We Dissent: International Blasphemy Rights Day Comes with a New Urgency in 2020
September 30, 2020 by

It would be easy to let International Blasphemy Rights Day go for this year. The pandemic, protests, the election, wildfires—don’t we have enough to think about right now? We can come back to opposing blasphemy laws next year, right? We can’t. The right to criticize and question religion is not a luxury, something to be …

May Her Memory Be a Blessing: On the Loss of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
September 21, 2020 by

We lost a friend Friday night. And, as a movement, we in the secular, pro-science, reality-based community don’t have a lot of friends in positions of power. Certainly not friends like Justice Ginsburg. For issues at the core of our mission here at the Center for Inquiry, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was more than a …

Leaving Oppression: A Secular Rescue Story
September 8, 2020 by

Matthew Cravatta is coordinator of Secular Rescue, a program of the Center for Inquiry that identifies those writers, activists, and everyday citizens in countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iraq who live under the threat of violence and death and provides financial and diplomatic assistance to help them escape to safety. Jana (an alias) is …

Funny…The One True God
August 11, 2020 by

I guess what I am asking, in this justifiably sensitive world, is that people consider the source when deciding whether it’s ok to laugh at something. It really does matter who’s making the joke. Yes, there’s a lot of shit that needs correcting in this country, and we shouldn’t let up for a moment in working toward a better world. But not everyone who tries to make a joke is a bad person, and no one is funny every time. That’s just a fact.

Can I Oppose Waterboarding If I’ve Never Been Waterboarded?
June 30, 2020 by

I have never been waterboarded; yet, despite my undeniable lack of direct experience, I oppose it as a form of torture. The same can be said for Barack Obama, who issued an executive order banning waterboarding along with other coercive interrogation practices. The same can be said for the overwhelming majority of those who oppose …

Contemplating Death, Cremated Knees and $200 bills
April 7, 2020 by

Hell, I’ve dodged a few bullets – motorcycle crashes, mountain-climbing mistakes, and other stupid, life-threatening exploits – but surviving those is no inoculation from my eventual demise. I know that bastard with the black hood and scythe will find me eventually. It’s one of the toughest things about being human – contemplating your own death. Sometimes I envy mosquitos, oblivious of quick hands and purple martins…

Neil Peart, Skeptic
January 17, 2020 by

Last week Neil Peart, the drummer and main lyricist for the rock band Rush, died. He’d been living in California and privately battled brain cancer for several years. The Canadian trio (Alex Lifeson on guitar, Geddy Lee on vocals, bass, and keyboards, and Neil Peart on drums) announced they’d stopped touring in 2015, after 40 …

Nazis, the KKK, and The Angriest Yoga Master: Another Day at the Office
July 24, 2019 by

Now hold on. Am I a Nazi or a Klansman? Make up your mind.

Good Omens, Bad Dogma
June 25, 2019 by

The effort to quash this series was great for TV, great for atheism, and great for America for the following reasons:

1. Uhh… Nexflix did not produce or air Good Omens. Amazon Prime did. So their original petition with 20,000 names on it was, at least initially, an embarrassing waste of time.

2. Christians still haven’t learned from past boycotts. The best way to heap tons of publicity on a creative endeavor is to protest it and boycott it! Martin Scorcese’s The Last Temptation of Christ, Robert Maplethorpe’s photography, and countless authors have benefitted from church prohibitions of their work. People instinctively flock to see what all the hubbub is about – which is a great boost in this age of media oversaturation.

C. If overzealous Christians are spending their time on TV shows, maybe they’ll have less time to try to tell a woman what to do with her body, fight environmental progress, or any number of harms they do to civilized society.

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.