Category Archive: Politics

Aug 20 2013

PZ Myers’ Grenade, and Anonymous Accusations vs. Unnamed Sources: The “Deep Throat” Analogy


When we’re considering accusations of seriously bad, possibly criminal behavior, should we take anonymous accusations seriously? What about unnamed sources? Much has been said about PZ Myers’s post on Pharyngula, What do you do when someone pulls the pin and hands you a grenade?, in which he re-posted an email from a woman he knows …

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Aug 16 2013

Activist Burnout — Prevention & Treatment: My Talk at SSA Con West 2013

My talk at the Secular Student Alliance convention this year is up on YouTube! The topic: “Activist Burnout — Prevention & Treatment.” I think a lot of us maybe need to hear this right now. I actually just watched the video myself: I wrote this talk to be as much of a pep talk for …

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Jun 27 2013

Celebrate Same-Sex Marriage… and Demand a New Voting Right Act

Yesterday was a happy, happy day. The Supreme Court struck two powerful blows for equality: forcing the Federal government to recognize same-sex marriages, and effectively overturning Prop 8 and alloweing same-sex marriage in California. Yay! But the day before yesterday was a fucking travesty. The Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights …

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May 21 2013

“People want to matter more than they want to live”: Rebecca Goldstein’s Talk at Women in Secularism 2

Women In Secularism 2 logo

Note: The Women in Secularism 2 was kind of a weird rollercoaster. The highs — and it was overwhelmingly highs — were very high indeed; the lows were seriously low, and of a variety that seeped poison into the highs and made them harder to appreciate. Many other people have been writing about some of …

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May 06 2013

Does Social Justice Activism Mean Mission Drift for Atheism and Skepticism?

DEA: DEA agents in Detroit, Michigan Spike TV

If the atheist and skeptical movements focus on political and social justice issues, will that constitute mission drift? No. Okay. I realize that’s not a very satisfying answer. How about this: Nothing that anyone I know is advocating in this department constitutes mission drift. Sure, there are some ways this could hypothetically happen, if that …

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Apr 15 2013

In Praise of Taxes

1040 form

(This piece is a reprint from April 15, 2009.) I realize that griping about taxes is an ancient tradition. Especially, in America, on or around April 15th. Today, I want to buck this long-standing tradition. Today, I want to speak in praise of taxes. Look. I don’t passionately love paying taxes, either. I’m especially cranky …

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Feb 26 2013

Comedy Does Not Win a Free Pass: Seth MacFarlane at the Oscars


I am sick to death of the idea that “it’s just comedy” somehow gives you a free pass when you’re saying things that are racist and sexist. And I am sick to death of the idea that any transgression of social norms — no matter what those norms are, or why they exist — automatically …

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Feb 05 2013

Gay Bishop Comes Up With the Worst Argument to Support Same-Sex Marriage

God Believes In Love book cover

An atheist says Bishop Gene Robinson’s new book, “God Believes in Love,” has some major flaws. How do we convince religious believers to accept same-sex marriage? The opposition to LGBT rights in general, and to same-sex marriage in particular, overwhelmingly comes from conservative religion, founded in the religious belief that gay sex makes baby Jesus …

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Jan 29 2013

Intersectionality’s The Thing: Andrew Tripp’s Reply

Sparked by his piece on transmisogyny from a little while ago, Andrew Tripp and I have been having a conversation about atheist activism and what its priorities should be, amongst other things. Andrew has posted his reply to my most recent response: Intersectionality’s The Thing: Responding to Greta. If you’re interested in this conversation and …

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Jan 27 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Opponents Increasingly Desperate and Stupid

Wow. They’re really getting desperate. Headline and subhead from the Los Angeles Times: Gay marriage opponents take unusual tack with Supreme Court Lawyers defending the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop. 8 argue that marriage should be limited to opposite-sex unions because they alone can ‘produce unplanned and unintended offspring.’ Quote: “It is plainly …

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