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...]

Further Thoughts on Gelatogate

I was going to update my previous post, but this got long, so I'm spinning it off into a separate post. Read the other one first if you need more background. So, the Gelatogate story continues to unfold. The owner of the store has posted a longer apology, and it's rapidly becoming the subject of the latest all-consuming atheist blogosphere flame war. Here are some of my fellow atheists' thoughts, in rough order from least to most conciliatory: PZ, JT, Jen and Hemant. First things first: I … [Read more...]

Skepticon Impressions: Gelatogate!

I'm back! As you may know, I've spent the last three days in Springfield, Missouri, having a blast at Skepticon IV. The convention was a weekend of great talks that ran the gamut: atheism, skepticism, sex, politics, feminism, math, science. There was no overarching theme at all, and I think it was better for being eclectic: since there was very little overlap, each and every talk offered something new and different. Best of all, I got to get together with some of my atheist blogger friends whom … [Read more...]

Anti-Atheist Prejudice at the Polls

My latest article has been posted on AlterNet, Why Is Atheism a Bigger Obstacle to Political Office Than Mormonism? In it, I look at poll results showing that American voters remain prejudiced against atheists, and ask why it is that Mormons and other groups have managed to avoid the brunt of similar bigotry, despite holding beliefs that are equally incompatible with mainstream Christianity and arguably far more bizarre than ours. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:In … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: November 5

On my old site, I had regular link roundups for all the stories I saw that interested me, but that I didn't have the time to write about at greater length. And I've had a lot of those stories this week, so here's some things to read over your Saturday morning coffee: • I've previously reported on whether the American Cancer Society turned down a big donation because it came from atheists. Now the redoubtable Greta Christina has written a lengthy follow-up piece for AlterNet, laying out the … [Read more...]

Did the American Cancer Society Refuse Atheist Money?

Charities that depend on donations and fund-raising to survive have it hard enough in the best of times. But in this depressed economy, it must be more difficult than ever. The obvious conclusion, I would think, is that if you represent a charity and a donor gets in touch offering to give you a lot of money, you don't delay, you don't put obstacles in their path, you don't make excuses: you do everything in your power to make that donation happen! Unless, it seems, the money is coming from … [Read more...]

The Foo Fighters Outsmart Fred Phelps

Last week, the Westboro Baptist Church (which is choosing increasingly random and bizarre protest targets, including a Swedish vacuum cleaner store) decided to picket a Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, Missouri. As is their usual strategy, they were no doubt hoping to provoke police or counterprotesters into assaulting them or otherwise violating their constitutional rights, so that they can win a legal settlement to support their continued spreading of hate.But instead, the WBC was on … [Read more...]

The Real Meaning of Islamophobia

I don't usually say these sorts of things about Republicans, but good for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is defending his pick of a Muslim for a state judgeship, saying critics of a lawyer who represented suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are "ignorant" and "crazies"...."This Shariah law business is crap," said Christie, 48. "It's just crazy and I'm tired of dealing with the crazies."Gov. Christie appointed Sohail Mohammed, who … [Read more...]

Paving the Way for Equality

Wedding bells will soon be ringing in New York, thanks to the legislature's historic passage of marriage equality which goes into effect on July 24. And the echoes of that victory are still being heard. Soon after the passage of the NY bill, Rhode Island legalized civil unions, joining the several other states that have done so. (Despite the fact that the Democrats control both chambers of the state legislature, as well as support from independent Gov. Lincoln Chafee, true marriage equality … [Read more...]

There Are 10 Times as Many Atheists as Mormons: When Will Non-Believers Become a Political Force?

This essay was originally published on AlterNet.The propagandists of the religious right shout it aloud as their battle cry: "America is a Christian nation!" And in the trivial sense that ours is a nation populated mostly by Christians, this is true. But in the sense that they mean it, that Christianity was intended to occupy a privileged place in the law - or worse, that Christianity was intended to be the only belief professed by Americans - it couldn't be more false. Although religion in … [Read more...]


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