Category Archives: religion

Is it ever good to have faith?

National Public Radio in the U.S. continues its osculation of faith with a new article by Marcelo Gleiser on its “Cosmos and Culture site, “Science doesn’t want to take God away from you.” The title startled me, for “science” doesn’t “want” to do anything, except, perhaps, to discover what’s true about the universe. Of course […]

Five years probation

These things are not that rare.  This is from last year’s Daily Mail, reporting on a case in Oregon: Five years of probation in return for killing their son. Here’s who else is guilty besides the parents: The Church of the First Born, for preaching doctrine that encourages child murder (Churches are never held responsible […]

Religious exemptions from children’s healthcare. Part 2: Medical care during illness, and one child’s story

Yesterday I posted a list of state regulations exempting children in the U.S. from preventive and diagnostic medical procedures if they have religious objections. That was pretty depressing, but this is worse. It comes from the same page on the CHILD (Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty) site; indented material is copied form that site. […]

Religious exemptions from children’s healthcare. Part 1: preventive and diagnostic procedures

CHILD, which stands for Children’s Healthcare is a Legal Duty, is a great organization founded by Rita Swan, a Christian Scientist whose son, denied medical treatment, died a terrible death from bacterial meningitis—a curable ailment. Horrified at what she and her husband had done, Swan devoted her life to making sure other children don’t go […]

Malcolm Gladwell finds his faith

Over at The New Republic, Isaac Chotiner reports (surprisingly neutrally) on an interview between unlikely twins, the unctuous Malcom Gladwell and the odious Glenn Beck, who met on Beck’s show for a conversation.  As Chotiner reports, Gladwell is flogging his new book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants (see the […]

Christian runner drops out of race rather than wear Satan’s number

Codie Thacker, a high-school athlete in Kentucky, dropped out of a regional championship race because she was assigned The Number of the Beast.  When she opened her race envelope, this is what she got (screenshot from the video mentioned below): According to Yahoo News (where you should watch the video about this), Thacker wouldn’t accept […]

Francis Spufford writes the world’s most tedious defense of Christianity in Salon

For some reason Salon has taken to publishing lots of articles that favor religion and criticize New Atheism. These pieces are often dreadful, and I rarely frequent that website any more. (Slate, which retains the patina lent by columnist Christopher Hitchens, is much better.) But Salon has outdone itself this time with perhaps the worst […]

The Atlantic gives the world’s worst advice: study more theology

I’ve spent much of the last several years reading theology of all stripes, from the most fundamentalist version (e.g. Ken Ham), to versions slightly more sophisticated, like William Lane Craig, to the most rarefied and “sophisticated” versions, like those of Karen Armstrong, Alvin Plantinga, and Søren Kierkegaard. Now I admit I’m an atheist and have […]

How religions—and the U.S. government—let children die

I’ve been reading an enlightening but disturbing book:  When Prayer Fails: Faith Healing, Children, and the Law, by Shawn Francis Peters, which details how children of some religious parents are left to suffer and die because the sects of their parents abjure medical care. The parents pray instead of taking their kids to the doctors […]

Women in Saudi Arabia protest driving ban by driving

Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world that forbids women to drive. Even foreign women can’t drive.  This is part of the religiously-based conservatism that pervades that Islamic nation. You might have heard about the biological consequences of driving: about a month ago a prominent Saudi cleric declared that driving while female damages […]

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