Category Archives: religion

Why it’s okay to criticize religion and politics but not gender, race, or disability

Paul Russell, a professor of philosophy at both the University of British Columbia and Gothenberg University, has written a thoughtful piece at Aeon magazine that I commend to your attention: “The limits of tolerance.” Perhaps the thesis is self-evident to many of us—you can choose how tenaciously you hold your politics and religion, but not […]

Remind me, what does the First Amendment say again?

[JAC: Matthew sent me this tw**t, and I responded, “You post it!” So he did.] IN AMERICA WE DON'T WORSHIP GOVERNMENT – WE WORSHIP GOD!🎥https://t.co/jIejSgVnnA — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

Trump bowed in prayer in Oval Office

Here: have a photo of our atheist President pretending to pray to God—in the Oval Office. Worse, as CNN reports: President Donald Trump, who has remained out of public view since returning from Europe late Saturday, welcomed evangelical leaders into the Oval Office on Monday for a prayer session. Photos posted by some of the invitees […]

Robert Sapolsky: Religion is a mental illness

I discovered neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky this weekend, and now reader jjh called my attention to this video showing him lecture on religion. In response to Westerners who laugh at shamans and the like, Sapolsky argues that our own society is afflicted with equally stupid stuff, ranging from religion, which he calls “Westernized irrationality”, to New […]

Atheism grows in Australia; nonbelievers now outnumber Catholics

I woke up this morning to find at least 10 emails from people—largely Aussies, I think— informing me about the new census data on religious affiliation in Australia. (Thanks to all—there are too many to h/t!)  Australia seems a sensible country, and even though it has its share of religious extremists (it produced Ken Ham, […]

More for Blasphemy Day

by Greg Mayer Following up on the theme for the day, the New York Times reports that in Indonesia, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, the governor of Jakarta, has been convicted of blasphemy against Islam, and has been immediately placed in prison to begin his two year sentence while his lawyers appeal the case. Basuki, a Christian […]

Ceiling Raccoon!!

Reader Taskin sent me a link to a piece at the Toronto Star that describes the appearance of a rival to Ceiling Cat: a celestial procyonid that is Ceiling Raccoon. The story, called “Raccoon makes appearance at Pearson Airport baggage claim“, describes a baby Procyon lotor that peered down from above the Pearson airport’s baggage […]

Reza Aslan gets it in the neck again

Poor Reza Aslan—he can’t catch a break. Although he’s gotten what he wanted: lots of favorable press and, presumably, wealth—and a new 6-part series on CNN, “Believer“—he’s still getting criticized. First he gets it from the likes of me for whitewashing religion in general and Islam in particular, and then he decides to host a TV […]

Does God answer prayers? Spectator contributors vote “yes”

Along with 12 others, Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has weighed in at the Spectator, giving examples of how their prayers were answered (there are also some Village Atheists who scoff at the idea): The problem with this whole thing is that there’s no control group: no survey of whose prayers weren’t answered. It’s pure confirmation bias. The one […]

Sabbath sermon: Ricky Gervais on faith and Bill Clinton screws up a yarmulke

Instead of Readers’ Wildlife today, we’ll have a new ten-minute interview (courtesy of reader Barry) of comedian Ricky Gervais on religion. He is, of course, an atheist. And although the YouTube video is labeled “Ricky Gervais destroys religion funny interview,” there’s no humor in it: it’s a serious and thoughtful dissection of the follies of faith. I […]