A prominent skeptics’ podcast I regularly listen to, Point of Inquiry, just had me on today for an interview about my latest book, An Illusion of Harmony: Science and Religion in Islam. It went well, and the result is interesting to listen to. (I hope.)
People seem to be looking because the Wiccan symbol has just been added to the list amid some controversy, but apparently the US Department of Veterans Affairs has an atheist emblem on the list of symbols to be used on gravestones: plus a Humanist symbol:Interesting. Especially the atheist symbol. It must be an American Atheists … Atheist and humanist emblems
There’s a question that surfaces when reflecting on the beliefs of unfamiliar cultures, and especially their religions. “Do they really believe that?”, we may ask, when encountering beliefs about witchcraft or the evil eye. Such beliefs might seem not just wildly incongruent with reality, but somewhat incoherent, even inconsistent with the other convictions of religious … Do they really believe that?
If US news has lately been dominated by the Virginia Tech shootings, news from Turkey has been full of the recent murders of three Christians. It appears that five students staying at a religiously-based dorm got outraged by the missionary activity linked to a local Christian publishing house. So they decided to do something about … Murdered missionaries
Dinesh D’Souza opens mouth and inserts foot essentially hijacking the Virginia Tech tragedy to attack atheism in general and Richard Dawkins in particular. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when he suggests that “we need something more than modern science.” Clearly, following his latest disaster of a book in which he blames the … D’Souza Attacks Atheists
If recent history is any guide, expect the leaders of the religious right to blame the tragic shooting in Virginia yesterday on our so-called corrupt secular culture. In Adele Stan’s fantastic summary of the recent “Reclaiming America for Christ” conference, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention said: “[A]ll the pinks,” Land said, “have become … Clone Farms, Polygamy, and Pinkos
Here’s a sample of the occasional public pressure you get when you teach in a public university. The Missouri General Assembly will be debating a bill calling for “intellectual diversity.” The full text is interesting enough, but the most important bit is: (e) Include intellectual diversity concerns in the institution’s guidelines on teaching and program … “Intellectual diversity” in academia
Kurt Vonnegut died yesterday. Just after I griped about some things he’s said recently. I feel bad. A great novelist and a great social critic; occasional griping aside, I will sorely miss him. The AHA has set up a web site for those who would like to make a contribution in Vonnegut’s memory.
Complementing Jim Still’s post about “The Family,” Ed Brayton writes at Dispatches from the Culture Wars about how Pat Robertson’s Regent University Law School, a 4th-tier law school barely half of whose graduates pass the bar exam, has managed to be the source of at least 150 appointees to the Bush administration. Perhaps the fact … Pat Robertson’s continuing influence on the Bush administration
Hullabalo provides a fantastic update on the intriguing story of The Family, the secretive fundamentalist group that organizes the National Prayer Breakfast and enjoys a powerful influence over U.S. national leaders.