Death Is Not the Answer


I remember the Boston Marathon Bombings. I remember hearing of the attack on the radio, and wondering if my friends running and watching the marathon were alright. I remember being locked down in my apartment as news of the unfolding manhunt trickled in: an MIT policeman killed, a shootout in Watertown, the dramatic discovery of [Read More...]

Love, Lust, and the Bible: A Further Response to Matthew Vines


Matthew Vines, author of God and the Gay Christian (and subject of yesterday’s post), kindly responded to my critique on Facebook: Thank you for writing this post and for sharing your perspective about what I’m doing. Thanks also for reading and engaging with my book.Some of your criticisms, however, are factually wrong. While it is [Read More...]

God and the Gay Humanist – A Response to Matthew Vines


Matthew Vines‘ God and the Gay Christian has become something of a phenomenon. Charting Vines’ journey – with his family – from coming out to his Christian parents as gay to convincing them that the Bible really does “affirm” LGBT people, the book is essentially an investigation of what the Bible says about same-sex relationships. Weaving scriptural criticism and analysis [Read More...]

Atheism’s Lack of Values is a Bug, Not a Feature

Exploring Ethics

Recently the Friendly Atheist blog kindly hosted an article of mine arguing that Humanists should proudly reclaim the tradition of social justice which has historically animated their work. Focusing on recent events in Ferguson and St. Louis, the article sought to recognize important  critiques of organized Humanism – that it focuses on too narrow a slice [Read More...]

The Atheist Who Spoke to God


In high school I sang with a four part harmony ensemble. Three friends and I brushed up on spirituals, madrigals, and little-known choral works by major composers, and worked with a music teacher to polish them to perfection. Then we would perform in concerts with other students, our singing complementing piano pieces and string quartets. [Read More...]

Beyond the Moral Horizon

Exploring Ethics

There is a scene in the movie Lincoln in which Congress is debating the 13th Amendment The debate is passionate, raucous, each side denouncing the other in the strongest moral terms. Then George Yeaman, Representative from Kentucky, takes the floor, and says: “Although I’m disgusted by slavery, I rise on this sad and solemn day to announce that [Read More...]

In Art, Intention Isn’t Gospel

Beauty and Beyond

I love Stephen Sondheim. I know – “Gay Man Loves Stephen Sondheim!” is not going to make headlines anywhere soon. But it’s still true. I adore his musicals – and not just the most famous ones. When I was in high school I performed in a production of Assassins, a strange work which sets to music every presidential [Read More...]