A Podcast Interview with Skeptic Money On Air

I recently did an interview for Phil Ferguson‘s Skeptic Money On Air podcast. You can listen to the full episode right here!

[Read more…]

Why Brandeis University Is Comically Wrong On All Counts in the Ayaan Hirsi Ali ‘Hate Speech’ Flap

This is a guest post written by Rogier van Bakel.

Last night, this blog published a post about Brandeis University’s decision to revoke Ayaan Hirsi Ali‘s honorary doctorate in Social Justice. The university had belatedly decided that Hirsi Ali, a hard-bitten critic of Islam, does not represent the values Brandeis supposedly holds dear (more on that in a minute).

I play a minor role in this fiasco.

The successful student petition that preceded the snub contained some quotes from a Reason interview I did with Hirsi Ali in Washington back in 2007. Those quotes, without their context, sounded harsh, although they might have made some people blanch even within their context.

[Read more…]

Here’s the Perfect Response to the Christian Anti-Gay ‘Day of Dialogue’ Cards

Tomorrow marks the annual Focus on the Family-sponsored “Day of Dialogue” in which participants can tell their LGBT classmates why they’re going to hell. (It’s a Christian response to the Day of Silence which takes place this Friday.)

This is the card they will be handing out this year:

As I’ve posted before, Zach Moore created a fantastic parody of an older version of the card and I’m thrilled to repost it here:

[Read more…]

The Federal Bureau of Prisons Doesn’t Consider ‘Humanism’ a Religion, but an Inmate is Suing Them to Change That

The Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Oregon is a prison with nearly 2,000 inmates. Those inmates, upon arrival, can designate a religious preference — which is how we know the religious makeup of inmates who volunteer that information.

The list of available religions, as you can see, doesn’t include Humanism.

And now an inmate is suing to change that.

[Read more…]

Carroll County Officials Decide by the Narrowest of Margins to Follow Court Order & Stop Praying to Jesus at Meetings

After a judge told the Carroll County (Maryland) Board of Commissioners that they needed to stop their prayers to Jesus at meetings, they decided they didn’t give a damn what the law said.

A day after the ruling, commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier said a religious prayer anyway (falsely attributing it to President George Washington).

After the American Humanist Association’s Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent the commissioners’ lawyers a warning letter threatening a contempt charge if there was another attempt to defy the ruling, the board went ahead and invited a speaker who also said a prayer to Jesus.

So the AHA demanded the court issue a heavy fine against the board — to the tune of $30,000 immediately and $10,000 for each additional violation of the court order.

[Read more…]