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Posted inSociology

Reducing crime is easy—and we actually know how to do it

Reading Time: 5 minutes Back in the Middle Ages, in the villages and hamlets of Northern Europe, when a spate of violent crime would erupt, local chieftains and magistrates would call for “roaming prayer groups” to combat the societal scourge. Nah, just kidding. That’s Republican leaders spitballing in the here and now. Take for example former Kentucky Governor Matt […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

To forgive or not to forgive

Reading Time: 9 minutes Raised Roman Catholic, I was indoctrinated in childhood with the idea that forgiveness is a cardinal duty of faith, which then saddled me with knee-jerk guilt whenever I failed to bestow it. But as I think objectively about this moral ethos many decades later, I’m unconvinced it’s essential for human harmony and contentment. In fact, […]

Posted inRacial justice

Mental illness doesn’t cause mass shootings. Hate armed for war does

Reading Time: 6 minutes First Amendment-loving conservatives have long blamed isolated mental-health issues in very angry individuals but never the availability of guns as the proximate cause of America’s decades-long epidemic of horrific mass shootings in America. Or they claim mass shootings are hardly a problem at all and that, by the way, overall gun violence is supposedly down […]

Posted inReligious News

Bible museum received $2.4 million from ‘Bill’ Hwang, an evangelist who committed wire fraud

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the same year the museum opened its doors, faith-based Hobby Lobby paid a $3 million fine in a Justice Department settlement for not exercising due diligence in acquisitions. The judgment directed the forfeiture of 5,500 clay tablets and other illegally imported items to the Iraqi government. Later, the man who launched the $500 million […]

Posted inCulture

Yahoo boys, money rituals, and the magic of desperation

Reading Time: 6 minutes Yahoo boys, babalawos, money rituals. If these terms don’t already mean anything to you, brace yourself—we’re venturing into hard territory. Nigeria is a West African country with two-thirds of the US population packed into less than a tenth of the territory. And there, in recent months, a perennial cycle of violent rituals thought to bring […]

Posted inRacial justice

Did too-blind justice free Kyle Rittenhouse?

Reading Time: 4 minutes FYI to my readers: My OnlySky essays are always informed by secularism, nontheism and humanism but do not always focus on patently irreligious themes. My essential aim is to investigate our world from the perspective that gods are nonexistent. Blind justice, it turns out, can be too blind. Take, for instance, then 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, […]

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