Poll: 1 in 5 Americans believe Obama is a cactus *

Sep 25th, 2010 | Filed by

The most Americans to identify the president as a water- retaining desert plant since he took office.… Read the rest

Archbishop urges Catholics to be more irritating *

Sep 25th, 2010 | Filed by

Archbishop of Westminster says Catholics should be more ready to make the sign of the cross and say “God bless you” to people.… Read the rest

Geoffrey Robertson on the Holy See as Santa Claus state *

Sep 24th, 2010 | Filed by

The world’s most absolute dictator presumes to lecture our present leaders on the sins of democratic society.… Read the rest

Henning Mankell: argue with Sweden Democrats *

Sep 24th, 2010 | Filed by

“It was precisely the refusal of the other parties, from left and right, to debate with the SD that allowed them to grow from nothing to 6% of the vote.”… Read the rest

Larry King: Now why don’t you interview Mina Ahadi and Sajjad Ghaderzadeh?‏

Sep 24th, 2010 | By Mina Ahadi and Maryam Namazie
Larry King’s overly cordial interview with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad failed to press the head of a repressive Islamic Republic of Iran on many issues raised, including on the Iran stoning case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani.   When asked about the stoning case, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad replied: ‘This lady’s case has not been completely examined yet. No verdict has been issued yet. She is accused of being — of murdering her husband. And I don’t think in the world if someone is accused of murdering their husband, people would pour on the streets and rally in support of her.’ Without correcting the facts on the case, King then went on to say: ‘If they were going to stone her, they would.’ Ahmadinejad then said:… Read the rest

Deaf abuse victim is suing the pope *

Sep 24th, 2010 | Filed by

The headmaster of St. John’s School for the Deaf raped and molested as many as 200 deaf boys, according to court and church documents.… Read the rest

Johann Hari on Liberal Democrats as hostages *

Sep 24th, 2010 | Filed by

They twitch nervously as they mouth supportive platitudes about Cameron’s planned cuts.… Read the rest

Paul Sims asks: is burning the Koran a crime? *

Sep 24th, 2010 | Filed by

Kenan Malik notes, “There are two notions of incitement that all too often get conflated.”… Read the rest

UK: six guys arrested for burning a Koran *

Sep 24th, 2010 | Filed by

They were arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred and released on bail pending further inquiries.… Read the rest

Jesus and Mo tell the barmaid how to build alliances *

Sep 24th, 2010 | Filed by

Don’t mention the e-word.… Read the rest

I’m losing count

Sep 23rd, 2010 6:09 pm | By

Mark Vernon went to the “let’s pretend we get to tell atheists what to do next” debate (debate? it doesn’t sound like a debate – more like a self-congratulatory chat) and explains about it for CisF Belief. It is, predictably, very smug predictable stuff. It assumes from the outset that gnu atheism is obviously stupid and bad and wrong and laughable, and proceeds from there.

Marilynne Robinson was articulate on how the New Atheism erases the human by treating us as crudely material entities…She had a great quip. The theist looks at phenomena like the fine tuning and thinks, amazing. The (old) atheist looks at phenomena like the fine tuning and thinks, amazing. The New Atheist looks at phenomena like

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Dan Savage and Terry to bullied high school kids *

Sep 23rd, 2010 | Filed by

It gets better. The despair of high school does not go on forever.… Read the rest

Who is the most contrarian?

Sep 23rd, 2010 12:17 pm | By

Caspar Melville says on the New Humanist blog that the “‘Beyond New Atheism” debate was

a genuine attempt to see if we could have a different tone for discussion about belief, non-belief, human nature and God.

Well I could have saved them the bother by just answering the question: sure we could. Of course we could. In fact we could find such a discussion, with its different tone, any time we wanted one – we could read Comment is Free Belief or the New Statesman, we could browse the BBC’s “Religion and Ethics” pages, we could stroll into a church or mosque. It is not the least bit difficult either to have or to find “a different tone for … Read the rest

The burqa is a feminist issue *

Sep 23rd, 2010 | Filed by

The burqa is a blank; a deliberate erasure not only of public face, but of one’s entire public existence. Not new self but un-self.… Read the rest

A formal farewell to a vestige of monarchical power *

Sep 23rd, 2010 | Filed by

The curious case of the royal financial memorandum is a headline disguised as a footnote.… Read the rest

“The Royal family is part of the dependency culture” *

Sep 23rd, 2010 | Filed by

“Someone appears to have gone to extraordinary lengths to protect the Royal family from public scrutiny.”… Read the rest

Caspar Melville reports on RSA debate *

Sep 23rd, 2010 | Filed by

Marilynne Robinson was subtle, Roger Scruton was mischievous, Jonathan Rée was disturbed by the “new” atheist Tone.… Read the rest

The thing that made the things for which… *

Sep 22nd, 2010 | Filed by

…there is no known maker.… Read the rest

Another one

Sep 22nd, 2010 11:06 am | By

Here is another…can we say quisling? If they call us aggressive new atheists, can we call them quislings? Here is another quisling atheist moaning about how boring and boring the gnu* atheists are. It’s Caspar Melville of the New Humanist, I’m sorry to say – I like the NH.

He doesn’t say anything of substance – just offers a strawman version of gnu atheism and says it’s bad, even though it did some good, but now let’s move on. It’s lazy, tiresome stuff, which is particularly annoying coming from someone who is, as far as I know, an atheist himself.

Paula Kirby sums it up nicely:

It is disappointing when someone who is meant to be on

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BBC offers reflections on the pope’s visit *

Sep 22nd, 2010 | Filed by

From priests and canons but also from secularists and abuse victims.… Read the rest