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.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: The Myth of Parental Rights
March 14, 2019 by

Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes. Virgil, The Aeneid (II, 49) I fear the Greeks, even those bearing gifts. Also, in a less literary vein – a crap sandwich on the tastiest bread is still a crap sandwich. When our opponents present us with something, whatever they call it and however they present it, we are …

Of Monuments, Christian and Confederate
March 11, 2019 by

At first glance, a 40-foot cross in a traffic circle may not have that much in common with an over 60-foot statue of Robert E. Lee in a traffic circle, but they do—I mean other than their obstructing the free flow of traffic. There are significant similarities between the recent arguments over the removal or …

Don’t Cross Us
March 7, 2019 by

But noooooo. People – even those in our supposed-to-be secular government – are constantly trying to foist their particular religion on the rest of us – and have been for over 200 years. Placing crosses and 10 Commandments on public property is no different from gang-bangers tagging buildings in their neighborhood or dogs pissing on fire hydrants. It’s simply a form of marking turf and saying we are in charge here.

When is a cross not a cross? How Accommodation and Ceremonial Deism have led us here…
February 26, 2019 by

This Wednesday, February 27th, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments in American Legion et al. v. American Humanist Association et. al. Better known as the Bladensburg Cross case, it deals with a challenge to the constitutionality of a war memorial on public land. The memorial in question isn’t small, and isn’t inconspicuous. It’s a 40’ …

The Prodigy: A Skeptical Film Review
February 18, 2019 by

The new horror film The Prodigy is about an evil child, and therefore follows a fairly predictable formula. The kid starts as a bundle of joy, then bad things happen but no one wants to believe the child did them, then the terror escalates as a parent or caregiver discovers a horrifying secret that leads …

With Alabama Execution Case, Supreme Court Declares that Only Christianity Matters
February 11, 2019 by

Town of Greece v. Galloway, 572 U.S. ___ (2014): Local government can start public meetings with sectarian prayers. Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, 573 U.S. ___ (2014): For-profit corporations can hold religious beliefs, and use them to gain an exemption from a law requiring them to provide insurance covering contraception to their employees. Trinity Lutheran …

Ukraine Splits from Russian Church
February 5, 2019 by

Ukrainian Orthodox Christians have officially split from the Russian Church to which they were tied for over four centuries. The spiritual leader of Eastern Orthodox Christians worldwide formalized the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine in a ceremony in Istanbul on January 6, 2019. Ukraine’s action resulted in the granting of legitimacy, thus bestowing …

God IS Pro-Trump!
January 31, 2019 by

Here are a few other things God also wants (or wanted):

Spina bifida, cockroaches, serial killers, landslides, osteoporosis, hurricanes, cavities, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo TV show, flat tires, tornados, hemorrhoids, diabetes, bad breath, kidney disease, leprosy, polio, pot holes, farts, boogers, pimples, eczema, warts, mosquitos, mold, rats, plague, the (Jewish) Holocaust, all the other holocausts, Richard Nixon, pigeon poop, tsunamis, crappy Wi-Fi reception, diarrhea, excessive earwax, alopecia, urine that smells like asparagus, phlegm, frostbite, fish die-offs, broken shoelaces, people who don’t have their payment ready at the cash register, myopia, hip dysplasia, humidity, influenza, Hell (see 9 Circles of Atheist Hell), DVDs that skip, breast cancer, lung cancer, throat cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, the other 100+ kinds of cancer, the 1969 Chicago Cubs, tapeworms, hair where you don’t need it, no hair where you do need it (see alopecia above), Adolph Hitler, jellyfish, poisonous snakes, poisonous everything else, dogs who wipe their asses on carpets, unappreciative cats…