people. According to Radosh, Cornerstone had a more open, authentic feeling than… Read more

Stigmata Scars

By Sarah Braasch I’m scared to expose myself like this. But, I’m tired of the shame and the guilt and the fear. I have something important to say. And, I want to comfort other victims of religious abuse who feel alone and afraid. I grew up in an abusive Jehovah’s Witness home. When people ask me what my childhood was like, I usually describe it, in all seriousness, as something like growing up in a war zone. I don’t mean… Read more

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