When Your Atheism Is Really about Attacking Minorities

There are so many issues that get lost if we look in the world as a dichotomy of religion v. atheism. There are structures surrounding culture, race, gender, and economics that are erased by such a simplistic framing. When religion is the enemy rather than systems of power that disadvantage the poor across the globe, or women, or people of color, we lose focus on what is really important—people. Human beings. You and me—and the Somalis in Minneapolis, and everyone else from country to country across this huge world we live in. Our lives and the forces that shape them may not always fit simple narratives, but they are beautiful in their intricacy. I find myself yearning for something larger, something more holistic. I find myself tiring of simple narratives. Read more

John Crawford III Denied Justice

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. Read more

Estrogen Vibe: The Musical Satire

Satire involves using humor to make various points, frequently to call out bad ideas, and can be a useful tool. John Stewart of the Daily Show, who is one of my favorite people, regularly uses satire on his show. This particular satire is designed not only to call out the sexism in some of Harris’s recent statements but also to position these statements as part of a wider problem. Most of the words used are Harris’s, but some are not, as the satire’s author makes clear in her own discussion, which I will quote below. Read more

Obedience, Empathy, and the Laundry Hamper

Corporal punishment advocates judge my parenting on the basis of their values (obedience first and always!), but then I don’t hold their values. I consider an individual parenting moment a success if I have helped Sally practice empathy and understand how her actions affect others whether or not there was obedience. In fact, I don’t usually ask for obedience. I ask for understanding. I ask for communication. I ask for empathy. I listen. We have a conversation. I foster a connection. I teach. We grow. Read more

“What’s Your Favorite Princess?”

I want a world where girls are treated as individuals first, a world where girls are allowed to fill in the blanks in their own stories. Is it so hard to ask a girl her interests instead of assuming you already know them? Read more

Has Gay Marriage Harmed this Writer and Her Children?

At this point I stopped reading and almost laughed. I realize this is very serious subject matter, but Darnelle seems unaware that if LGBTQ individuals had equal rights and full social acceptance, she would not have been put in this situation. Her family was torn apart not as a result of her now ex-husband’s “decision to identify as a gay man” but rather because he, a gay man, felt he had to hide who he was. If he had been able to accept himself and come out earlier, he would not have married her, leaving her free to marry a straight man who could love her more fully. Read more

On Sam Harris, Pregnancy, and Sacrifices

Frankly, I don’t see much difference at all between Harris and the evangelicals I grew up among, at least on gender issues—and willingness to examine one’s biases or be self reflective. I was told growing up that it is women’s role, as determined by their biology, to make sacrifices their families—and that women should be honored as the glue that holds their homes together. And here Harris is, saying the same thing. Read more

Do They Care about Women, or Simply Bashing Religion?

Last week blogger Adam Lee of Daylight Atheism wrote for the Guardian about Richard Dawkins’ sexist comments. The article was titled “Richard Dawkins has lost it: Ignorant sexism gives atheists a bad name.” Blogger Jerry Coyne of Why Evolution Is True was not pleased, and wrote a post titled “Adam Lee Has Lost It.” My regulars will know that I don’t usually dig into the issue of sexism in the atheist movement—largely because I don’t really engage in the atheist movement—but given that I dipped my toe in it last week (“Is Sam Harris Sexist?”) I do want to respond to one thing Coyne said in his post. Read more

The Catholic Church Attempts to Silence Abuse Victim

Let’s talk about a Louisiana court case you probably haven’t heard about. What I find fascinating about the case is how completely divorced the actual case is from the rhetoric about it on Catholic blogs and news sites. Read more

Is Sam Harris Sexist?

I recently wrote about League of the South’s Michael Peroutka’s denial that he is racist. The organization he says taught him everything he knows openly promotes secession and the creation of a white Christian South, but because it also eschews racial hatred Peroutka is aghast at the charges of racism. In fact, he has accused those charging him with racism of playing a “cynical, dishonest race-card-smear game.” It was this situation that my mind was drawn back to as I read Sam Harris’s recent post, “I Am Not the Sexist Pig You’re Looking For.” Read more

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