Archive for April 2011

Broke barefoot and pregnant

Apr 15th, 2011 12:35 pm | By

Most of the “anti-abortion community” hates contraception as well as abortion.

“Fertility and babies are not diseases,” said Jeanne Monahan of the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, which has been fighting against requiring insurance plans to cover contraceptives under the new health care law.

Oh isn’t that just precious – working for “Human Dignity” by trying to prevent women from avoiding pregnancy. Working for “Human Dignity” by forcing women to get pregnant and have children whether they want to or not. Yes, that’s my idea of dignity all right.

…many social conservatives are simply opposed to giving women the ability to have sex without the possibility of procreation.“Contraception helps reduce one’s sexual partner to just a sexual

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Saudi women banned from voting *

Apr 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Inconceivable. Social considerations. Technical reasons. Not enough booths. No procedures. Postponed. Future. Proper conditions. Protocol.… Read the rest



Anthony Grayling talks to Fox News *

Apr 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Extraordinary – the interviewer asks sensible questions and Grayling has time to answer. On Fox News!… Read the rest



Jesus crucifixion nails discovered *

Apr 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Really: the exact same ones.… Read the rest



Hitchens on the King James bible *

Apr 15th, 2011 | Filed by

Tyndale translated ecclesia to mean “the congregation” as an autonomous body, rather than “the church” as a sacrosanct institution above human law.… Read the rest



A day out

Apr 14th, 2011 11:40 am | By

Anthony Grayling was in Seattle yesterday – yesterday only – for a talk at Town Hall on The Good Book. It was a great talk. He does what he calls footnotes, which remind me of the nested notes David Foster Wallace did in some essays, a note within a note within a note. One example: he was telling a story about how he got interested in philosophy via classical Greek philosophy via Greek mythology via a book his grandmother sent him at school when he was seven. This paideia was embedded in a story about his brother which was embedded in a larger Bildung story about distant parents and being sent to school very young. The brother story was … Read the rest



PZ on the great quest for martyrs *

Apr 14th, 2011 | Filed by

We should no more find vindication in the execution of heretics than doctors would revel in the glory of millions of miserable deaths by typhoid and cholera.… Read the rest



Grayling reviews Baggini on the self *

Apr 14th, 2011 | Filed by

The unity that is you, constructed from the interplay of various physical and psychological factors, is in some ways very fragile and in other ways robust.… Read the rest



No abortion and no contraception either *

Apr 14th, 2011 | Filed by

Many social conservatives are simply opposed to giving women the ability to have sex without the possibility of procreation.… Read the rest



Paula Kirby on religion and women *

Apr 14th, 2011 | Filed by

Right after the commandment to women to submit to their husbands comes the commandment to children to obey their parents, and to slaves to obey their owners.… Read the rest



Religion lays foundation for gender discrimination *

Apr 14th, 2011 | Filed by

No institutional religious leader accepts the premise that he or his denomination seriously discriminates against women.… Read the rest



Pakistan’s blasphemy vigilantes kill exonerated man *

Apr 14th, 2011 | Filed by

He was cleared, but he was murdered anyway; thus Mo is protected.… Read the rest



The memory-hole

Apr 13th, 2011 12:52 pm | By

David Koepsell commented on Berlinerblau’s “what gnu atheist martyrs?” post to say

You should read my entry on “The Law and Unbelief” in the Encyclopedia of Unbelief, in which I detail such cases in the US, when courts even admitted that atheists were free game because of legal prohibitions against their testimony, and some were attacked and sometimes killed for sport. This happened even into the 1920s. I summarize that lengthy article in this shorter version.

I posted this same comment at Joe’s blog, but it’s “awaiting moderation”… I hope it makes it through.

It didn’t. You can see exactly how worthy of non-posting it is – how full of invective and misrepresentation and free-floating hostility.

David used to … Read the rest



Oh comrades come rally for the niqab

Apr 13th, 2011 12:19 pm | By

 The Guardian is pathetic.

Kenza Drider stood defiantly outside Notre Dame, adjusting her niqab to reveal only a glimpse of her eyes. Scores of police with a riot van and several lorries stood by as she and another woman in a niqab staged a peaceful protest for the right “to dress as they please”. On the first day of France’s ban on full Islamic face-coverings, this was the first test.

Blah blah blah, for 14 paragraphs – the heroic defiant brave rad rebellious women passionately standing up for their right to wear bags over their slutty heads, with the heroic brave left-wing Guardian cheering them on. Yah baby you fight for that niqab covering your mouth and nose so … Read the rest



It’s in the language

Apr 13th, 2011 11:24 am | By

I went to a reading and talk by Howard Jacobson yesterday evening. He was brilliant. Brilliantly funny and interesting and fluent. One wit asked what the bar mitzvah presents were like in Britain in the 50s. Jacobson responded that bar mitzvah presents were a big deal, and there was a little ripple of nodding and murmuring. He had, he went on, relatives on one side of the family who were in towelling and bedding. He received a lot of towelling and bedding. On the other side there were relatives in classy import items like tinted glass; he got wine glasses colored pink, amber…

His father had a market stall, where he sold swag. “You know swag? Basically junk.” He … Read the rest



Grayling’s secular bible is a sequel, not an attack *

Apr 13th, 2011 | Filed by

The truth is that both the religious bibles and this new “secular bible” come from the same source – human experience.… Read the rest



Guardian supports women’s right to self-obliterate *

Apr 13th, 2011 | Filed by

Not a word about Muslim women who support the ban.… Read the rest



How to ossify religious identity *

Apr 13th, 2011 | Filed by

Train social workers as “Muslim social workers” so that there will be “enough role models for Muslim teenage girls.”… Read the rest



David Koepsell on atheism and civil rights *

Apr 13th, 2011 | Filed by

As recently as the 1960s, in about a dozen states in the US, if you didn’t believe in a divine system of reward and punishment or if you denied the existence of a deity, you were actually denied civil rights.… Read the rest



Melting, melting, all my beautiful wickedness…

Apr 12th, 2011 4:54 pm | By

Berlinerblau is back in the trenches battling the Monstrous Regiment of Gnus. Not much of a battle, he just agrees with another warrior that there haven’t been many “atheist martyrs”; what that’s supposed to prove is somewhat mysterious. Do any gnus talk nonsense about piles of atheist corpses? Not that I recall.

Never mind, the point is, it’s all over. We should pack up our gnu megaphones and our gnu pepper spray and go home. The tide of history done turned against us.

Hoffmann represents a rapidly growing contingent of atheists and agnostics who, for a variety of different reasons, are expressing increasing frustration with the New Atheist world-view. Many of them are affiliated with the school of “Secular

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