Tiptoeing Around the Civil Rights Act

Segregation

The Civil Rights Act is an abiding dilemma for members of the right-wing Church of Not Gay. As marriage equality continues to progress, their latest cause celebre is arguing that believers should have the right to refuse service to gay couples - whether they be photographers, bakers, owners of wedding venues, even county clerks - all in the name, supposedly, of "religious liberty", which they believe should be a trump card allowing holders to opt out of any generally applicable law.The … [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...]

The Twitter Report: Leave the Long Island Medium Alone!

Just before the new Cosmos premiere last week, I noticed that "#LongIslandMedium" was trending on Twitter, a reference to a woman named Theresa Caputo. She's just the latest in a long line of talking-to-the-dead hucksters who exploit the grief of the bereaved, using the same unsubtle cold-reading act that never fails to dazzle the gullible. I decided the hashtag could use an antidote to credulity:Like all people who falsely claim they can speak to the dead, the #LongIslandMedium is abusing … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: A Thing of Beauty

DATwitterWordCloud

The blogger Geoff Ó Laoidhléis is apparently some kind of Twitter detective. I enjoyed his post from December exposing a "pro-life atheist" organization as a probable astroturf group, by observing that the vast majority of their Twitter followers weren't atheists at all, but Catholics. More recently, he performed the same analysis on an alleged gay pro-life group.Earlier today, I heard from Geoff on Twitter, with an offer to analyze my followers list - this time, for purely aesthetic p … [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...]

The Twitter Report: Let’s Have A Rousing Welcome for the Pope

Postcards

On a related note to my last post, you've probably heard that the Pope recently took a bold step forward into the 21st century by joining Twitter. This is significant because it marks, to my knowledge, the first time that the Catholic church has ever taken a bold step forward on anything. (He chose the Twitter handle @Pontifex, I assume because @Popehat was already taken.)It's an interesting experiment, but I'm not expecting it to last. It's not just that the Pope's tweets so far have been di … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: Nice Guys Finish Last

Once again, I've gotten enmeshed in a debate on Twitter. This time it wasn't with a theist, but with two atheists, Daniel Loxton and Reed Esau. It started with these two posts, which I happened to overhear:I'd support a focussed movement to counter bigoted "atheists as hostile outsiders" stereotype. That mvnt wld be useful for me as an atheist —@Daniel_Loxton, 2:27 PM - 18 Apr 12@Daniel_Loxton Taking atheism out of the nutty, angry fringe and into the no-big-deal territory can … [Read more...]

The Twitter Report: Could It Be… Satan?

In my early days of blogging, I would have exhaustive debates, sometimes lasting for weeks, with believers who came across one of my websites and posed a challenge to me. But although it was fun in its time, I've wearied of it, and with occasional rare exceptions, I don't argue with theists over e-mail anymore. I've rehearsed those arguments so many times, and they're usually so well coached in the corresponding apologetics, that it often seems less like a real debate and more like two actors … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X