Category Archives: religion

An enigmatic cartoon

Several people have sent me the following cartoon, and I’ve seen it on Facebook. I just got sent it again, and I’m not quite sure what it means. Please explain below. I suspect there are several reasons why people may find it funny, but until I understand it, I’m baffled:

Examples of government-funded Islamic whitewashing in public schools

Several days ago I wrote about a government-funded project, “Access Islam,” designed to be used in American public schools. Supported by the US Department of Education, as well as by the Smithsonian Institution and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) the project is objectionable because it not only singles out Islam (there are no comparable projects […]

Why comparative religion courses are untenable in American public schools

 A comment made by reader Matt on my post about the whitewashing of Islam in American public schools proves the point I wanted to make: teaching comparative religion in American public schools won’t work. There are good reasons, of course, to teach comparative religion in secondary schools, the most prominent being that religion has been an important […]

Is religion good even if it’s not true?: A deceptive piece in the Daily Beast

Reader Saul called my attention to a Daily Beast article called “Can you be good without God?” (subtitle: “New research raises questions about whether people can be truly good or truly bad without religion”) by Brandon Withrow, who teaches religious studies at the University of Findlay. I call the article “deceptive” in the sense that both the […]

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 […]