A Look at Aladdin’s Genie—and Its Jinn Origins
May 24, 2019 by

With the much-hyped release of the new version of Disney’s Aladdin, I thought it would be interesting to take a brief folkloric look at genies and jinn. Jinn (or djinn) refers to creatures that appeared in medieval Arabic folklore; they were usually depicted as threatening and free-willed—so dangerous in fact that rituals and amulets are …

Good Friday for Atheists
April 19, 2019 by

Just because I don’t share religious beliefs with someone doesn’t mean I think that they should be harmed in any way. Quite to the contrary. If you feel the need to kill people because of a difference of opinion, you’ve lost the argument. Validity of beliefs should rest on the merits of the arguments, not the size of the spear.

Do 60% of People Misgender Trans People to Insult Them?
March 21, 2019 by

Recent news reports claimed that most people intentionally disrespect transgendered individuals by calling them by something other than their preferred gender pronoun. For example one piece began: “Three in five people internationally report that they would intentionally misgender a transgender person, according to a recent survey. Ipsos found that only two out of five people …

The Tragedy of Jazmine Barnes: Phantom Serial Killers and Eyewitness Errors
January 23, 2019 by

On December 30, 2018, a seven-year-old Houston girl named Jazmine Barnes was killed when a gunman drove up next to the vehicle she was in and opened fire on its occupants. Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, was wounded; Jazmine was struck in the head and died on the way to the hospital. As the New Year’s …

The Atheist AND Christian War on Christmas
December 12, 2018 by

I happen to think the “War on Christmas” is a hyped-up Fox News (sic) creation that lines up nicely with the rest of their business model: convince the American public that something dear to them is in imminent danger of being ripped from their bosoms – so they’ll keep watching… Fox News.

The rippers are, variously, the liberals, Hillary Clinton, socialism, Nancy Pelosi, the left, Hillary Clinton, the atheists, Barak Obama, everyone in California, and Hillary Clinton.

But this war is really more like a highly localized skirmish, and there is at least a little blame to go around for people being uptight during this time of year. So here I will attempt to straighten things out with some frank talk to both the Christians who think Satan’s minions (and Hillary) are trying to put a halt to everything Christmas, and to the atheists who become enraged every time they see Santa Claus.

Polls Show Most Americans ‘Believe the Women’
October 2, 2018 by

As the country waits to see what becomes of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh pending the results of an FBI investigation, one thing has become clear: Whether or not the Senate believed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Kavanaugh, most of America does. In a PBS Newshour / Marist poll taken September 22 to 24, …