Science, Reason, and the Obama AdministrationDecember 24, 2008
Kendrick Frazier’s Commentary to appear in the March/April 2009 Skeptical Inquirer
Who Are Our Bedfellows?December 24, 2008
You can get a pretty good pie fight going even among secular humanists by comparing attitudes on the holidays. Me, I’ve been Yule-free for 24 years now, and I’ve been emphatic in praising initiatives to tone down holiday symbolism in public places as America grows more diverse. I was the one you heard cheering when all the holiday finery was briefly removed from Seattle’s Sea-Tac Airport two years ago. And I’ve been raising the same cheers for UNC-Chapel Hill, where the main libraries opted not to display their Christmas trees in deference to the campus’s growing non-Christian population. I’m all for this sort of reform, and I hope (and expect) to see lots more in future years. I recognize that’s a controversial position among humanists, quite a few of whom view stuff like this as political correctness run amok. “Why waste effort being concerned with non-Christians taking offense at Christmas?” they say. “The holiday’s so secular it hardly even serves as an emblem of Christianity anymore.”
Another Plane Crash, Another Ordinary Miracle: Science Saves but God Gets CreditDecember 23, 2008
A recent plane crash in Denver was called a miracle because all survived. But did God or science save lives?
Seasonal Wishes from…a CFI Supporter?December 23, 2008
Or, not. A special note to CFI just in time for Christmas.
Almost Quiet on the Yule War FrontDecember 22, 2008
Continuing with my roundup of War on Christmas 2008, such as it is, what are some of the flashpoints other than the atheist placard in Washington’s state capitol?
Dear Abby: Skeptical Ghost Buster!December 21, 2008
Dear Abby shows a bit of refreshing skepticism in her response to a reader’s comment about being visited by a ghost
Get Your Secs HereDecember 21, 2008
Who are we? How should we describe ourselves? Perhaps no movement has spent more time agonizing over what to call itself than the humanist/atheist/freethought/ skeptical/ Brights, etc. movement. That last sentence illustrated the problem nicely. I am an atheist. (Note the small “a” — capitalization is another issue, but don’t get me started on …
The War on Xmas Will Not Be Televised … at Least Not MuchDecember 19, 2008
So far 2009’s “helladay” season bids fair to teach us the same lesson as the 2008 season did. The “War on Christmas” is a rhetorical construct that right-wing bloviators can flog and pundits can wring their hands about, but only so long as there isn’t too much real news. Both the ’08 and ’09 seasons have featured commanding news story arcs. Last year all eyes were on the presidential campaign, and now the reigning story is of course the not-so-graudal dissolution of the world economy. And news stories about seasonal strife have been few and hard to come by.
Bush Illogic 101: Bush Claims Success in Keeping America SafeDecember 19, 2008
President Bush claimed on Dec. 17 that “there can be no debate” about his record of keeping America safe. “No debate”? Really?
Evangelical Lobbyist Resigns Amid Civil Unions FlapDecember 19, 2008
Proponents of the popular religion-as-guardian-of-civil rights narrative have some rethinking to do. According to the New York Times , Richard Cizik, the longtime Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals, has resigned after revealing his support for civil unions for gay couples. That’s right: not gay marriage, but the …