Dubious Ideological History
June 25, 2020


Humanists International have put out their latest report on the persecution faced by nonbelievers around the world, Humanists At Risk: Action Report 2020. They write: Humanists and atheists face intimidation, threats, arrest and prosecution, and even death, for sharing their views on social media. For some, while challenging legislation is important in the long-term, their …

Crumbling Across the Board
June 24, 2020


The Pompeo Circumstance Pranshu Verma at the New York Times has an important report on the anxiety-inducing activities of the U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and his new “Commission on Unalienable Rights”: Human rights scholars have criticized the panel, saying it is filled with conservatives intent on promoting views against abortion and marriage equality. …

The Challenge of Being a Living, Thinking Person
June 23, 2020


Trumpgnostic Take the time to today to read Jeff Sharlet’s Vanity Fair piece on the people who go to Trump rallies, which leads to the inescapable conclusion that calling the Trump following a “cult” is an understatement. It’s a gnostic religion: “The Great Awakening?” I say, referring to a Q meme she’s searching for on …

A Breakdown in Normal Processes
June 22, 2020


Highway to the Danger Phase The World Health Organization says COVID-19 is entering a “new and dangerous phase,” as though the old phase was so pleasant. The Times reports: In Florida, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Arizona, daily counts of new coronavirus cases reached their highest levels of the pandemic this week. Texas, which has seen …

The Pants Clause
June 19, 2020


Preach, Dr. Fauci: One of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are — for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable — they just don’t believe science and they don’t believe authority. So when they see someone …

Shaky in the Boots
June 18, 2020


I don’t know how much stock one should put into the claims of John Bolton, but according to his new book on his time inside the White House, President Trump encouraged China’s President Xi Jinping to keep building concentration camps to detain Uighur Muslims: “According to our interpreter, Trump said that Xi should go ahead …

Tent Revival Lunacy
June 17, 2020


The great John de Lancie, the only Q on the internet you should ever listen to, made a fantastic commencement address video for the secular graduates of 2020, and we’ve got it right here. Originally presented for the Secular Student Alliance’s Virtual Graduation Ceremony, I think it’s desperately-needed wisdom for everyone, not just graduates. And …

Special Sweetness
June 16, 2020


Neil Gorsuch, you magnificent bastard. The Supreme Court ruled yesterday that that LGBTQ Americans are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. John Roberts joined the 6-3 majority, but the opinion was written by Neil “The Reason Allegedly Principled Conservatives Tolerated Trump” Gorsuch: We must decide whether an employer can …

Broken Down Consumer Products
June 15, 2020


At India’s Outlook, Fahad Zuberi reflects on the meaning of Javed Akhtar winning the Richard Dawkins Award: Contemporary politics threatens secularism today more than ever. In this challenging context, Akhtar has carved a space for rationalism and atheism that beckons to a wider audience and permeates into the public imagination of a country that has …

That Sounds Like an Infomercial
June 12, 2020


Justine Calma at The Verge reports on the #BlackintheIvory campaign about the black experience in academia and the sciences: Thousands of tweets detailing what it’s like to be black in the ivory towers of universities and research institutions point to deep-seated problems. Tweet after tweet describes similar, horrifying experiences from individuals spread across the world. …