October 17, 2006

“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the… Read more

October 15, 2006

“Should Franks be elected in November, one would have to conclude that he will hold true to his out of touch ‘atheist’ belief system and ignore the laws and Constitution of Texas.” —Mary Alice Robbins, “GOP Raises Religion in Court Race, Calling Democrat an Atheist.” Law.com, 9 October 2006. In Paradise Lost, published in 1667, John Milton labels Satan and the other rebel angels “the atheist crew”, despite the fact that they were in Heaven at the time fighting against… Read more

October 13, 2006

In every age, there have been moral visionaries – great thinkers such as Robert Ingersoll or Tom Paine, who had the courage to stand against the majority and oppose widely accepted moral wrongs. Their courageous and steadfast opposition to then-prevalent practices such as monarchy, slavery, racism and sexism earned them great hatred and enmity during their lifetimes, and put them decades ahead of most of their contemporaries. Today, we have made progress enough to recognize many of the evils of… Read more

October 11, 2006

What happens to children who die before they are old enough to reasonably understand and accept the Bible’s doctrine of salvation? This vexing theological question was not always so vexing. The renowned theologians of antiquity answered it quite simply: they were cast out of God’s presence to suffer the eternal torture of Hell’s flames. Here is St. Augustine on the fate awaiting infants who died prior to baptism: But even before the outbreak of the Pelagian controversy St. Augustine had… Read more

October 9, 2006

Hi! I am a .signature virus. Copy me into your .signature to join in! —seen on Usenet And these words which I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them thoroughly to your children, and you shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign upon your arm, and they shall be… Read more

October 5, 2006

Back in April, the post “Out of Respect” inspired a discussion about what an atheist host could say at a meal as substitute for a prayer. This is, I think, an important question, and one worthy of an answer. I have written before about the importance of spirituality, even to a nonbeliever. Just because we are atheists does not mean that we cannot find symbolic significance and meaning in the small rituals that we all undertake every day. Indeed, I… Read more

October 3, 2006

In light of all the momentous events currently taking place around the world, this next story might seem somewhat trivial in the grand scheme of things. But it illustrates some important points that are of more general application, and more importantly to me, it concerns my own alma mater, Binghamton University, of which I am a proud alumnus. It seems that a Binghamton sophomore, Aaron Akaberi, recently converted to the Rastafarian religion. As part of his conversion, he decided to… Read more

October 1, 2006

I am ashamed of my country today. Earlier this week, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, an act that future generations will surely list alongside the Alien and Sedition Acts as one of the most heinous and unconstitutional laws ever enacted by a democratically elected government. Both in letter and spirit, this law is the antithesis to the principles upon which America was founded, and it will be remembered for a very long… Read more

September 30, 2006

I recently came across MySecret.tv, a website set up by the evangelical megachurch LifeChurch. LifeChurch is a multi-campus church with physical locations scattered across several states that are connected during synchronized worship services by live video streams. MySecret.tv is this internet-savvy ministry’s latest venture: essentially, it is an online confessional, where people can log on to post admissions of sins they feel they have committed. Unlike the standard confessional, though, these confessions are not kept private but rather are posted… Read more

September 30, 2006

Now that Ebon Musings is up and running at its new host, it’s past time for a new article, and by an amazing coincidence, I’ve just posted one there. The essay’s title is “Turning Away Anger”, and it deals with the stereotype that atheists are intrinsically angry people. This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome. Read more

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