Category Religion

In Defense of Marriage

With apologies for this week’s more relaxed posting schedule. I’ll get back to work sometime soon! Several of my close friends — coincidentally, all extremely intelligent, math/science oriented, and leaders in the freethought/rationality/atheist communities — find themselves practicing and promoting an arrangement they term “polyamory.” Essentially, this describes a post-jealousy, highly rationalized state where participants […]

Defining a Place for the New Atheism

I’m moving to Brooklyn! With no internet. Hence delays.  Andrew Sullivan, with Bryan Appleyard, together question the value of the “new atheism,” which they define as a belief system devoted to the absolute eradication of both religion, and its influence on mankind. Appleyard: By “neo-atheism”, I mean a tripartite belief system founded on the conviction […]

Remembering Mr. Hitchens

It’s an insecure, easily-threatened worldview which feels the need to frame every tragedy its opponents face within its own narrative. But that’s the outpouring we’ve seen from some on the Christian right over the passing of the prominent, relentlessly thoughtful atheist advocate Christopher Hitchens. Most of the acknowledgments take this simple form — “now he […]

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Church?

Continuing the trend of “fighting back against characterizations they’re actually proud of,” the National Review explains why modern, politicized Christian fundamentalism is not an exclusionary worldview to be feared, but a simple attempt to prevent mean-spirited liberals from ejecting Christianity from the marketplace of ideas.”It’s easy to forget,” moans David French, …that just a generation […]

Today’s Thin Excuses for Scientific Denialism

No-one is more surprised than me by the vocal, negative reaction we’re seeing among conservatives actually offended by the charge that their candidates, especially Rick Perry, are “anti-science.” I rather thought this would be a point of pride; isn’t “mainstream science” an “elitist” liberal construct? In any event, the counter-offensive, supplied by the National Review‘s Rich Lowry, goes […]

Two Fundamentalisms

How is this distinguishable from Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson’s brand of Christianity? Allah has struck New York and the capital city Washington by an earthquake as a punishment for their disbelief. Falwell and Robertson on the 9/11 attacks, remember: Full text: I really believe that the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and […]

The Social Gospel and “Economic Liberty,” Such as It Is

A few Washington Post columnists started a thoroughly unproductive fight about whether the Bible “mandates,” or encourages, a “socialist” form of government. Both sides are wrong, in a few ways. First, both are using the word “socialist” to mean “redistributivist,” but the two are by no means equal. Let’s use the proper definition: though the tea […]

The Price and Command of Exceptionalism

At issue in debates over our conduct with foreign nations, and our commitment to the rule of law despite the war on terror, is the critical question of whether “American exceptionalism,” a term the right wields like a sword to argue that our chief executive shortchanges our future everytime he so much as speaks with […]

There’s No Two Ways About It: Terry Jones Has Blood on his Hands

Though the reaction is somewhat delayed, a mob in Afghanistan finally heard of Florida Pastor Terry Jones’ Koran-burning stunt… and marched on a United Nations compound to avenge the incident, killing twelve. Jones, in response, insists on two things: first, that this isn’t his fault. And second, that it proves, conclusively, that Muslims can’t be […]

Your New Must-Read Site

It’s a rare privilege to be able to recommend a good friend’s work wholeheartedly. Much less two friends’ work. So I’m going to enjoy this. Julia Galef is one of my very most favorite people in the world, and one of the smartest I’ve had the privilege to get to know since moving to New […]