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Posted inCulture

Jesus was ‘woke’: Historical figures who have moved humanity forward

Reading Time: 4 minutes When we use the word “woke,” we’re suggesting a sense of wakefulness, alertness, vigilance, and watchfulness. It’s a metaphor of self-designation for those who possess a certain kind of moral acuity. Those on the political Right who oppose what they call “The Woke Left” might embrace numerous other metaphors to signify their own ethical perception, for instance: The Somnolent […]

Posted inHistory

Book burning as ancient practice and modern menace

Reading Time: 7 minutes Since ancient times, people from almost all religions and societies have been burning books. As one scholar put it: “The goals of the book burners have been to extirpate history, to intimidate and stamp out opposition, to create solidarity, and to cleanse society of controversial ideas.”    Not surprisingly, the act of book burning has […]

Posted inHistory

Fascism in India: The role of Nazis in Hindu nationalism

Reading Time: 7 minutes When writing on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s role in Hindu extremism, I committed the cardinal sin of not defining a key term: fascism. This was a conscious choice, because I’ve written before on how quickly we mire ourselves in political word games. Better to start with the government figure that Western media keeps centering, as […]

Posted inHistory

Fascism in India: Who’s ‘in charge’ of 1.4 billion?

Reading Time: 8 minutes There’s something fascinating, if also disturbing, about Western incuriosity around the world’s largest democracy. 1.4 billion of our world’s 7.8 live in India, a country a third the size of the US, which has under a quarter of India’s population. How can the fortunes of so many mean so little? Nevertheless, India exists in the […]

Posted inCulture, History, Myth & Folklore, Religion

The Rifle, and Other Stories, by Tomás Carrasquilla: Translating a Catholic writer as a secular humanist

Reading Time: 11 minutes Outside my work here at OnlySky, I’m a writer of speculative and science fiction, and a translator. My science fiction usually focuses on alternative justices and social contract theory, so the overlap with my humanist essays is obvious. But my work as a translator? Well, that’s a labor of love, and an act of thanks. […]