Teaching “Both Sides”?

I was homeschooled from kindergarten through high school, and like many homeschooled students, I studied from creationist science textbooks. The most prominent science curriculum in our community was Apologia, which calls itself an "educational ministry" and offers "Learn, Live, and Defend the Faith" as its motto.Creationists often argue that creationism should be taught in public schools alongside evolution so that students can "hear both sides" and decide for themselves. Beside the obvious … [Read more...]

Clarification and Comments Policy

Yesterday I wrote a post called "How I Run My Blog" about the sort of civil tone I want to maintain on my blog. In response to some readers' comments, I have revised the post to make what I meant more clear and precise and to help it best reflect what I was trying to communicate. I am sorry if my revisions have caused any confusion.I originally included a quote from a concerned theist reader, but I have since deleted the quote because I realized including it unintentionally gave voice to an … [Read more...]

Sunday Mornings, Guilt, and Reconceptualization

Growing up, I attended church each and every Sunday. It was just . . . what we did. Sunday mornings was for church. Period. My parents used a Bible verse to back up the importance of church attendance: Hebrews 10:25Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. In other words, going to church was commanded by God. It wasn't optional. And if you didn't go to church, you would be … [Read more...]

Respect: I do not think it means what you think it means

I grew up hearing that men needed to "respect" women, and that one of the biggest problems in our society was that men had stopped respecting women. Except that there's something really strange going on here, because feminists, myself included, also believe that men need to respect women. It's just...they don't mean the same thing. Actually, they sort of mean the opposite thing.Leaders in the Christian Patriarchy movement says that men don't respect women today because they don't open doors … [Read more...]

Abortion, Heartbeats, and Souls

Have you see those pictures anti-abortion protesters carry, the ones of aborted fetuses? The idea is to show, graphically, that a fetus looks like a little person, not a blob of cells (note: these images are often fraudulent, purporting to show a fetus at a certain number of weeks but actually showing a much older fetus). The idea behind showing women ultrasounds before letting them have an abortion is the same, as is the idea behind talking about when the heart starts beating and brainwaves … [Read more...]

How I Run My Blog

Different blogs fill different niches, and this is important and much needed. I recently received an email from a theist reader expressing concern that now that my blog has moved to FreeThought Blogs it will no longer be a place where friendly dialogue between theists and atheists can take place. In response to her concerns, I'm going to elaborate here for a moment, especially for new readers, on the niche I try to fill with my blog.Even as I have always been passionate in what I write, I have … [Read more...]

“Religious freedom” is not a get out of jail free card

There's something that's been bothering me for a while now, especially with the Hosanna-Tabor Supreme Court decision last month and the Catholic Bishops'  push back against the Obama Administration's regulation requiring that every insurance plan offer birth control without co-pays. It's this: religious individuals seem to think "religious freedom" is a get out of jail free card.Religious freedom means you are free to believe as you like. It does not, however, mean that you are free to do as … [Read more...]