The Religious Right Hates America

Via Talking Points Memo, I've come across a story I still find almost unbelievable. It happened at the "Values Voter" debate for Republican presidential candidates that took place last week in Fort Lauderdale.This event was skipped by the major candidates, Rudolph Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney, which left seven minor candidates who spent the evening attempting to one-up each other in competing for the Republican base. If you, readers, have ever wondered about the roughly … [Read more...]

A Legal Development

I've said on previous occasions that Daylight Atheism is a weblog devoted to commentary and analysis, not breaking news. However, I've heard of a case sufficiently noteworthy that I think it merits an exception.Last month, the indomitable P.Z. Myers of Pharyngula posted a review of Stuart Pivar's book Lifecode, which purports to explain the embryonic development of organisms through topological manipulation of an initially fluid form. Myers' review, though sympathetic to the principles … [Read more...]

Falwell's Feeble Prognostications

A recent article by Reuters presents an interview with Jerry Falwell, the aging but still influential figure of the theocratic religious right, and his views on the 2008 American presidential election and other issues of concern. I found some of Falwell's remarks worth commenting on.The article does not shy away from mentioning some of Falwell's more idiotic proclamations, such as a few days after September 11, 2001 when he blamed homosexuals, civil rights groups and non-Christians for the … [Read more...]

Sylvia Browne: Enemy of Free Speech

I have written previously about the "psychics" so popular in our culture, whose pretense of being able to speak to the dead and otherwise gain knowledge through supernatural powers wins them wealth and accolades from a credulous public and a shallow, sensationalist media, despite the total lack of convincing evidence to date that any of them can do what they say they can do.One of the worst of the lot is Sylvia Browne. After agreeing on national television to take James Randi's million-dollar … [Read more...]

Kent Hovind Is Sentenced

After a nearly three-month wait, the wheels of our legal system have turned, and justice has been done at last: Kent Hovind, tax protestor and creationist con man extraordinaire, has been sentenced to ten years in federal prison for tax evasion. Hovind's wife Jo, who was also convicted on the same slate of charges, will be sentenced in March.When writing about Hovind's conviction back in November, I said:I think an eight- to twelve-year sentence would suit him well, although I suspect … [Read more...]

A Disturbing Experience

In the several years I have been writing for Ebon Musings, I have received a great quantity of reader feedback. I read it all and, with a very few exceptions, respond to it all, and I am pleased to report that the large majority of it has been thoughtful, sincere and polite, regardless of whether the author agrees with my position. There has been some feedback of the other kind, warning me of the dreadful tortures that await me in the hereafter for my grievous sin of not worshipping the writer's … [Read more...]

The System Works!

I'm not normally one to indulge in schadenfreude, but here's a piece of news I cannot restrain my glee over hearing: Kent Hovind and his wife have been convicted of tax fraud - and it couldn't have happened to two nicer people.The Hovinds were charged in July with twelve counts of willful failure to pay income taxes, forty-five counts of structuring financial transactions to avoid bank reporting requirements, and one count of impeding an IRS investigation through the filing of frivolous … [Read more...]

A Good Riddance

Almost lost in the crush of recent religion-related news, there was one important story I'd be remiss if I didn't discuss: Larry Darby, the atheist, white supremacist and Holocaust denier who ran for attorney general in Alabama and lost, announced soon thereafter that he was converting to Christianity and closing down his Atheist Law Center. He is not, however, abandoning his racist views - far from it - and recently announced his intentions to run for Congress, saying that the Democratic party … [Read more...]

A Modest Proposal to Humiliate Fred Phelps

Inspired by a recent post by Pam Spaulding about the antics of Fred Phelps and his clan of lunatic hatemongers, I'd like to propose an idea for how this group could be humiliated, and possibly even stopped altogether.The sole raison d'etre of Phelps' church is to travel around the country picketing anything and everything that they believe demonstrates pro-gay sentiments. Although they have branched out somewhat, much of their ire still seems to be directed at the play The Laramie Project, … [Read more...]

The Power of Christ Compels You

Earlier tonight I received a highly amusing e-mail whose author seemed confident that I would cease to be an atheist if I performed a magical ritual of their devising. I do not normally post feedback e-mail in full, but since this one was sent to me anonymously, I have no qualms in doing so:From: Anonymous <> Date: Sat, 10 Jun 2006 20:23:12 -0400 Subject: Want To Prove that You are a Real Atheist? TAKE THIS TEST!!!!!!!Want to prove that you are a real … [Read more...]