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Monthly Archive: June 2008

Jun 30 2008

The Messed-Up Teachings of Jesus

There’s a common trope among many progressive Christians (and among many progressives who aren’t Christian but who want to be ecumenical).It goes something like this: “I’m not a fundamentalist. I don’t believe in every word of the Bible. But I do believe in the teachings of Jesus. They’re so full of love and peace and …

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Jun 27 2008

Sex, TV, and Actual Human Beings: “Swingtown” and “Secret Diary of a Call Girl”: The Blowfish Blog

Since so many of you responded to my “Sex and the City” review by asking what I thought of “Swingtown,” I thought I should oblige. (Hey, I’m always up for a good non sequitur…) I have a new piece up on the Blowfish Blog: a review of the show, with a review of a second …

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Jun 26 2008

“All This For Us?” The Arrogance of Human- Centered Faith

“You atheists are so arrogant.” This is one of the most common criticisms leveled against atheists. Many believers see the atheist assertion that there almost certainly is no God as unspeakably arrogant. The usual comeback is to point out the arrogance of faith: the arrogance, among other things, of thinking that “I really don’t think …

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Jun 25 2008

Lights, Camera
 Richard Kern’s “Action”

Please note: This review includes a passing reference to my personal sex life. Family members and others who don’t want to read that stuff may want to skip this one. There are also nude pictures in this review; please don’t click the “Continue” button if you’re under 18 or don’t want to see those. This …

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Jun 24 2008

The Bank Job, And The Normalizing Of Kink

Please note: This piece includes references to my personal sex life. Not in any great detail, but it might be too much information for family members and others who don't want to read about that stuff. This piece was originally published on the Blowfish Blog. Warning: This isn’t a proper movie review. Not at all. …

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Jun 23 2008

“Ya Gotta Reach For Your Dreams”: An Optimistic Realist Perspective

Should we, in fact, always reach for our dreams? I know. That sounds like an almost stupidly obvious question. But stay with me. I’m going someplace with this. You’ve seen the movies, the TV shows; you’ve read the inspiring books. Scrappy underdog with a dream struggles against all odds — conformist friends, an implacable authority …

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Jun 22 2008

Humanist Symposium #21: Old Enough to Drink

Hi, and welcome to the 21st edition of the Humanist Symposium! Yesterday was the Summer Solstice, and I was originally planning to do a whole pagan woo theme in honor of it. But I decided that wouldn’t be in keeping with the non-snarky, “atheism as a positive, fulfilling worldview” mission statement of the Symposium. So …

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Jun 19 2008

I Do — And Why

Ingrid and I are getting married at City Hall today. I'm scheduling this post so that, in theory, it should go up right around the time we say "I do." This piece was originally published on the Blowfish Blog; it's been edited in small ways to bring it up to date. As you all no …

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Jun 18 2008

Magical Essence of Pope, or, The Creepy Side of Religion, Episode 7,464,221

As Molly Ivins used to say: Sometimes it's hard to know whether to laugh, cry, or throw up. Today's story centers on The Pope's Cologne — stop laughing, I am not making this up — a product purportedly based on the private cologne formula of Pope Pius IX (1792-1878), and being shamelessly hawked to credulous …

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Jun 16 2008

A Tale of Two Martyrs: When Jobs and Beliefs Collide

So what should religious believers do when their professional obligations conflict with their religious convictions? Here in California, the media has been all over the story of the county clerks in Kern County and Butte County, who decided to stop performing wedding ceremonies — all wedding ceremonies — as soon as the California Supreme Court …

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