This is a shocker for secularists wanting to keep church and state separate. This appears to be a rather exploitative response to the latest shooting. Because, you know, nothing stops mass shootings like indoctrination. This is from The Tampa Bay Times: With the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting still looming large, its students in the Capitol to lobby for gun controls, the Florida House overwhelmingly passed a measure Wednesday its sponsor said aimed at bringing “light” to the schools. The bill… Read more

This letter is rather scary. Oh the power of the NRA! Is this how competent democracies are supposed to work? Decisions for the highest bidders… Lobbying is a disgrace. Read more

Biological evolution is a remarkably cruel process. Evolution selects against the least fit among an environment’s populations and species over time. By selecting against the unfit, it kills the infant and disabled animals in the herd, and species that are prey are subject to deaths that are particularly violent and gruesome. As if that isn’t enough, evolution has produced consciousness and the existence of pain, forcing us to be viscerally of aware of our suffering (especially if we are in… Read more

Ed Atkinson is a friend from Wycombe Skeptics in the Pub who has also appeared on the Unbelievable radio programme on Premier Christian Radio in the UK. He has decided to start up a podcast, which I would like to support. Here are his reasons for doing so. This dovetails quite nicely with my post the other day: Why Do This? What Motivates Me? An Analysis…. Why Start a Podcast on Reason, Religion and Doubt? With great excitement, I have started… Read more

Yes, I was wrong. In my recent article titled, “Taxes, Churches and Government,”[i] I argued that churches should not be granted tax-exempt status like secular charities because most of their activities were not charity-related. Several people posted comments pointing out that tax exempt status was not limited to charities. “Advocacy groups” like the NRA and ACLU can also qualify. Churches are clearly advocacy organizations. They advocate their religious beliefs, including belief in a supernatural deity that performs all kinds of… Read more

Received wisdom from numerous polls suggests that conservatives outnumber, in the States, liberals. So I found it interesting that, on reading an article on the brilliant FiveThirtyEight website (from Nate Silver), this tide seems to be turning: As recently as 2010, there were more self-described conservatives than self-described liberals in all 50 states, according to Gallup. That’s no longer the case. By the end of 2016, there were more liberals than conservatives in four states (Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont). And… Read more

This sort of thing blows my mind every time. I haven’t seen a gun in public in the UK for over a decade. And I like it that way. If this does not prove a point then nothing will.Posted by Michael M Fahy on Sunday, February 18, 2018 Read more

There is nothing in the Constitution that says churches are exempt from taxes. Nor is there anything that says contributions to churches should be deductible from an individual’s income taxes. There weren’t any income taxes when the Constitution was written in 1791. The first income tax was enacted 71 years later in 1862, and then it was repealed ten years later in 1872, then revived in 1894, only to be declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court in 1895. Finally,… Read more

Some time back, Dale McGowan, the editor / manager of the Patheos Nonreligious channel, proposed an idea that seems to be gathering momentum in the corridors of power (!). Dale proposes a blog that aggregates the following sort of content: The proposed blog would provide brief reviews of new releases in atheist/humanist/skeptic books and other media, as well as interviews with the authors. Noteworthy videos and podcast episodes may also be included. The goal is to create a single spot… Read more

Quite often, in the abortion debate, one hears the “potential Mother Theresa” or potential human (being) argument. Potentiality is quite problematic. After all, any given human is also a potential mass murderer or potential Hitler. Potentiality, as a concept, is rather dubious at best. The idea is that killing a foetus is killing a potential human person or being. Let’s unpack this a little. The first thing to say about this, as is commonly stated, is that it is then… Read more

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