Fear and Trembling in Mississippi

You've probably heard of Constance McMillen, a lesbian student at a Mississippi high school who wanted to bring her girlfriend as her date to her senior prom this year. The school officials, not even attempting to disguise their bigotry, refused to grant permission - and then canceled the entire prom rather than face a discrimination lawsuit which they'd be certain to lose. (In fact McMillen and her family did bring a suit, and the judge did rule that she had been discriminated against, but he … [Read more...]

From the Mailbag: Racist Loonball Edition

Every so often, I get a letter I just have to share - whether because it's so eloquent and insightful that I want more people to read it, or because the author deserves to be roundly mocked by as many people as possible. Here's an example of the latter.I got this e-mail the other day. It starts out as seemingly thoughtful praise from someone who's obviously taken the time to read my website; then it abruptly takes a different turn:Dear Ebon Musings:Your front page essay is beautifully … [Read more...]

The Loving Compassion of the Catholic Church

A few weeks ago, I mentioned briefly that the Catholic church had threatened to pull out of Washington, D.C., ending the social services they provide for thousands of people, if the city council passed a law recognizing same-sex marriage. Well, the council did pass the bill, same-sex marriage is now legal in D.C. (congratulations!), and the church looks set to keep its promise, starting with the termination of their foster-care program. They've also decided to end spousal benefits for all … [Read more...]

Bloody-Handed Evangelicals

In the U.S., the cause of gay and lesbian rights has made major advances in the last few decades. Anti-discrimination laws are in wide effect, including a recently passed federal hate-crime law; marriage equality is already an established reality in several states; and despite setbacks, the now overwhelming tolerance and acceptance of gays and lesbians among younger generations heralds further progress in the future.But in spite of these hopeful signs, the hatemongers and bigots of the … [Read more...]

Theocratic Horror in Uganda

Back in January, I alluded briefly to the events in Uganda, where Christian abstinence-only programs have reversed the success of comprehensive sex ed and led to a rise in HIV infection rates. At the time, I mentioned Martin Ssempa, a pastor in the country's booming Pentecostal Christian movement, and his involvement in a campaign to criminalize homosexuality.But this news has taken an even more ominous turn. Homosexuality was already illegal in Uganda, but a bill currently being discussed in … [Read more...]

Anti-Atheist Bigotry in the Daily News

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 charge, and assume that … [Read more...]

How Long the Arc

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. … [Read more...]

Anti-Atheist Bigotry Enters Another Campaign

Because this strategy worked so well for Elizabeth Dole, another conservative politician has decided to make a play for the bigot vote by stirring up anti-atheist prejudice against a challenger. In this case, it's on a smaller scale: a race for city council in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can read about it in the New Mexico Independent, a local paper. (HT: Daylight Atheism reader Brian Westley, who was also the first one to tell me about the Dole ads. He's good at finding this stuff!)According … [Read more...]

Christian Troll Masquerades as Racist Atheist

Over the past two weeks, an individual calling himself Steve Leone has attempted to leave about half a dozen variations of the following comment on my thread about the "miracle" of Fatima:"Oh yeah? Well, how did three illiterate Portuguese peasant children know that some strange atmospheric phenomenon was going to appear in the sky over Fatima at the exact date and time they predicted? Answer that, you smarty-pants atheists!"Here's an entirely typical example from my moderation … [Read more...]

Christians Persecute Atheist Teacher

The next time you hear Christians complaining about being persecuted in America, remember this story.You probably know Hemant Mehta, author of the blog Friendly Atheist. What you may not know, and what I didn't know, is that by day he's a math teacher at a public high school in Illinois. And it seems that a right-wing Christian group, outraged by the thought of an atheist being a teacher and potentially a role model, is now trying to get him fired.You can read the story in Hemant's own words … [Read more...]