Category Archives: religion

Ali Rizvi talks sense on Israel and Palestine

Unbeknownst to me, Ali Rizvi, author of The Atheist Muslim: A Journey from Religion to Reason (I blurbed the book) wrote a fine article on the Israel Palestine crisis that was published in PuffHo on July 28, 2014. (Click on screenshot below to read it, and you should.) Normally I’d kvetch about his publishing this […]

Does religion promote morality?

Today’s New York Times op-ed features a piece with a provocative title (click on screenshot to read the article): The author, Mustafa Akyol, is described as “a contributing opinion writer. . . the author of “The Islamic Jesus” and a visiting fellow at the Freedom Project at Wellesley College.” Unfortunately, while Akyol properly calls out Turkey’s […]

Must we have a god? The Beeb says yes

I guess I’ve known for a while about the BBC’s softness on religion, seen most obviously in its daily moment of faith (I can’t remember the name of that segment or find it on the Internet, but I’ve heard it many times), and the fact that the moment of faith never includes any secularists. (I […]

Reza Aslan’s new book, in which he becomes a pantheist

Reza Aslan’s new book, God: A Human History, came out five days ago. Click on the screenshot to go to the Amazon page: Curiously, despite Aslan’s recent television series, Believer, the book doesn’t seem to be garnering a lot of attention—or praise. (But perhaps that’s because his series was dreadful and got canceled.) The book got […]

Theodicean irony

Reader S Mark sent me this screen capture from last night’s NBC Nightly News with Kate Snow (Mark clearly added the circle!). No commentary is needed.

Losing our religion: the U.S. slowly goes secular

Several readers called my attention to a new short article in Scientific American, “The U.S. is retreating from religion“, which highlights a recent study by the General Social Survey (GSS) conducted by NORC (the National Opinion Research Center of the University of Chicago.  The upshot is something I’ve written about a lot: the U.S. is slowly […]

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 […]