Weekday Coffee: September 25

Coffee

I've been taking a breather this week, but never fear, my Atlas Shrugged series will resume tomorrow. In the meantime, some quick links:• Help atheist blogger and ex-Quiverfuller Vyckie Garrison save her house! She's in financial trouble caused largely by her divorce from an abusive husband, which in turn happened because she lost her faith. She needs to raise $23,000 to save it. If you need more incentive, here's her outstanding speech from the 2014 American Atheists national … [Read more...]

Let’s Not Be Uncivil Here

Gay-Dictator

Can't we have a calm, reasoned, civil discussion about whether I should stop punching you or not?I mean, sure, I may currently be sitting on your chest aiming one punishing blow after another into your head, neck and shoulders. I'm willing to grant that reasonable people may differ about the ethics of this behavior. But the important thing is that we work it out politely. Why are you being so hostile? I'm inviting you to join me in a serious, sustained dialogue about the continuance of said … [Read more...]

Repost: The Box Office Shrugs at Atlas Shrugged

[Author's Note: I'm reposting some old favorites while I'm away on vacation this week. This post was originally from March 2013.]Way back in 2011, I wrote about the hilarious box-office trainwreck (see what I did there?) that was Atlas Shrugged: Part I. Inexplicably, Ayn Rand's dense, multi-hour soliloquies in defense of capitalism failed to translate well into the medium of film. The last news I heard after the movie's belly-flop was that its producer, heroic rich guy John Aglialoro, … [Read more...]

The FRC’s Bizarre Prayer Barrage

As you probably know, I don't believe in the efficacy of prayer. There's neither empirical evidence nor logical argument to support the proposition that a supernatural being is listening to our requests and can be persuaded to grant them if asked politely enough. Still, when believers pray for the healing of the sick or the welfare of the needy, there's at least a benevolent intention that I can respect.Then there's the Family Research Council.This religious-right group regularly issues … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: The Secret Purpose of Twitter

I probably shouldn't have said this in public, but now that the cat's out of the bag, I might as well tell you all as well.It all started a few days ago with a question about what the median number of Twitter followers is among active accounts. It turns out to be surprisingly low - less than 100 - and people with just 1000 followers are in the 96th percentile. This prompted me to make the following observation:I'd always assumed you'd need to be pushing 5 digits to qualify for … [Read more...]

Ragnarok Is Upon Us

Ragnarok

You'd think that a news story this big would be impossible to miss, but somehow I overlooked it until just now. I hope you'll forgive my tardiness, readers, because I have urgent information to impart: the Jorvik Viking Center has predicted that Ragnarok, the Norse apocalypse foretold in the ancient texts called the Eddas, is due to occur on February 22, 2014 - less than two weeks away!As you doubtless know, Ragnarok is the world-shattering war in which the gods will be slain in battle with … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: January 25

Coffee

• Is conservative Christianity itself bad for marriage? The research says yes. Michelle Goldberg lays out the facts:Ironically, the very practices meant to shore up marital security in conservative communities end up sabotaging it. By promoting abstinence until marriage, these communities encourage people to marry young. Poor sex education and limited access to contraception for teenagers lead to unintended pregnancies and shotgun weddings. Gender-role traditionalism leads to … [Read more...]

Please Ban My Books

SocietyForTheSuppressionOfVice

This week is Banned Books Week, a free-speech campaign founded by librarians and publishers to call attention to the ongoing problem of censorship. Although we've come a long way since the days when Anthony Comstock got James Joyce's Ulysses outlawed and prosecuted Margaret Sanger for mailing pamphlets on birth control, librarians and schoolteachers still face legal and political pressure to remove books that annoy cranky, censorious malcontents. And in some corners of the world, things are … [Read more...]

Free Speech vs. Freeze Peach

FreezePeach

Last month, a broad spectrum of feminist activists and organizations published an open letter to Facebook, demanding that the social-networking colossus crack down on pages that glorify or promote violence against women. Although Facebook's moderators had long disallowed anti-Semitism, gay-bashing and other kinds of hateful content, they often excused misogynist pages, even graphically violent ones, as mere "distasteful humor".If anything ever seemed like a David-versus-Goliath battle, it … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: May 26

Coffee

• Presenting the inaugural Patheos Atheists Blog Carnival! Dan Fincke has put together a list of some of the best recent writing from all of us. Go check it out!• From the Department of You Can't Make This Up: earlier this week, the pope made a surprisingly ecumenical comment about how even atheists can be good people. A Vatican spokesman then issued a follow-up in which he clarified that, just in case there was any doubt, we're still going to hell.• After the … [Read more...]


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