Atheism and Islam

Hirsi Ali

Last week I wrote about an article published by Charisma News that called for war against Islam, and denied that either converting Muslims or expelling them from the U.S. could solve the Islam problem. I pointed out that the author, Rev. Gary Cass, completely ignored that most Muslims are not so different from you or me, that there are (and have always been) a variety of interpretations and sects of Islam, and that religions change and evolve over time. On the whole, the comments on my post … [Read more...]

The Limits of Science


I love science. I love its potential to improve the world through innovation, and I love using it to learn more about the world around me. The physical world we live in is truly fascinating. But science alone does not give us values or ethical systems.First are the things we value in or find meaningful. Science can tell us the fail rate of various birth control methods, and how STDs are spread and best avoided. It can also tell us the function sex has played among humans and in various other … [Read more...]

In Defense of Progressive Religion


On Wednesday, blogger Kaveh Mousavi of FreeThought Blogs wrote a post criticizing my recent posts on progressive Christianity and theistic evolution. Yesterday I responded with a post discussing ethical systems. Today I will respond again, this time looking at Kaveh's claim that progressive values are not compatible with Christianity (or Islam).Kaveh's central argument appears to be this: It’s funny how skeptics suddenly become poststructuralist when it comes to religions and believe in the … [Read more...]

Opposing Beliefs That Cause Harm

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Blogger Kaveh Mousavi of FreeThought Blogs wrote a post yesterday criticizing my recent posts on progressive Christianity and theistic evolution. I want to take a moment to respond to his critiques and further explain what I've been trying to say. In this post I am going to look at priorities and what we mean by "truth." In tomorrow's post I'll look at Kaveh's claim that progressive values are not compatible with Christianity (or Islam).Kaveh starts out with this: [A]ny atheist who argues in … [Read more...]

Richard Dawkins and Rape Rape

Description=Richard Dawkins Photograph: Jeremy Young 05-12-2006

I have a friend who was raped by a friend of hers---someone she had had sex with before. It's just that this time, she said no, she wasn't up for it at the moment, and he didn't stop. It wasn't "violent"---she basically disassociated and laid there in shock that this was happening to her. He was someone she had trusted. This experience led my friend into some risky behavior---she figured there wasn't any point in keeping herself safe, as there was no "safe"---and ultimately put her into therapy … [Read more...]

Oh That Sarah Jones! Censoring the “Nones”


On July 4th, the New York Times published a story on Sarah Jones. I've known Sarah Jones, both through blogging and in person, for over a year now. Like me, Sarah grew up in a conservative Christian homeschooling family. Like me, Sarah is now a feminist, a progressive, and a nonbeliever. Of course, our stories diverge on multiple points---Sarah was abused as a child in a way I was not, she was ultimately allowed to attend public high school, she went to a conservative Christian university, and … [Read more...]

Can We Please Not Defend White Supremacists?


Several months ago I took a stroll through some rather scary youtube videos about the English Defense League. Basically, the United Kingdom has a racism problem. The country has a growing Muslim population, mostly a result of immigration, and the English Defense League and other groups have sprung up in reaction, reminiscent to the Ku Klux Klan. This is not about protecting the separation of church and state (it's worth remembering that England actually does have an official church, the Anglican … [Read more...]