Rachel Ford is a programmer, and since 8:00 to 5:00 doesn't provide enough opportunity to bask in screen glare, she writes in her spare time. She was raised a very fundamentalist Christian, but eventually "saw the light." Rachel's personal blog is Rachel's Hobbit Hole, where she discusses everything from Tolkien to state politics.
Spain’s ruling party, Popular Party (PP), ran on a conservative platform that included the abolition of nearly all abortion rights. But since the nation’s current law regarding abortion is in line with much of the rest of Europe, allowing unrestricted access to abortions through the first 14 weeks of pregnancy (and limited access after that), the government’s proposal to remove that right was met with substantial pushback. Read more
In an article on Salon, Steve Neumann suggests that atheists spend too much time “gloating about the lunacy and misdeeds of specific Christians.” In an effort to halt this “unnecessary” and “counterproductive” behavior, and to “rehabilitate the reputation of atheism in America,” he has issued what he calls the Atheist Positivity Challenge (APC): … refrain from posting disparaging commentary about Christian newsmakers on Facebook and other social media sites — including blogs — for one month. Read more
The conversation about how human beings derive meaning from life, and how it ties into atheism and religion, continues on NPR’s 13.7 Cosmos & Culture blog. On Monday, I covered Alva Noë’s take on what he sees as “Spockian Atheism,” a godless view of life that leaves no room for value or meaning (and somehow I missed the opportunity to note, “Dammit Jim, I’m an atheist, not a robot!” The shame of it…). Now, Adam Frank has added his own take to the dialogue, with a piece called, “Is Atheist Awe A Religious Experience?” Read more
You might remember that a number of atheists, religious progressives, and women’s health advocates had some concerns about allowing an employer’s beliefs about women’s healthcare to determine what kind of coverage they offered, and what that might portend for religious freedom and the law in general. You might also remember that the Supreme Court did it anyway, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby. And don’t forget people insisting that it was not really problematic (and certainly not a blow to women’s rights!) because it was so “limited in scope.” Or the Supreme Court’s decision the very next day that expanded the ruling. Read more
Holy War might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but former Arkansas Governor and 2008 Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee is pretty excited about it. You see, like other right-wing religious luminaries, he’s… well, got a book. And, what do you know? That book tells him how a religious war between Muslims and Christians turns out. (Hint: it’s not the same ending Islamic radicals find in their book. Someone’s going to be disappointed!) Read more