Erasing the Past, Denying the Future

BeachWaves

In the eyes of the religious conservative movement, America's best days are always in the past. They bemoan the modern era of activist government, heightened sensitivity, and moral complexity, and look back fondly to an imaginary golden age where the wealthy could do as they pleased, the state bowed down to the church, and men were real men and women and minorities were subservient. And when inconvenient reality threatens to show that the United States was never the shining city on the hill that … [Read more...]

New on the Guardian: Can There Be an Atheist Vote?

My latest column on the Guardian is up: "We atheists can use growing clout to beat evangelicals at their own political game".Trying to organize atheists politically is often compared to herding cats. The conventional wisdom is that, while evangelical Christians and other religious groups march in lockstep and can be counted on to vote as a bloc, atheists are all cussed individualists who argue constantly and will never speak with anything like a unified voice, so there's no point in … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Ayn Rand on Mike Wallace

Ayn-Rand-COnviction

PBS' "Blank on Blank" web series animates and dramatizes classic interviews conducted with famous names. They contacted me this week to let me know that they've just released a new episode centered on Ayn Rand's 1959 interview with Mike Wallace, about her philosophy of moral selfishness. As she always did, she claimed that it was objectively true, completely unique to her, and the most important innovation in philosophy in the history of the human race.Wallace also quizzed her about her … [Read more...]

Secular Students Week 2015: How to Win at Activism

SSAWeek2015

It's Secular Students Week, when we old folk interview the next generation of secular activists and share stories of the fantastic work that they're doing. The Secular Student Alliance has a goal to get 500 donations this week, and if they reach this goal, they'll unlock a $20,000 challenge grant! Donate and help them reach their goal here.For this post, I spoke to Sarah McCarter of the Students for Free-thought at the University of Michigan-Flint, whom you may remember from my column in the … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Ship to Wreck

Florence + the Machine has just released How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful, their first new album in almost four years. Florence Welch is in full form, singing about love lost and heartbreak with all the storm and fury that magnificently tempestuous voice is capable of. Alanis Morrisette only wishes she could get this much musical mileage out of a breakup: … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: One Steve Limit

AvenueStrongest

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IAt the bottom of the valley, John Galt and Dagny drive into town, where she meets another old capitalist friend:Galt stopped the car in front of the first structure on a ledge above the roofs, a brick building with a faint tinge of red trembling over its smokestack. It almost shocked her to see so logical a sign as "Stockton Foundry" above its door.... "Hi, Dagny!"The smiling face that approached her out of the fog was Andrew Stockton's, and … [Read more...]

Debunking the Bible’s Gender Binary

Christian fundamentalists who oppose same-sex marriage, or who attack the identities of transgender people like Caitlyn Jenner, tend to cite one biblical verse more than any other:"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."—Genesis 1:27 (KJV)Christians who cite this passage, like San Francisco archbishop Salvatore Cordileone or the Duggars' pastor Ronnie Floyd, use it to support their belief in separate and … [Read more...]

If You Promote a Story That Turns Out to Be False, Don’t You Have an Obligation to Correct It?

In August 2013, almost two years ago, I wrote about a discouraging story in which skeptic Karen Stollznow wrote about years of harassment by a colleague, later alleged to be CFI's Benjamin Radford. Seven months later, in March 2014, I wrote an update when I heard that Radford was threatening to sue for libel and Stollznow was seeking help to put together a legal defense fund.That was the last I heard about this... until Wednesday of last week, when I got an e-mail from a friend alerting me … [Read more...]

Support CFI’s Freethought Rescue Project

In light of the continuing murders of atheists in Bangladesh and the apathy of the Bangladeshi government, the Center for Inquiry has launched a very worthy project: a Freethought Rescue Fund to bring threatened activists to the U.S. or other secular-friendly countries and help them live here in safety. (At least one of the murdered bloggers, Ananta Bijoy Das, had sought a visa to Sweden but was refused.)As CFI announced this week, they've already helped bring over the Bangladeshi author and … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: The Post-Scarcity Economy

Infinity

Atlas Shrugged, part III, chapter IDagny's next stop in the valley brings her to a familiar face:It was not a pass, it was a wall of laminated rock with a complex chain of pipes, pumps and valves climbing like a vine up its narrow ledges, but it bore, on its crest, a huge wooden sign...: Wyatt Oil.It was oil that ran in a glittering curve from the mouth of a pipe into a tank at the foot of the wall, as the only confession of the tremendous secret struggle inside the stone, as the … [Read more...]


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