About chanam

Chana is a fourth year mathematics major at the University of Chicago. She is a vegetarian Jewish atheist feminist, and is thus usually angry about something or other. She also blogs at www.themerelyreal.wordpress.com

Women of the Western Wall and How Religion Hurts the Religious

The Western Wall, or the Wailing Wall, is the only remaining part of King Solomon’s Temple, built in 516 BCE and destroyed by the Romans in 73 CE. Located in Jerusalem, it is a spot of great meaning and importance to Jews around the world. Unfortunately, the wall and the plaza around it don’t belong to all Israelis or all Jews in Israel. It is controlled by a group of ultra-Orthodox Israelis, who, in accordance with Jewish law, mandate a separate section for men and women (guess which one is bigger?) and also restrict what women seeking to approach the wall are allowed to wear. Part of their rules are for modesty concerns; women must be covering their knees and elbows. But the religious restrictions don’t stop there. Women who wish to approach the wall wearing prayer shawls or carrying Torahs to read from are stopped from doing so. As the law states, “No religious ceremony shall be in held in the women’s section of the Western Wall.”

[Click headline for more…] [Read more…]

Freethinkers in the Civil Rights Movement Event in Chicago

Kimberly Veal, executive director of the Black Nonbelievers of Chicago, will be speaking on Thursday, January 24th, about another side of the story: The Role of Freethinkers and Freethought in the Civil Rights Movement. [Read more…]

Celebrate Carl Sagan Day in Chicago!

Last year, freethought groups in Chicago came together to celebrate Carl Sagan Day. This year,  it’s happening again! On November 1st, skeptics and science-enthusiasts alike are coming together to celebrate Sagan’s life and legacy. [Read more…]

No, Daniel Sarewitz, Science Does Not Have To Give Way to Religion

Articles declaring that science is just like religion, or that science must not address religion, annoy me. Partially because they’re wrong, but mostly because they tend to thoroughly and willfully misunderstand both science and religion, to the detriment of both. Exhibit A: Sometimes Science Must Give Way to Religion, a column appearing in the latest [Read More…]

The SSA Hates Puppies Now?

Leah Libresco, the atheist-turned-Catholic blogger on Patheos, has written a post calling on her readers to donate to the Secular Student Alliance to combat the harm done by those responsible for the Distributed Denial of Service attack on the SSA website. As Adam Lee has pointed out, atheists have come together twice now to pay [Read More…]