Where Yuan Went Wrong (Part 2)

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time)A few weeks ago, in my post detailing mistakes atheists make about Catholics, one of the big ones was assuming that Catholicism, a tradition with a 2000 year history, doesn't have at least a plausible sounding explanation for common objections to its tenets.  Now, I know we atheists haven't had as coherent a series of apologetics, but we're not stupid.  If you don't bother to ack … [Read more...]

Where Yuan Went Wrong (Part 1)

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time).Although I thought Christopher Yuan presented a reasonably compassionate explanation of his beliefs about sexual morality when he came to Yale, there were some parts of his talk that made my hair stand on end.  I honestly don't know whether some parts of his talk were intended to be subtly derogatory of gay people and gay culture.  I'm a debater, so I pay a great deal of attention … [Read more...]

The Ex-Gay Lecture Letdown

This is part of a series of posts which tackles sexual ethics and debating strategies (but not at the same time). To get an overview of the controversy under consideration, check out yesterday's summary post of the controversy that erupted when an ex-gay speaker came to campus (which has now been updated to include a link to the explanatory/apologetic letter from the groups that invited him).The talk was an anti-climax.Prior to Yuan's arrival, I'd gotten plenty of tip-off emails from the … [Read more...]

Get Up to Speed on Yale’s Ex-Gay Speaker

I'm off to face down Tristyn of Eschatological Psychosis and other fine speakers tonight at the Yale Political Union's annual Party Prize debate (though I fear the topic "Resolved: Don't Fear the Reaper" plays to the formidable strengths of someone whose blog includes the tags "Death is the prize" "Tom Waits is the soundtrack to my life" and "Yugoslavia is just a dance party."  Ok, maybe not that last one as much, but who knows?).  I'm definitely looking forward to her speech, and I hope she p … [Read more...]

Update on Glee, Gays, and in-Groups

While I wait to see if my post yesterday ("Are Atheists a Side?") satisfies Dom, the commenter I was trying to address, I thought I'd share thoughts a recent piece I wrote for HuffPo (especially as I've written about Glee here before) and I've asked a few questions about religious communities at the end of this post.The article, titled "Glee's Gay Suicide PSA: It Got Worse" focused on the troubling example Kurt, the gay character, set for viewers, when he decided he had a duty to confront th … [Read more...]

Bishop Robinson’s God of Low Expectations

I'm a huge proponent of Dan Savage's It Gets Better project, but Anglican Bishop Gene Robinson's upload really rubbed me the wrong way.  I'm holding my comments til after the video, so watch it before you scroll down so I don't bias your reaction further.Am I the only one who thinks it's weird that Bishop Robinson is centering his message on "God loves you as you are, so you don't need to change?"It makes sense to say that God wants a better life for you, but can Robinson really … [Read more...]

Poking my nose into Justin Martyr’s gay marriage debate

Reading over Justin Martyr’s debate over the morality of gay marriage with Larry of Rust Belt Philosophy, I think I’ve managed to come up with the single least catchy talking point on the topic of gay marriage:All we’re really debating is how to handle a free rider problem for a government benefit.Doesn’t exactly sound media-ready, I guess, but it seems like an accurate sum up of the issue.Civil marriage exists, as do most government programs, to change the incentives associated with … [Read more...]