Adventist “Holy Sexuality Conference” cancelled

hs conf

UPDATE: Further clarification from the South England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists below----My former denomination continues to make headlines, though not in the way they'd like, I think. Ben Carson has been saying things like homosexuality "absolutely" is a choice. Though he later apologized I don't think he suddenly changed his mind. It's more like the apology I used to offer my parents: I'm sorry I got caught. Or worse, I'm sorry some people were offended. The classic … [Read more...]

Different era, same injustice

Mark Twain House

I'm completely geeking out right now! I'm sitting at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT (actually, in the Carriage House next door) where I'm speaking tonight at 7 pm about my Year Without God. I've spent a fair bit of time with some of Mark Twain's writings about religion over the past year. A few days ago I posted a link on my Facebook page to a piece entitled "Bible Teaching and Religious Practice" from Europe and Elsewhere."The Christian Bible is a drug store," he writes. "Its contents … [Read more...]

Christian university’s morality prevents them from helping LGBTQ homeless youth


3/11/15 10:32 AM -- UPDATE below...Some disturbing things have been happening in the past couple of days at my alma mater, Andrews University.[1] An unofficial gay-straight alliance on campus called AULL4ONE decided that they wanted to have a bake sale to raise money for an agency called Project Fierce Chicago, whose mission is to “reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing identity-affirming transitional housing,” Cassandra Avenatti, Project Fierce Chicago’s founder, told me. … [Read more...]

Ideology kills

chapel hill shooting

There has been a great deal of soul-searching in the past 24 hours around the triple homicide in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It's so upsetting that I almost can't make my fingers do this typing but I think it's important. It's possible you've read exactly what I'm going to say here somewhere else, but I want to say it anyway.As many philosophers, social scientists and even theologians, have pointed out, religions tend to intensify in-group loyalties and out-group hostilities. This tension … [Read more...]

Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi and the importance of religious reform


The selection of Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi as co-recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize was widely hailed as a victory for the human rights of children, and especially girls. I was personally thrilled with the choice, having been charmed by Malala’s many interviews following the publication of her autobiography, I Am Malala. I am also happy to learn of Kailash Satyarthi and his three decades of work to end child slavery in India. I and many of my friends are deeply committed to t … [Read more...]

Remembering Tiananmen Square

tank man_tiananmen

I was completing the final days of my senior year in high school when the tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square to clear the pro-democracy protesters.Today, 25 years later, many Chinese citizens still do not know the whole story of what happened in their own capital and activists struggle to commemorate the thousands who died when the Army opened fire on unarmed protestors. The government still suppresses the record of these events (you can read Helen Gao's first person account in today's New … [Read more...]