Sunset with clouds, Hudson Valley, August 2009. Photo by the author. Click for larger version. Read more

I’ve got plenty of goodies in the bag for this post. Frankly, more has been happening lately than I can write about – but that’s okay, because there are lots of other fantastic atheist bloggers who’ve said it all! • First, there’s this outrageous story out of Washington, D.C., where the Catholic church has threatened to completely shut down all the social services they provide to local homeless people if they’re forced to obey laws forbidding discrimination against same-sex couples…. Read more

Although the New York Daily News has no problem endorsing astrology on its news pages, the idea of giving sympathetic coverage to atheism is apparently too much for them to swallow. In a recent issue, they published this obnoxiously bigoted column from Gabriel Gillen, a Dominican friar, which manages to cram just about every anti-atheist slur in the book into a brief space. We start with the old standby: pick a controversial atheist, accuse him of hypocrisy or some other… Read more

By Sikivu Hutchinson Recently on a popular Black Entertainment Network talk show, R&B singer Monica pitched her new reality show and extolled the virtues of prayer. Suited up in hip-high boots like an emissary from God’s army, she credited God with guiding her through life and imbuing her with purpose. His word was her marching order, she proclaimed, as the rapt studio audience nodded in approval, giving credence to surveys that indicate African Americans are more religious, more likely to… Read more

Since I’ve endorsed Kiva in the past (and I stand by that endorsement), for transparency’s sake it’s worth linking to this post from David Roodman (see also the related article from the Times). The quick summary is that the connection between Kiva lenders and loan recipients isn’t as direct as you might have thought. Although the individuals listed on the site are real and their business proposals are genuine, their loan requests don’t necessarily sit in limbo until they’re funded… Read more

By Sarah Braasch In the early 80’s, the primary preoccupations of the Jehovah’s Witnesses were Armageddon, Smurfs, Michael Jackson and demonic attack, but not necessarily in that order. As a young Jehovah’s Witness girl, my worldview was what you might describe as surreal. Smurfs were little blue imps disguised as Saturday morning cartoon characters. They were capable of murder, rape, violence and general mayhem, and, as such, all Smurf paraphernalia had to be either banished or burned or both from… Read more

If you encountered any technical difficulties with the site earlier today, my apologies. There was a database issue I had to work with my host to clear up. It should be fixed now, so send me an e-mail if you’re still having any problems (or if you can’t see this message). In the meantime, I wanted to post some photos I took at a rally I attended in Union Square last night: Lighting the Way to Equality, a candlelight vigil… Read more

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 6 In his frequently-maligned (but less-frequently read and understood) book The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins offers what I think is an underappreciated argument against all varieties of supernatural design, the “Ultimate 747” argument. Briefly stated, it goes like this: If we accept ID advocates’ reasoning, complexity and organization require a designer. Yet it stands to reason that any designer that could create a complex, organized thing must be an even more complex and organized… Read more

While we Americans have been focusing on this week’s elections, there was another important piece of the news from across the Atlantic you might have missed: the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against displaying crucifixes in state-run Italian schools. A panel of seven judges in Strasbourg said the display of Christian crosses, which is common but not mandatory in Italian schools, violated the principle of secular education and might be “disturbing” for children from other faiths. It upheld… Read more

This past Tuesday, marriage equality suffered another setback at the hands of bigotry in the state of Maine. This defeat is especially disappointing because, from all accounts, the No on 1 campaign did everything right: running a well-organized, well-financed campaign with powerful advertising and a dedicated get-out-the-vote effort. But even the smartest and most well-crafted effort of persuasion can’t succeed if people aren’t willing to be persuaded, and this was evidently one of those times. The defeat was a narrow… Read more

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