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

Atheist Sam Harris is in the news again. Again, he is criticized for being Islamophobic, and again prominent atheist bloggers have come to his defense. Read more

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance (to me) of activists cultivating good character traits: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. I truly think these are important virtues for everyone, and especially important when we activists work with each other to improve the world. But I also said, pretty strongly, that I don’t like working with people who are “mean.” Some people have asked, reasonably enough, what I mean by “mean” – a particularly important question, because often people try to… Read more

In my years as an activist many of my core values have stayed the same. I am still committed to maximal liberty of the individual, compatible with others’ rights. I am still for government intervention to help people get more free. I am still enraged by injustice and willing to fight against it. One area my views have developed, though, regards the importance of individual character. “Character” feels like an old-fashioned word, perhaps even a conservative one. When people speak… Read more

Write or say anything about a currently-controversial political topic, and you are likely to swiftly be drawn into a discussion about words: “I don’t think you/we should use word x. We should use word y instead! It’s more understandable / welcoming / less threatening / more common.” These discussions can be frustrating: often I want to discuss the issues my words are referring to, rather than the words I have chosen to describe the issue. Sometimes, these discussions are enraging, because by disagreeing… Read more

Yesterday I wrote that if you’re not for racial justice you’re not a Humanist. That (to me) uncontroversial statement provoked a predictable backlash among some “Humanists,” who prefer their worldview racial justice-free. The critics seemed to have two main objections. The first is standard racial obliviousness: the idea that colorblindness is, in fact, the best way to deal with racism, and the only way consistent with Humanism. For, this line of thinking goes, what could be more Humanist than treating everyone… Read more

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