"Islamic extremism, like Christian fundamentalism, has a life of its own, and it’s evolving as we speak. The New Atheists’ contribution to this debate is to have taken fundamentalists of all stripes at their word and to have suggested that it is not only the particular interpretation of holy books that is problematic but the existence of holy books themselves: that fundamentalism cannot be detached from religion but is an outgrowth (or mutation) of it.
The argument may be an old one, but it’s worth repeating, and if their readers get a bit of knowledge on the way about recent developments in cell biology or genetics or the expanding fossil record or physics, well, then, so much the better….
There’s no doubt Dawkins can be a jerk. His interventions on the subject of Western feminists – whom he seems to want to indict on the grounds that they’re not living in Afghanistan – are, to put it delicately, feeble.
But my strong sense is that his real crime is to have confronted us – good women and men of the left – with a question we aren’t quite able to answer, and which, frankly, we’d rather wasn’t asked: What do we feel about religion now that it is more commonly associated with minorities subject to widespread prejudice?"
"The only way 355 mass shootings in 336 days becomes an acceptable reality is if we accept it.
And if we do, we can no longer blame Islamic State or Al Qaeda or the axis of evil for threatening the American way of life.
We will have destroyed it ourselves. "
"Father Lombardi, in his statement, played down the meeting and said it had been arranged by the Nunciature, the Vatican Embassy, in Washington.
“Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City,” Father Lombardi said.
He added: “Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.”"
"Why, exactly, is the Vatican being so weird about this meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis?
There are two possibilities. One is that somebody brought her to the Vatican embassy here in Washington and simply presented her to the pope without much internal discussion.
So basically, “Hello pope, here’s this lady who was a conscientious objector, isn’t that sad?” And the pope said “Oh, courage [to you], God bless you. Here’s a rosary!”"
"For decades now, evangelical Christians have opposed gay rights. They have painted gay people as dangerous, as child molesters, and as incapable of forming loving relationships. They have argued against efforts to protect gay children from bullying and have inflicted “conversion therapies” that include electric shock on gay teens and adults. They have opposed gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals’ right to marry and continue to lobby against local nondiscrimination ordinances.
And yet, in spite of all of this, comparing an evangelical baker asked to make a wedding cake for a gay couple with a Jewish baker asked to make a cake with a swastika on it puts the evangelical in the position of the party that has been hated, exiled, and killed for who they are. And indeed, this is exactly what evangelicals are trying to do. They want to paint themselves as the ones who are discriminated against, oppressed by the all-powerful gay lobby."
"The frontrunners continued that trend in the second debate – largely sticking to rants against Planned Parenthood and immigrants – until an unfortunate question from a viewer brought God back into the debate.
Chase Norton, who submitted his question via Facebook, said, “I want to know if any of them have received a word from God on what they should do and take care of first.”
Enter U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas."
"One of their options is no longer on the table. Today, the State Supreme Court basically told Pruitt: We weren’t kidding with our earlier decision. The monument is still unconstitutional."
"“Public officials are ministers of God assigned the duty of punishing the wicked and protecting the righteous.”
That, right there, seems to be the heart of the problem. Moore and his lawyer are under the impression that the United States is a theocracy. It’s this assumption that leads them to believe public officials – judges, governors, county clerks, et al – are obligated to follow religious dictates, as defined by Moore and his lawyer’s interpretation of Scripture."
A fun one on common myths and misconceptions
"Since 2012, the BBS has embraced direct action, following the example of other like-minded groups. It raided Muslim-owned slaughter-houses claiming, incorrectly, that they were breaking the law. Members demonstrated outside a law college alleging, again incorrectly, that exam results were being distorted in favour of Muslims.
Now that a Tamil adversary has been defeated, Muslims seem to be these nationalists' main target, along with evangelical Christians whom they accuse of deceitfully and cunningly converting people away from Buddhism."
"In a press conference at the South Carolina Freedom Summit — hosted by Citizens United and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) — Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told reporters that Christians face persecution in the United States. But when a journalist pressed Blackburn for examples of Christian persecution on American soil, Blackburn could cite nary an example, the Huffington Post reports."
"The Supreme Court itself has suggested that the implications of Hobby Lobby were broader than Alito originally let on. Just days after the decision, the Court’s majority allowed Wheaton College, which is religiously oriented, to refuse to fill out a form asking for an exemption from the birth-control mandate—while retaining the exemption. There is another case, Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell, which is also pending, where a religious order asserts that the filling out of a form (which, if granted, would exempt them from the law’s requirements) violates their rights.
If just filling out a form can count as a “substantial burden,” it’s hard to imagine any obligation that would not."
"Ted Cruz is a fanatical Dominionist, a Seven Mountains apocalyptic theocrat and a future Ayatollah."
"At the Iowa Agriculture Summit on Saturday, ThinkProgress asked former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), a vocal opponent of marriage equality, how Iowa’s same-sex weddings have negatively impacted the state. But rather than providing any specific examples, Huckabee dodged the question and fell back on old rhetoric."
"Amazing, isn’t it, that evangelist Reinhard Bonnke is speaking to a crowd of over a million people… and they’re not even looking at him?
That’s because the photo isn’t real."
"Science educator Eugenie Scott deemed the technique the “Gish Gallop,” named for a notoriously sleazy creationist named Duane Gish. The Urban Dictionary defines the Gish Gallop as a technique that “involves spewing so much bullshit in such a short span that your opponent can’t address let alone counter all of it.” Often users of the Gish Gallop know their arguments are nonsense or made in bad faith, but don’t particularly care because they are so dead set on advancing their agenda. Unfortunately, the strategy is so effective that it’s been expanding rapidly in right-wing circles. Here are just a few of the most disturbing examples of the Gish Gallop in action."
"More competition for Catholic priests:"
" Looking over the long history of people claiming to be speaking for God’s wishes, it quickly becomes evident that Christians are frequently on the wrong side of history. Here are 10 things that American Christians of the conservative stripe got completely wrong when they were so sure they were speaking on God’s behalf."
- 1st Amendment (18)
- 2012 election (15)
- atheism (9)
- birth control (11)
- civil rights (12)
- gop fail (9)
- lgbt (12)
- politics (16)
- progressive (161)
- public schools (11)
- religion (9)
- religious (8)
- religious bigotry (34)
- religious freedom (20)
- religious privilege (16)
- religious right (37)
- republicans (16)
- science (9)
- secular humanism (171)
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