The Netanyahu Pirouette and the Obligations of the Israeli StateMarch 20, 2015
So Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, has rejected a two-state solution. No, wait, that was the other day. He actually accepts, indeed, wants, a two-state solution. But hang on: it has to be under the right circumstances.
Pope Francis: About Your MotherJanuary 15, 2015
Pope Francis has given his opinion on the controversy surrounding Charlie Hebdo’s continued sharp criticism and sarcasm regarding religious beliefs. The pope has stated that there should be limits to free expression. In particular, one should not “insult the faith of others.” He analogized criticism of religious beliefs to someone cursing his mother, saying that such a person “can expect a punch.”
Pope Francis is wrong.
Islam, Religious Dogmatism, and TerrorismDecember 19, 2014
Recent terror attacks in Pakistan, Nigeria, and elsewhere have renewed discussion of whether it’s appropriate to use terms such as “Islamist” or “Islamic terrorist” to describe the perpetrators of such attacks. Some say that these terms unfairly denigrate and stigmatize the majority of Muslims who reject terrorism.
Physician-Assisted Dying and Same-Sex Marriage: The ConnectionNovember 17, 2014
Two major changes in the American legal landscape are in progress, although one change is further along than the other. I’m referring to the legalization of same-sex marriage and physician-assisted dying (PAD), a.k.a. physician-assisted suicide. Same-sex marriage is now legal in over thirty states and, depending on action by the Supreme Court, may soon be legal nationwide. PAD is currently legal in only four states, but initiatives to legalize the practice are underway in several other states. Just last Thursday, the New Jersey Assembly passed a bill that would legalize PAD in that state.
A Statement from CFI’s Management CommitteeNovember 12, 2014
As a rule, the Center for Inquiry (CFI) does not disclose to the public the medical conditions of its employees. We respect the privacy of our employees and public disclosure of this information could violate the law. However, the situation discussed in this statement is exceptional.
Some Observations on One Aspect of the 2014 ElectionsNovember 6, 2014
Everyone is talking about the new Republican majority in the Senate. This is significant. It gives the Republican Party complete control of Congress. It will also make it very difficult for President Obama to have his judicial nominees approved by the Senate. But perhaps more significant in the long term are the Republican gains in the House of Representatives.
International Blasphemy Rights Day 2014September 29, 2014
Tuesday, September 30, is International Blasphemy Day Rights Day (IBRD). Moreover, it’s the fifth anniversary of the Center for Inquiry’s launch of IBRD. It is an appropriate time to take stock of the state of freedom of religious belief and expression in the world. Unfortunately, it’s not a terribly encouraging picture.
The Latest Harris Book/The Latest Harris ControversySeptember 18, 2014
As you may have heard, Sam Harris has a new book out, Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. Based on what I’ve heard about it so far, and what I’ve managed to read (to date, just the first chapter), it raises some interesting questions.
Reframing the Debate Over the Pledge: Make God OptionalSeptember 2, 2014
Children are back in school and, as part of their daily routine, most of them will be expected to participate in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance. Recitation of the Pledge is a requirement under the laws of over forty states.
Three Observations on FergusonAugust 18, 2014
The first observation is one the Center for Inquiry has already made, and in its official capacity, but it bears repeating. Although we recognize that the police (and now, apparently, the National Guard), have an obligation to maintain public order, that obligation must be fulfilled in a manner consistent with respect for our fundamental freedoms, including the right to peacefully assemble and protest.