No, Christian Post, Mikey Weinstein Was Not Hired by the Pentagon

I saw this at the Christian Post earlier this afternoon:

The Pentagon has hired a Jewish activist who has been outspoken in his opposition to conservative Christianity to serve as a consultant and develop new policies on religious tolerance.

Mikey Weinstein, founder of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, has spoken out against a number of conservative Christian groups, calling them “Fundamentalist Christian Monsters.”

What?! Mikey’s been hired by the Pentagon? No way!

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Tomorrow, Atheists Will Protest for Free Expression: We Have to Make Them Care

Tomorrow, a coalition of atheist and secularist groups will hold (mostly) coordinated protests on behalf of the jailed atheist bloggers in Bangladesh. My employer, the Center for Inquiry, is among those leading the effort. I’m writing so that I can convince you to attend one, if you’re near enough to do so, and to share the fact of the protests with everyone in your social networks. Why? Because, yeah, it’s about the bloggers, but it’s not just about the bloggers.

Atheists in the U.S., in Canada, in Western Europe — we are by no means everyone’s favorite ideological/”religious” minority. But we, for the most part, enjoy the same liberties and freedoms that everyone else does in our respective countries. Folks might complain about us, write pointed op-eds, rail against our evil secularist incursion into government, or troll us with angry comments and blog posts (oh wait, that last one we do to each other), but we’re okay. We’re still at it. We’re, for the most part, safe.

The fellas in Bangladesh, they do what we do, they think similarly to the way we think, and they’re in jail because of it. More who are like them have been threatened with arrest. A newspaper editor who has been an opponent of the government’s was arrested, and they cited his reprinting of quotes from the bloggers as one of his crimes.

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There’s No Reason Atheists Should Be Excluded in These Cases

Yesterday, the Washington Post‘s On Faith section published an article I wrote about how atheists exclusion occurs in the unlikeliest of places, from the memorial for the Boston Bombing victims to the revamped Boy Scouts of America. Even the “Atheist Church” isn’t immune from prejudiced thinking:

In all of these instances, kind, well-intentioned atheists were excluded on the basis of their beliefs, by people who often claim their faith makes them more moral, more noble, and more generous than those who don’t possess it. Indeed, we are finding that faith is not a virtue. If it were, you would not see atheists being banned from an interfaith (or, to phrase it more accurately, interthought) event meant to honor people of all backgrounds and beliefs. You would not see atheists kicked out of the Boy Scouts of America when scouting organizations around the world (not to mention the Girl Scouts of the USA) have accepted atheists in their ranks without a problem. And I doubt you would see church groups renege on their contract at the last second if they were dealing with another religious group.

You can read the entire piece here. Please comment there if you have anything to say! [Read more...]

Memo to Scott Stantis: Tim Tebow Is No Jason Collins

Scott Stantis, a conservative cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune, drew this in response to Jason Collins‘ coming out:

The idea, of course, is that the media is celebrating Collins for telling the world he’s gay, while they were mostly annoyed by Tim Tebow for telling the world he’s Christian.

If that sentence seems weird to you, that’s because the cartoon makes no sense.

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The Problems with Male Circumcision: An Interview with the Producer of American Secret

Francelle Wax is the producer of a film called American Secret: The Circumcision Agenda which takes a close look at the problems with male circumcision. More broadly speaking, it addresses the ideas of how ideas spread, why we believe in rituals that serve relatively little or no benefit, and what it would take to change our beliefs.

Francelle was kind enough to answer my own questions as well as those solicited from friends:

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