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Posted inCritical thinking

The face of Islam

Reading Time: 5 minutes When art history instructor Erika López Prater wanted to show a painting of Muhammad in her class at Hamline University last semester, she took every precaution. It was a 14th-century work by a Muslim for a Muslim audience honoring the last prophet of Islam. She repeatedly warned students that she would show the picture, both […]

Posted inNonreligious News

A day of shame for Nigeria: Humanist Mubarak Bala jailed for 24 years

Reading Time: 2 minutes Humanists International today (Tuesday) strongly condemned a decision by the Kano State High Court to jail Bala for 24 years. The organization, which has been vigorously campaigning for Bala’s release from the day he was taken into custody, described the sentence as “outrageous”. Bala was found guilty on 18 counts of causing a public disturbance […]

Posted inDeath & Dying

A prepaid funeral plan? Over my dead body!

Reading Time: 5 minutes This morning I did a double-take when I read the following sentence: “Despite amazing advances in medical science and technology, the mortality rate for human beings stands at a whopping 100 percent.” I had to read it twice before concluding that someone was having a laugh. A line like that could only be delivered by […]

Posted inFilm/TV

Life of Brian: ‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy’ to ring out once more

Reading Time: 8 minutes After BBC TV brought together a pair of aggressive Christians and two members of the Monty Python team in 1979 to discuss their newly-released movie Life of Brian, various media gleefully reported the encounter as a “slanging match” of epic proportions. This was only half-true. All of the “slanging” on Friday Night, Saturday Morning, came […]

Posted inBooks

Censorship and book-burning

Reading Time: 9 minutes Asked last year during a Zoom talk I gave to a UK Humanist group what book, if any, had the greatest influence on my life, I got blank stares when I proffered the name of a publication none had ever heard of: Jacobsen’s Index to Objectionable Literature. By around 1970, Jacobsen’s comprised a list of […]

Posted inReligious News

Ex-Muslims release updated “Persecution Tracker” of alleged blasphemy cases

Reading Time: 2 minutes Blasphemy Day is meant to celebrate the anniversary of when a Danish newspaper published satirical cartoons of Muhammad. The group Ex-Muslims of North America honored that day last year in an extremely useful way. Too often, we hear stories of people sentenced to death in other countries for alleged blasphemy. It’s hard to keep track […]

Posted inUncategorized

Humanists Call for the Release of Mubarak Bala after 365 Days of Detention

Reading Time: 2 minutes This is from the AHA: On the one-year anniversary of the illegal detention of Mubarak Bala, President of the Humanist Association of Nigeria, the American Humanist Association (AHA) joins 89 organizations and concerned individuals across the globe in publishing an open letter addressed to the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, seeking Bala’s immediate release. Adding […]

Posted inReligion

Monty Python’s Life of Brian: The Best Easter Movie Ever

Reading Time: 6 minutes Hi and welcome back! Today being the day before Easter and all, I wanted to highlight one of the best bits of blasphemy ever made: 1979’s Monty Python’s Life of Brian. This movie highlights so much of the obviously made-up parts of Christianity. And it’s not just regular ole blasphemy, either. It’s intelligent, thoughtful dissension dressed […]

Posted inNews

Op-ed: Defending the Honour of Mr God

Reading Time: 4 minutes DONALD Trump has been very friendly to Saudi Arabia during his stint as US President. Just this week he announced he’s pushing through a massive arms deal with the Saudis even though everyone else thinks it’s a bad move. He likes to be a zany madcap rebel that way. Meanwhile The Guardian reports: Loujain al-Hathloul, […]

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