The ‘Nones’ Weren’t Strong Enough
“The prospect of returning America to the ugly era of illegal back-alley butchers is horrifying. What made it possible?”
The Nones Become Many More
“Why did the majority of respondents who ‘just stopped believing’ do so?”
Yes—Oh, Dear, Yes—Don’t Ban the Burkini
“Basic ideas of free speech require that people be at liberty to express their commitments in public.”
The Foxification of American Democracy, Part 2
“Fox News legitimizes violent insurrection—and invites calamity. How did it come to this?”
The Christian Moral Code, Part 5: Love
By the time of Jesus, the commandment to “love thy neighbor” was already part of most religions and also Greco-Roman philosophy.
“What I would like to learn from Shriver’s critics is how cultural appropriation differs from what we call ‘education.’”
Humanists have a special obligation to defend the humanities, in education and in society.
St. [Mother] Teresa and the Miracles Game
If the Church wishes to honor a doctrinaire nun, let it do so without an affront to science and reason.
Sense and Sensibility
“Humans are not so constituted as to be able to function in world of pure rtionality.”
Not (Just) a Tragedy! Fanatics and Their Atrocities
Words such as tragic are inadequate to describe premeditated acts of murder motivated by religious or political fanaticism.
The Foxification of American Democracy, Part 1
Fox News is fact-free. Yet some of its critiques—only some—cannot be dismissed.
Rituals and Traditions
Ritual and tradition: Are they supporting ribs for our lives, or more like prison bars? Sometimes the answer is unclear.
The Christian Moral Code, Part 4: Hell and Achievement
The idea of Hell encapsulates much that is contradictory and perverse in Christianity.
From Lahore to Brussels to Baghdad: A Plan to Fight Back
“What is starting to hurt me almost more than the continuous terrorist attacks—which make it seem as though the whole world is on fire—is seeing how we are becoming numb to these attacks.
What Does Atheism Mean?
“When you say the definition of atheism should be what it’s always been, you’re saying the old guard gets to define the language forever.”
What Doesn’t Atheism Mean?
Why should the kind of atheist one is incline anyone to adopt a specific, rather narrow set of values?
The Christian Moral Code, Part 3: Humility
“Once formed by making the last first, the Catholic Church then became dedicated to keeping the first first.”
Revulsion and Habituation
Given human nature, genocide is always a possibility.
Suppress and Punish: The Dangerous Impulse to Shut Down Speech
Shutting down speech is authoritarianism in action.
Will the Neoconservatives Lose Their Grip on the GOP?
It’s a long shot, but Donald Trump might cut the GOP’s ties to a toxic neoconservatism.
The Christian Moral Code, Part 2: Forgiveness
In the context of New Testament theology, forgiveness is incoherent and ultimately contradictory.
Justice Scalia and Originalism: May They Rest in Peace
Scalia, the great originalist, indulged in motivated reasoning at least as often as the justices and judges he ridiculed.
How Selfish Is It Okay to Be?
“As humanists and rationalists, how do we decide the difference between selfishness and self-preservation?”
Islamophobia or Anti-Muslim Prejudice?
The term Islamophobia serves no unique purpose and tends to discourage any criticism of Islam whatever. It’s time to jettison it.
“Why were conditions in South Africa and East Germany treated as human-rights issues while those in Saudi Arabia were not?”
The Christian Moral Code, Part 1: Sin
“Where does an egoistic faith such as Christianity take us? It leads to . . . a morality that is frozen in place as human experience accumulates.”
Foreign Affairs and the Culture of Shame
“. . . Being the strongest and wealthiest nation in the world is not an occasion for self-aggrandizement or self-congratulation. On the contrary, it means being the custodian of international peace and order”
A Response to an Almost Good but Limited and Very Troubling Argument against Trigger Warnings
Greta Christina responds to Kristine Harley’s critique of her column “Trigger Warning.”
The Syrian Refugee Crisis and the Need for Political Solutions
“There is a need right now to break this cycle of violence and support a third-party government, even if it currently doesn’t have enough popular support currently to function on its own.”
Should Atheist and Humanism Organizations Broaden Their Purpose?
Humanist and atheist organizations can’t solve every problem in society; maybe they should stick to the issues on which they can make the largest difference.
Two Nations, One Abyss
Still think of Turkey and India as secular democracies? Think again: both countries are close to theocracy.
Anti-Muslim Bigotry vs. Genuine Criticism of Islam
Pigeonholing can be dangerous, but it’s nonetheless true that commentators upon Islam tend to belong to one of six groups.
What is Identity
Identity is a far more complicated concept than it appears at first glance.
The Not-At-All-Harsh Reality of Same-sex Marriage
Far from bewailing the legitimation of same-sex marriage, conservatives might celebrate that so many same-sex couples find matrimony desirable.
Fear of the S Word and the Undoing of America
American democracy needs sweeping and, yes, socialistic reform, or the nation will stumble into empire.
God’s Voting Record: Quanitfying Inconsistency
If we count biblical inconsistencies as subjects on which God voted against himself, the scope of biblical errancy becomes stunningly clear.
America’s Strange Satanist Scare
America’s great satanism scare has faded to a footnote of history, but we must not forget its lessons.
Don’t Worry, Be Unhappy!
A foundational research paper underlying the field of positive psychology has been, well, positively refuted.
Destruction is the fanatic’s way of clearing away reality for a better view of the nonexistent divine.
The Christian concept of grace has pernicious effects for morality—and for world affairs.