Weekend Coffee: February 10

Coffee

• No matter how many compromises the Obama administration offers, Catholic bishops just don't want people to have access to birth control.• Beliefnet is afraid of feminism, telling liberal Christian pastor and blogger Kristine Holmgren that she wasn't allowed to use the word in her header or her blog (at which point, to her credit, she broke ties with them).• Astrophysicists have calculated, on the basis of data from NASA's Kepler telescope, that six percent of red dwarf … [Read more...]

Reap Responds

FreezePeach

While I think this conversation has already gone on long enough, I guess I should mention that Reap Paden has left a comment on my post from last weekend about him, which consists mostly of wounded self-justification. I can only assume that being called a misogynist has stung his ego, which I consider to be a good sign! A person who genuinely didn't care what others thought about him would have shrugged it off, but Reap clearly isn't such a person. Here are some responses to his more important … [Read more...]

The Dying Branch of Bigotry

The 2008 elections, in which pro-gay-marriage campaigners won a sweep at the ballot box, is a clear sign that the tide of society is shifting in favor of equality. We've known for a long time that this was coming, since the younger generations now replacing the older ones are overwhelmingly comfortable with equal rights. In the Western world, prejudice is like a dying branch - it may still have leaves, but it's dead at the base, and the rot is only going to spread upwards. Still, there are some … [Read more...]

Big Think Responds on Satoshi Kanazawa

The Big Think editors have written an official reply to my post criticizing their decision to hire Satoshi Kanazawa. Whatever else I may think of that choice, I appreciate that they took my concerns seriously enough to write this lengthy explanation of their reasoning. I encourage you to go and read it first. That said, I don't think there's anything in it that assuages any of my concerns or that substantially undercuts my critique. The only part of the editors' post that I think merits an … [Read more...]

Doesn’t This Place Have Standards?

So, here's something you should know about me: I really don't care for racists. A few years ago, a simpering neo-Nazi named Kevin Alfred Strom wrote to me, having somehow acquired the delusion that I would be his friend. I handled him rather roughly, I can tell you, though I like to think it was no less than he deserved. And then there was Eric Hovind, the creationist dauphin who posted an anti-immigrant poem that - oops! - just happened to be prominently featured on the white-power site … [Read more...]

What It Means to Hate

Last week, after the shooting in their lobby that wounded a security guard, the right-wing Family Research Council immediately blamed their listing by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group - as if that label, rather than the actions they took to earn it, was the only possible reason a disturbed and unstable person might be tipped over the edge into doing such a thing. In spite of their support for criminalizing homosexuality and other discriminatory laws, the FRC says, they don't hate … [Read more...]

Boycott the Boy Scouts

In 2000, the Supreme Court ruled that the Boy Scouts of America, as a private membership-based organization, had the right to discriminate against gay people by expelling them or barring them from joining. Since then, the BSA has been enforcing that policy with gusto, expelling gay and lesbian scouts and scout leaders all over the country. (They're equally prejudiced against atheists, as atheist Eagle Scout Darrell Lambert found out when he too was kicked out as punishment for being honest about … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: Nice Guys Finish Last

Once again, I've gotten enmeshed in a debate on Twitter. This time it wasn't with a theist, but with two atheists, Daniel Loxton and Reed Esau. It started with these two posts, which I happened to overhear:I'd support a focussed movement to counter bigoted "atheists as hostile outsiders" stereotype. That mvnt wld be useful for me as an atheist —@Daniel_Loxton, 2:27 PM - 18 Apr 12@Daniel_Loxton Taking atheism out of the nutty, angry fringe and into the no-big-deal territory can … [Read more...]

Why Is Atheism a Bigger Obstacle to Political Office Than Mormonism?

This piece was originally published on AlterNet. When America was founded, it was the first modern nation to throw off the rule of absolute monarchy and prove that democracy was feasible. But at the same time, when America was founded, it was hardly a democracy at all. The vote was denied to women, to millions of enslaved human beings -- to everyone except a relatively small number of its citizens. Despite the Constitution's prohibition on religious tests, many states had their own established … [Read more...]

Some Friendly Advice for Rick Perry

You've probably already heard that Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, sinking in the polls as primary season approaches, is making one last bid for relevance with a new campaign ad:Here's the transcript:I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a Christian, but you don't need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there's something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can't openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I'll end … [Read more...]


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