We Must Criticize Islam – Responsibly

Humanism - Reason, Compassion, Hope

On Monday I helped coach a group of leaders from all around the world in the opening session of the Harvard Kennedy School’s “Global Change Agents Executive Education Program“. It was an inspiring day: participants from all continents and numerous nations shared their stories, explaining  what called them to change the world. One story particularly [Read More...]

Leave the Satanists Alone!

Satanic Temple Logo

A visit to the website of The Satanic Temple threatens, at first glance, to reaffirm one’s worst prejudices. A rich red background is stamped with a livid symbol of a horned goat superimposed upon a pentagram. Scanning the page reveals an illustration of Paradise Lost by Gustav Dore, showing Lucifer’s expulsion from heaven: the angels, feathered wings unfurled, are [Read More...]

Secularism is the Best Response to Greece v. Galloway

Yesterday a divided Supreme Court ruled that sectarian prayer – even prayer which promotes one religious faith the vast majority of the time, at the expense of people of other religions or none – can be held prior to legislative sessions of government bodies in the USA. I am not a lawyer or a legal [Read More...]

How to Check Your Privilege in 5 Excruciating Steps

Dialogue

Recently, I changed my mind. Challenged over my uncritical reposting of a secular argument against abortion, I was forced to examine my assumptions, reflect on my identity, and consider how my actions might look from a different vantage point – in other words, I “checked my privilege”. The exhortation to “check your privilege” is common in [Read More...]

On the Privilege of Discussing Abortion

In April 2012 I was asked by a Secular Student Alliance affiliate to represent the pro-choice side in a debate on the morality of abortion at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. I was wary to accept. As a gay man, I reasoned I was less likely than most to be intimately affected by a [Read More...]

The Sochi Games: Fury and Futility

I have been avoiding writing about the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: my feelings are too fierce and conflicted, and I cannot find precision. Yet I feel I cannot stay silent, so I prevail upon you, my reader, to grant me a space to speak openly and honestly on an issue which is full of complexity [Read More...]

A Humanist Conception of Evil

“Evil” the most powerful term of moral condemnation. Worse than “wrong”, “bad”, or even “wicked”, saying something – an act or an individual – is “evil” is the most forceful negative evaluation we have access to in the ethical sphere. The word carries connotations which makes some atheists and Humanists concerned. Some worry that it [Read More...]


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