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...]

Weekend Coffee: Snap Responses to Current Events

In the Times this week, Israel's ultra-Orthodox rabbis are enforcing gender apartheid by sending their own women and girls to flood the Wailing Wall plaza, so that women who actually want to pray there can't get in:“They’re trying to change the religion and politics in Israel — they should do that in the Knesset and not at the Kotel,” Ms. Beskin said, using the Hebrew terms for Israel’s Parliament and the Western Wall. “The rules should be, honestly, just respect the tradition here.” … [Read more...]

The Box Office Shrugs at Atlas Shrugged

AtlasRockefellerCenter

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, was threatening, John Galt-like, to turn his back on our society of ungrateful looters and parasites and not make a sequel.But it … [Read more...]

The Menace of Hipster Atheists

DanielDennettSmall

Over on One News Now, Peter Heck is very concerned, in a column entitled "As Atheism Rises, America Declines". Like the Catholic apologists I wrote about earlier this week, Heck has noticed that atheists are making demographic gains - but his diagnosis of the cause leaves something to be desired:A prosperous society built upon the back of the very values espoused in the Judeo-Christian worldview inevitably yields to satisfaction, complacency and arrogance - the belief that our material … [Read more...]

Christian Activists Demand What They Already Have

CrownOfThorns

This weekend, I saw a story on AU's Wall of Separation blog that was too funny not to share: According to the Jacksonville Daily News, members of the Baysden Chapel Pentecostal Free Will Baptist Church trooped down to the Onslow County School Board building in Jacksonville, N.C., this week to demand that students be allowed to pray...."We want to put prayer back into our schools and put God back where he belongs," said David Jarman, pastor of the Richlands congregation. Now, I've written … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: Hands Off My Freeze Peach!

FreezePeach

It's a slow news day. How about some internet drama to liven things up?As you all know, I've been writing a lot lately about sexism and misogyny in the atheist community. While most atheists are perfectly decent, rational human beings who understand the concept of treating all people as equals, and while we don't have anything like the centuries of accumulated prejudice and patriarchy of religious institutions, we do have a few retrograde individuals who think that sexist slurs and abuse are … [Read more...]


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