After Planned Parenthood Shooting, Republican Presidential Candidates Remain Silent

Even though we don’t know exactly why Robert Lewis Dear walked into a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood with an “assault-style rifle” yesterday, killing one police officer and two civilians, surely you can have sympathy for the staffers and patients inside that facility, right?

Hillary Clinton did:

Bernie Sanders did:

As of this writing, however, not a single Republican Presidential candidate has made any public statements about the incident.

[Read more…]

A Conversation Between Two Atheist Debaters

In an interview for his Atheist Debates project, Matt Dillahunty talks to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Dan Barker. So, basically, two people who have debated a combined 32984324 Christians talking about their experiences.

[Read more…]

Ted Cruz Needs to Explain Why He Spoke at Event Hosted by Pastor Who Wants Gay People Executed

I posted about this earlier this month, but it’s still appalling that Pastor Kevin Swanson said that homosexuals should be put to death, as it says in the Bible, only to add that he didn’t want people to take action on that immediately because gay people needed “time to repent.”

Maybe your initial reaction is: Who cares? That guy is on the fringes of Christianity. He doesn’t represent most Christians.

And yet Swanson is popular enough that three Republican Presidential candidates saw it fitting to attend that very conference — knowing what Swanson had said about gay people. They cared so much about getting a few more votes that they were willing to overlook his murder fantasies. This man is not on the fringes of Christianity. He represents a sizable voting bloc — one large enough that Presidential candidates are clamoring for their votes.

At least Rachel Maddow was willing to talk about the issue on her show:

[Read more…]

Calling Islam a “Religion of Peace” is Unfair to Islam

Of all the empty slogans tossed around this election season, “religion of peace” is one of the most mindless. Less than a week after the terrorist attacks in Paris, Hillary Clinton offered a remix of this familiar slogan:

“Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”

I would agree that most Muslims are peaceful and tolerant. Clinton, however, goes farther than that when she equates peace and tolerance with Muslims and Islam, as if violent people are, by definition, not Muslims. This isn’t a new idea, just new wording. And it’s still inaccurate.

[Read more…]

CJ Werleman’s The New Atheist Threat: A Caricature of a Cause

I suspect there are few experiences as potentially awkward as publicly reviewing the creative work of someone you know.

In his most recent book, The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists, CJ Werleman lists me (as well as Nathan Phelps and a few others) as a friend… and apparently an exemption to the charge that New Atheism is essentially a hate cult.

CJ and I have crossed paths over the years, and our exchanges — even spirited disagreements — have been universally pleasant. Amicable. Friendly. We’ve spoken at conferences, on the phone, on the radio, and over brunch. He opened for me at a 2014 tour event in San Diego. I advised him when he was navigating his start-up podcast. Conversation came easily, if infrequently, and normally, I’d welcome the description of “friend.” But with CJ’s inflammatory new book, to be named in any capacity is not something I’m comfortable with.

Publicity-wise, there’s lot of flash and mud flying about in relation to The New Atheist Threat, and of course, it would be easy to intercept any of the hundreds of Twitter volleys tossed about in its promotion/detraction and build an analysis on hype alone. The responsible move, however, is to actually read the book. So, finally, I did.

[Read more…]