Not long ago at all, in a galaxy very close to home, a war rages: is Star Wars: The Last Jedi an assault on everything true Star Wars fans hold dear, or a triumphant strike against oppression of all kinds? On one side, Star Wars fans fueled by anger and rage complain that the new entry in the series was designed to infuriate them, a personal middle finger to the face. “The Last Jedi trolled fans from start to finish…. Read more

Aesthetics – the philosophy of art – is a passion of mine. I love thinking about art in general, and about specific artworks in particular. When I go and see a play or a movie, much of my pleasure comes from the discussion afterward. What worked? What didn’t work? What did I like or dislike, and why? What themes were prominent or missing? This discussion is a big part of the fun of art, for me. I get frustrated, though,… Read more

In the Parkway School District “MassResistance Missouri,” the local branch of a national hate group, is trying to sway school board elections to promote unsafe, homophobic, Christian-based sex education. This is not hyperbole: right now an organization based on hatred of LGBT people, which promotes that hatred in the USA and around the world, wants to decide what is taught to children in the Parkway school district. What is MassResistance? MassResistance, founded by anti-LGBT extremist Brian Camenker, is an intensely… Read more

I was raised on Star Trek. This is not hyperbole. Some of my most treasured memories are sitting with my mother watching episode after episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The crew of the Starship Enterprise feel like extended family to me, their stories parables which have indelibly marked my moral outlook. The ethical discourse Star Trek presents – discussion about what it means to be human, how to be good in a strange and hostile universe, where to find grace and hope when confronted… Read more

In a recent article for The Daily Beast, reporter Brandon Withrow writes about a piece of new research published in the journal Nature Human Behavior (I’m quoted in the article, actually!). The research is pretty interesting: it shows that, even in highly secular societies, people seem to unconsciously associate atheism with immorality. This is an interesting finding. We know that anti-atheist prejudice is widespread in America, but to find that intuitive biases against atheists persist in Finland, New Zealand, and the Netherlands (for… Read more

This week a conservative evangelical Christian group released the “Nashville Statement,” a transparently homophobic and transphobic screed designed to give theological cover to those who wish to discriminate and hate in the name of God. Its 14 Articles are a sustained assault on the dignity of LGBTQIA+ people, each one an ethical monstrosity elevating some people’s interpretation of scripture over other people’s right to live as they wish. The articles include the following: WE DENY that God has designed marriage… Read more

I cannot count the number of times I’ve seen it. There is a protest about something – an unjust legal decision, some Presidential fuckery, yet another police shooting – and people take the streets. For a short time – a fraction of a day, a fraction of a fraction of a year – pedestrians take the roadways and impede traffic. The aim is to disrupt, to call attention to the issue by causing some small, targeted disruption to the normal… Read more

Activists in America are faced with a narrative crisis. Confronted with a resurgence of far right organizing, with Nazis and other white supremacists marching openly in the streets of American cities, we are casting around for ways to engage a wide coalition of people to fight against hate – and our narrative resources our running low. We need new stories. The far right has a simple and compelling story. It tells people that life is a competition between peoples, a… Read more

This is the fourth in a series of posts examining David Bentley Hart’s book “The Experience of God” – it addresses the first part of Chapter 3. You can find the other parts here. The third chapter of Hart’s book, “Being”, is the first part of his actual argument in favor of the existence of god. The introduction, first, and second chapters set up his general philosophical approach and outline the scope of the book, and now he’s into the meat of his… Read more

This is the third in a series of posts examining David Bentley Hart’s book “The Experience of God”. You can find the other parts here. Aeons ago, I started writing a chapter by chapter review/analysis of David Bentley Hart’s The Experience of God. I did the introduction and Chapter 1, and then stopped the series in despair: the faults of the book seemed too many to detail, and I couldn’t stomach the effort. However, numerous people have written to me since then to… Read more

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