They’re not a separate issue

One nice thing.

There’s a transcript of a hangout PZ did with Rebecca and Jen and Brownian and Louis. (I’m not sure I know Louis.)

Louis is apparently in the UK, and he said a thing I liked.

So I see the vitriol, I see the vehemence of it. And I can understand Brownian’s point, of the, fuck you assholes [Unintelligible] misogynist skeptics. I can see it, because, you know, it’s so apparent to me as an outsider from that angle.

But when I’ve been to Skeptics in the Pub in the UK, or when I’ve been to skeptic events in the UK, or when I’ve dealt with, I don’t know, the Simon Singhs or these sorts of people over here, it’s all so obvious that [Read more...]

So that she will mend her ways

Małgorzata has sent me another gem – a lecture on tv by an Egyptian cleric explaining why men have to beat up women.

Abd Al-Rahman Mansour: Islam instructs a man to beat his wife as a last resort before divorce, so that she will mend her ways, treat him with kindness and respect, and know that her husband has a higher status than her.

That’s usefully blunt. We know where we are. We’re among stupid unreflective people who have not managed to figure out that stronger does not equal better or higher, and that the mere fact that person X is able to beat up person Y does not mean that person X is better than person Y. [Read more...]

Both parties have respect

Fabulous. The Republicans are having New York’s archbishop Timothy Dolan saying a goodbye prayer at their convention, so now the Democrats are having him too, so that everyone will know that both parties suck up to the Catholic church because hey, votes.

The fact that Dolan will be speaking at both conventions, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, shows the measure of respect both parties have for “ou[r] new cardinal.”

Yes exactly, and why the hell should they do that?

Mind you, the rest of what Bloomberg said sounded a tad perfunctory, or even contemptuous.

“It’s very flattering, I think, to him,” Bloomberg said. “He’s a very good speaker, and I’m sure he’ll give a very nice invocation, blessing or whatever he chooses to call it.”

Mmmmmmf.

But seriously. Timothy Dolan is the guy who pitched a huge fit at the New York Times for reporting on priestly child rape because other people do it too. He’s not someone both parties should respect. He’s a moral imbecile.

Enabling them

Aron Ra said his piece in Amy’s series.

Remember that we’re not talking about religizombies either; we’re talking about plainly prejudiced people who consistently identify as, associate with, and participate in the freethinking community –both virtually and personally. Yes or no, are these the sort of people you want to have seen as representative of your position? Or typical of it? Or welcome in it? Because when you minimize the threat they impose, you are enabling them. [Read more...]

Giles Fraser versus human rights

Giles Fraser strongly disapproves of the idea (and the judicial finding) that non-medical circumcision is what it is: genital cutting of an infant for religious reasons.

Generally, the logic behind these moves is that circumcision is an act of unnecessary violence against a child and that it is imposing a belief system against a child’s will. If an adult wants to be circumcised, so be it. [Read more...]

Tighten it up

Hooray, great strides for women in India.

An Indian company has launched what it claims is the country’s first vagina tightening cream, saying it will make women feel “like a virgin” again. The company says it is about empowering women…

Empowering women? By making them feel “like a virgin”? Because virgin women are so powerful? What, like the Delphic oracle? Tight virginal vagina=telephone line to the gods?

This video is designed to market a vaginal “rejuvenation and tightening” product, which was launched this month in India. [Read more...]

Is this a fork in the road or just an added lane?

Ron Lindsay has some observations on atheism plus. Good stuff.

One question he asks in conclusion –

CFI has long been active in supporting LGBT equality, in supporting reproductive rights, in supporting equality for women, in opposing suppression of women and minorities, not just in the US but in other countries, in supporting public schools, in advocating for patient’s rights, including the right to assistance in dying, in fighting restrictions on the teaching of evolution, in opposing religious interference with health care policy, in promoting the use of science in shaping public policy, in safeguarding our rights to free speech, and in protecting the rights of the nonreligious. [Read more...]