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Monthly Archive: June 2011

Jun 14 2011

Black, atheist, bigoted

Welcome Pharyngulites and Redditors! Thanks for reading! There is another part to this story that I’d appreciate you reading if you wouldn’t mind clicking through. Black Nonbelievers of Atlanta is a non-crazy freethinkers group in Atlanta, and you should check them out. One of my daily reads is Hemant Mehta’s blog, Friendly Atheist. This past week, …

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Jun 13 2011

Normalizing belief

Distribution of beliefs

Today I want to dive back into the issue of “accommodation vs. confrontation” that is currently a topic of discussion within the atheist community, but which is germane to any social movement. Summarized, this debate centers on what the “best” way is to engage public opinion and advocate your position. The accommodation camp prioritizes civility, …

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Jun 10 2011

Movie Friday: Kung Fooled

So last week I got a bit heavy on you (although I really hope you watched those videos, and if you didn’t please go back and do so). This week I’m going to give you a bit of a reprieve with some lighthearted comedy: This video made me laugh in ways that can only be described as …

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Jun 09 2011

What does winning look like?

It is easy (tantalizingly so) to rail against racism, pointing out only the negative aspects. After all, it doesn’t take a great deal of creativity or courage on my part to say ‘racism is bad’ and for readers to say ‘I agree’. I doubt I will ruffle any feathers making such proclamations, although I know …

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Jun 08 2011

Democracy – still happening

It’s easy to lose sight of what’s happening in the world, especially when new stories are flooding the news outlets (OMG did you hear that SCHWARZENEGGER had a secret KID? And apparently John Edwards is still relevant?). Something important is still happening, and it’s spreading to places that one might not suspect: For a man who has lost …

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Jun 07 2011

Guilty of hate speech; guilty of crime?

For all my bluster and polemic, I am tormented by a fundamental uncertainty when it comes to hate speech laws. My position on hate speech is unequivocal – I am against it. Spreading hate is abhorrent, and its effects tend to move beyond the words themselves. I am particularly aware of the fact that anti-gay …

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Jun 06 2011

Health care ‘rationing’: Canada vs. the USA

Once again, and I hope you will forgive the digression, I’d like to talk a bit about something that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the usual topics of this blog. This topic is one that is more in line with my professional interests rather than my personal ones (if those two can …

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Jun 03 2011

Movie Friday: Ain’t No New Thing

Last Friday, a great American poet and musician died. Gil Scott Heron was a significant mouthpiece for the black community in the United States, exposing black and white audiences alike to the social and political issues happening with urban black people in the 1960s and 1970s. Part of a great tradition of blues musicians, Scott …

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Jun 02 2011

Tyranny: American style

Emergency powers are a funny thing. Granting extraordinary leeway to a governmental authority is crucial when lines of communication have the potential to get crossed, and swift action is needed to address an urgent situation. However, the tricky part comes when it’s time for that governmental authority to give up those emergency powers. When the ‘emergency’ …

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Jun 01 2011

Anti-racism: gettin’ skeptical on yo’ ass

I’m a skeptic. For those of you who don’t know, that means that I subscribe to the general principle that the strength of a person’s belief in an idea or position should be proportionate to the amount of evidence. Ideas for which there is no evidence I do not accept, and ideas for which there …

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