Chronicles of Lily Dale
July 17, 2018


Chronicles of Lily Dale (2017) is a compilation of material from early Spiritualist publications—mostly relating to Lily Dale (the world’s largest Spiritualist village), ca. 1861–1915. It was compiled by Spiritualists (but not mediums) Ron Nagy and the late Joyce LaJudice (both longtime friends of mine). From the Banner of Light (August 16, 1884), we learn …

Outrage Vampires versus Breastfeeding Moms
July 17, 2018


How Our Desire to Help Can Profit Hoaxers and Result in Harm A fury-inducing video announcing itself as a “social experiment” showed up on my feed recently, posted by a well-meaning skeptic who has always been on the right side of social justice causes. But far from being a touchstone that can help elevate society …

Our Existential Schlepp
July 17, 2018


Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee, those warm-hearted so-and-so’s, pass an amendment cutting federal adoption funding to states that don’t let religious agencies discriminate against same-sex couples. Wow. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules that Whole Woman’s Health cannot subpoena internal communications of the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops in their discussions about their …

From Ancient Grudge Break to New Mutiny
July 16, 2018


Hey look! We have a brand-freaking-new column at the CFI website! Anthropologist and comedian Natalia Reagan presents She Sells Science, “uncovering myths about human behavior using science and comedy.” Her first article is titled, fantastically, “Womb Raider.” Somebody at HHS better have an illicit thumbdrive ready, because the Trump administration is eliminating Guideline.gov, a huge, valuable …

Not Very Aloha of You
July 13, 2018


Ben Radford investigates the claims about “Sarah Ann,” the ghost of a child said to haunt Fort George in Ontario: A closer look at the “ghost report” itself helps explain why it’s so fragmentary and contradictory. Instead of [author Jeff] Belanger doing any investigation himself, he simply relied on what other people told him about …

Womb Raider: Women’s Health vs. the First Amendment
July 13, 2018


The past few weeks have been brutal Though it may seem like a lifetime ago, it was a mere three years ago our country was celebrating the historic Ogerfell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision that declared all marriages, regardless of the couple’s genders, legal. Cut to 2018. Instead of continuing to move our nation forward, …

Sarah Ann, Fort George’s Most Famous Ghost
July 12, 2018


Located a short walk from the picturesque Canadian town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Fort George is an impressive hidden little gem of history. Comprising about a dozen wooden buildings scattered around a roughly coffin-shaped outer wall supported by six blocky bastions, the fort is a popular attraction for tourists and history buffs alike. Replica cannons appear …

I’d Really Prefer That You Didn’t
July 12, 2018


First, something uplifting. For CFI, that very often means the latest report from George Ongere at CFI Kenya, who shares some news about what he and CFI Kenya’s Humanist Orphans Center were able to do for a little girl with albinism. Plus, he gives a little update on the Ron Lindsay Library. CFI’s VP and …

Mormon Spray, Geriatric God, Sarah Silverman & Jesus
July 11, 2018


Why are the religious so irritating?? Mormons are invading at the moment and I can’t spray for them 🙁 Shaun Does Shark Tank know about this anti-Mormon spray? I may want a piece of that action. Short of poisoning proselytizers who visit your home, consider asking the cherry-faced young chaps in for a talk. Ask …

The Way Things Are Shaping Up
July 11, 2018


A federal court gives the go-ahead to a lawsuit by victims of the violence in Charlottesville last year, who allege that the Nazi/white supremacist protesters were “conspiring to engage in violence against racial minorities and their supporters.” Marie Griffith at Religion & Politics describes how the Southern Baptists were overtaken by fundamentalist ideologues in the …