Who Gets a Platform on the College Campus?

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When I was an undergraduate, the Cambridge Union invited Jean-Marie Le Pen – then Leader of the National Front Party of France – to debate immigration. Le Pen is a highly polarizing figure: a darling of the French right wing, and a demon to the left. Seen (rightly, I think) as a race-baiting, foreigner-hating, anti-semitic, [Read More...]

Marching through Ferguson

Crowds in Ferguson

It’s strange, perhaps, for an activist to admit they do not enjoy marches. Marches and rallies – so often the go-to response when a community wishes to demonstrate power, generate solidarity, or express outrage – make me deeply uncomfortable. The emotional energy, the collective passion, the chanting and shouting and call-and-response: all of it makes [Read More...]

Neil Tyson on Philosophy – Let’s Not Overreact

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Watch this first – it’s my video about this issue which attempts to satirize both Tyson’s views on philosophy and the reaction they have provoked in some quarters: Recently Neil deGrasse Tyson made a stir with some comments about philosophy on the Nerdist podcast. Speaking clearly with a hint of jest, the world-famous science communicator [Read More...]

Neil, We Need to Talk

I have some serious words with Neil deGrasse Tyson about philosophy. The ghost of Carl Sagan looks on. [Read more...]

World Voice Day – Poetry and Prose

For World Voice Day 2014 – a celebration of the voice in all its facets – I’ve recorded some selections of poetry and prose requested by friends. There is some sad stuff, some happy stuff, some inspiring stuff, and some sexually explicit stuff (be warned!) – a whole range. Enjoy! World Voice Day – Poetry [Read More...]

How to Check Your Privilege in 5 Excruciating Steps

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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...]


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