Category Archives: open thread

Open thread: The fetishization of suffering

by Grania Jerry wrote a post years ago on Mother Teresa that has proved to be the most popular post ever on this website (even more popular than the one on penis sizes, which is quite remarkable given that this is humanity we are talking about). Jerry pointed out, as did Christopher Hitchens before him […]

Open thread number 2

Here’s your second discussion question of the morning; this one is political: What do we do about North Korea? You probably heard that yesterday North Korea launched what seems to be a two-stage Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).   Here’s a photo of it released by the DPRK: As the New York Times reports; The North […]

Open thread number 1

I’ll be gone for a bit this morning, though I want to post about two people’s opinion pieces later today (Bill Nye and Lindy West). In the meantime, please discuss among yourselves these two questions, which I’ll post in successive posts. This one was suggested by Grania after I had sent her several emails and […]

Open thread: Kathy Griffin resorts to the Old White Guys canard

by Grania I think by now everybody is familiar with the event of the week where comedian Kathy Griffin decided that holding a prop of a bloody severed head of Donald Trump was a fine moment of political commentary and comedy. Regardless of political persuasion, people generally reacted with distaste and revulsion, the image perhaps […]

Open thread: Lahore, Pakistan

by Grania There have been two really good articles that I have read since the appalling violence in Pakistan. The first is by Kunwar Khuldune Shahid writing in The Guardian. It is a very clearly written analysis of the religious and political tensions in Pakistan and why this is happening. It has been pointed out […]

Open thread: When progress isn’t really progress at all

by Grania Spingies Jerry sent me this link a few days ago from the HuffPost Religion section: Afghanistan Women’s Soccer Team Unveils Jerseys With Hijabs. The article details a new uniform for the women players designed by Danish company Hummel which features a hijab that will ensure that women will remain covered in public while playing their […]

Open thread: for the day that’s in it

by Grania Recommend something to read or something to watch With Jerry presumably in bed (it is late at night in India), it may be several hours before he can check in with us. In the meantime, here’s my recommendation for something to read or watch. Nick Cohen writes on the state of universities as […]

Open thread: Susan Jacoby talks about people who go through religious conversion

by Grania There’s an interesting interview with Susan Jacoby over on Fresh Air (NPR) about her new book Strange Gods: A Secular History Of Conversion. Susan looks at people in history as well as current examples, and examines reasons why people choose to exchange one god for another. Interestingly, the answer is very rarely, as she calls it, […]

Open thread: the demise of religiosity in society

By Grania I apologize for two open threads in two days, Jerry’s back on the road and I had Stuff & Things to do today. Here’s another question that Jerry posed for us to discuss. If you could change one thing in your society that would lessen religiosity or cause it to gradually disappear*, what would […]

Open thread: change the law

by Grania Here’s a question Jerry posed this morning: If you could change one law in your country, what would it be and why? Please say which country you are in too, seeing as this is a multi-national website (ahem). There are a bunch of laws that I would like to change in Ireland which […]