About Keith Parsons

Melania Trump Speaks Again; Trump Team Denies Plagiarism

The Trump team was quick to deny the Melania Trump’s latest speech was plagiarized. They noted that “four score and seven years ago” is a common way of saying “eighty seven.” Eighty seven is just a common number they observed, nothing special about it. Further, Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort noted that the phrase “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” is a phrase in the public domain that is not protected by any copyrights. When asked about her references to being “en … [Read more...]

C.S. Lewis, Hammer of the Theocrats

A comment on the Friendly Atheist site had a marvelous quote from C.S. Lewis. I ran it by Victor Reppert to make sure that it was genuine and to get its source. Victor verified that it is from the essay "Equality" in Lewis's collection Present Concerns. It is the best succinct critique of theocracy that I have read: I am a democrat because I believe that no man or group of men is good enough to be trusted with uncontrolled power over others. And the higher the pretensions of such power, the … [Read more...]

Christian Charity on Display

Yesterday (7/5/16) The Houston Chronicle published my letter below:The 5-3 Supreme Court ruling against Texas’ oppressive abortion restrictions is a rebuke to extremism. It is also a rebuke to dishonesty. The purpose of the legislation, indeed its sole purpose, was to restrict access to abortion. When they take office members of the Texas State Legislature swear an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” the Constitution of the United States, and women in this country have a constitutional ri … [Read more...]

Busted. Victor Reppert has Nailed Us. We Became Atheists for the Sex

OK fellow secularists, the game’s up. Victor Reppert has nailed us.http://dangerousidea.blogspot.com/2016/06/surprise-surprise.htmlSecularist organizations seem to be having a lot of trouble with sexual harassment.  You have to ask "What did you think was going to happen?" One of the key selling points of secularism is that you don't have to follow those benighted old restrictions on sexual conduct imposed by those nasty, prudish and repressive Christians. And then, lo and behold, vul … [Read more...]

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner

Sigh. I miss Jerry Falwell. Of all the fundamentalist loudmouths and rabble-rousers, he was the one I most loved to hate. He was absolutely dependable. Whatever the topic or context he was reliably sanctimonious, unctuous, bigoted, and utterly detestable. Other soldiers in the army of the night were just as obnoxious, like Jimmy Swaggart (“I have sinned against you.”), but they tended to be so dumb that they were more comical than offensive. I used to laugh out loud when Swaggart would point to t … [Read more...]

Even Trolls can be Useful for Rational Discussion

Secular Outpost prides itself on hosting serious discussions about serious issues. Many other sites, atheist or religious, are more devoted to dogmatic debunking and ridicule. Over the years, I have enjoyed and benefitted from many discussions with intelligent and informed believers who share my conviction that reasonable people of good faith can differ widely in their views, even on religious questions. Sometimes, a commenter will begin by sounding abrasive, dismissive, or sarcastic, but will … [Read more...]

Thomas Friedman gets it Right on Islam and Terrorism

What is the connection between Islam and terrorism? Any answer you give will likely draw strident and intemperate criticism. If you say that there is a connection, you will be charged with Islamophobia. If you say that there is no connection and that terrorism has only political, social, and economic causes, then you will be castigated as a dupe who worships at the altar of political correctness. It is hard to articulate both a refusal to condemn the religion of 1.7 billion people and yet to … [Read more...]

After Orlando: The Uses of Anger

My previous post in the aftermath of the Orlando massacre urged an angry response that calls bigots to account, a response like the eulogy given by Dave Dennis in 1964 at the funeral of murdered civil rights worker James Chaney. Some comments on the post raised the issue of when anger is justified and what good it can do. Rather than respond in the comments section, this seems to me to be a big enough issue to deserve a second post.When is it right to be angry? Some things should make us … [Read more...]


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