Reading Time: 2 minutes Saudi blogger and religious dissident Raif Badawi has been cruelly punished and toyed with by the Saudi legal system for about a year now, and things have taken a darker turn. According to Badawi’s wife, now living in Lebanon, the high court will try Badawi on the charge of apostasy. If convicted, Badawi could be executed.
Reading Time: < 1 minute A few days ago, many of us marked the anniversary of the death of Carl Sagan. Since becoming part of the larger community of nonbelievers, I continue to be taken aback by how strongly so many of us continue to feel about that loss. I was more or less alone among my circle of friends […]
Reading Time: 2 minutes There is no shortage of exasperation about the hypercommercialism of Christmas. Secular or devout Christian, it’s not news that the Dickensian ideal of enjoying time with one’s family with some drinking and music and feating upon a big goose is gone, replaced with an overwhelming and mind-numbing consumeristic orgy of overspending, overeating, and over-stressing.
Or maybe that’s just me.
But one aspect of the holiday season that gets less attention is just how Hanukkah managed to get lumped in with the whole mess.
Reading Time: < 1 minute Are you celebrating Christmas today? Atheists’ experience of the holiday of course runs that gamut, with many going the Full Santa, complete with decorated trees and tinsel and candy canes and jolliness and all the rest, while others happily opt out of marking the day or the season in any way — and everything else in between. (My four-year-old boy got up this morning entirely disappointed that Santa was not in the living room waiting for him. Don’t worry, he came around.)
At HuffPost Live, host Josh Zepps (who is also the new co-host of Point of Inquiry, my organization’s podcast) gathered some atheist thinkers and activists to discuss the topic of the way atheists celebrate (or not) Christmas.
Reading Time: < 1 minute The Secular Coalition for America has announced the dates for its 2014 Lobby Day and Policy Conference this summer, June 12th-14th. Last year’s event featured actual in-person addresses by actual, real-life officeholders, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who for whatever reason were unafraid of getting atheist cooties.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Pope Francis, in his first Christmas address since becoming head of the Catholic Church, specifically called on atheists to join with believers of all stripes to work toward a global “homemade peace.”
Reading Time: 2 minutes Yesterday, UK supermarket Marks & Spencer made headlines with a policy that allowed Muslim employees to refuse to handle things like alcohol and pork that are against their religion, and even refuse to sell them to customers. Terry Firma began a discussion on that general topic on this site yesterday. It may be however, that this was misunderstood.
Reading Time: 2 minutes My organization, the Center for Inquiry, is capping off its Living without Religion campaign with one last ad in Times Square this week, with good wishes for the the New Year. It’s a 15-second electronic billboard ad, which you can see below, with two “slides” saying, “Millions express joy & goodwill without religion,” and ending with, “Wishing you peace & enlightenment in the New Year.” (Our press release is perhaps the warm-and-fuzziest one we’ve ever put out.)
Reading Time: 5 minutes So what is going on with blogs these days? If you’re like me, and you keep abreast of news and opinion on technology and media, you’ve already probably been told many, many times that the blog is dead, a medium that served its purpose in the twenty-aughts, but has now been rendered mostly irrelevant by Tweetbooksnaptumblegram.
Apparently Hemant is a little bit like me too (poor guy), and he pointed me to this post at Neiman Journalism Lab by blog pioneer Jason Kottke that, despite Kottke’s entrenchment in the form, prophesies its demise, and in its place are the ephemeral and the institutional:
Reading Time: 2 minutes The Motor Vehicles Commission of the state of New Jersey continues its war on nonbelievers!
Well, not so much a “war” as a kind of backward, archaic prejudice. You’ll of course recall the great saga of American Atheists’ Dave Silverman and his battle to exercise his right to wear his atheism on his license plate. After initial refusals to produce his plate, the New Jersey MVC relented, and there was much rejoicing.
But a new gauntlet has been thrown by the Garden State’s regulatory machine. This time, the aggrieved party is one Shannon Morgan, who attempted to get her own godless license plate as such: “8THEIST”
However, as you can see in the screen grab below, Shannon was thwarted.
The decree from the MVC? “Requested plate text is considered objectionable.” That’s right, folks, indicating your atheism on your car is still “objectionable” to the state of New Jersey.