On the Duggars and the Locus of Outrage

dfamily

I recently received the following email:Hi Libby Anne, I’m a long-time reader of your blog, so I know you occasionally write about the Duggar family. Well, recently I heard about a fairly popular petition to get the show “19 Kids and Counting” cancelled. Maybe you have also heard this, but if not, here is one news story about it: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/thousands-petition-against-19-kids-and-counting-for-lgbtq-fear-mongering/ Supposedly, this was due to comments they made against gay m … [Read more...]

We Prosecute People for Actions, Not Beliefs

sam_harris

About a month ago, a blog post by Terry Firma titled "The Dishonesty of Some of Sam Harris’ Foes (Who Clearly Know Better But Smear Him Anyway)" went up on the Friendly Atheist. In it, Terry explained that some of Harris's opponents had been tweeting a specific quote from one of Harris's books and labeling him a "genocidal fascist maniac." Here is the quote: “Some propositions are so dangerous that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them.” According to Terry, Harris's opponen … [Read more...]

Election Day Open Thread

Election_MG_3455

Today is the midterm election in the United States. This year's election lacks the pizzaz of a presidential campaign, but that doesn't mean it is unimportant! So get out there and vote, everyone, and feel free to weigh in here on which races and issues you see as especially important. And feel free to pop some popcorn and join discussion as the results come in tonight! … [Read more...]

There Is Usually More to the Story, Houston Edition

HERO

If you're anything like me, your news feed exploded a couple of days ago with articles on right-wing news sites alleging that the oft foretold persecution of anti-gay Christians has begun in Houston. It seems the Mayor of Houston issued subpoenas for the sermons of five anti-gay pastors. Censorship! Persecution! The criminalization of anti-gay speech! Or was it? What exactly is going on here?The Houston City Council approved an anti-discrimination ordinance, Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, la … [Read more...]

When Your Atheism Is Really about Attacking Minorities

somalifood0922

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is home to at tens of thousands of Somali immigrants, the largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the country. The community was largely formed by the result of refugees from Somalia's civil wars. Relatively new immigrants with few preexisting networks, some 82% of Somalis in Minnesota live near or below the poverty level. They frequently have low levels of education, and have faced challenges integrating into American society made worse by the surge of Islamophobia … [Read more...]

John Crawford III Denied Justice

John-Crawford-iii

I have to admit to feeling a bit sick. I just saw two things in very close proximity. The first was a headline announcing that Beavercreek, Ohio, police were cleared of wrongdoing in the shooting death of John Crawford III. The second was the surveillance video of that shooting, which occurred in a Walmart.Crawford had picked up an unloaded BB gun off a shelf and was swinging it gently, point down, while standing in an aisle talking on the phone. The autopsy report found that Crawford was … [Read more...]

Obedience, Empathy, and the Laundry Hamper

child-hugging-mother (1)

I was chatting with a friend about the results of a recent pew survey when she asked a question I found very, very interesting. I mean, if you teach a kid empathy, tolerance, and responsibility---do they need to be obedient? Or will they just do the things that are in the best interests of everyone? Like, "Hey, could you do the dishes?" "Sure." Because they realize they should help out with the house.  This is an excellent point.Let me offer an example: I would like my daughter Sally to pu … [Read more...]


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