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Monthly Archive: May 2013

May 25 2013

Pope Francis and atheists

The new pope seems to be struggling to find a way to be inclusive and tolerant while being the head of one of the most intolerant of religions and this is taking him down contradictory paths. Take for example his recent homily that seemed to include even atheists as being among the ‘saved’.

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May 24 2013

What happened to Toronto?

Canada does not have the reputation that the US has for breeding crazy politicians. So it came as something of a surprise that the people of Toronto, the largest city in that country, elected as their mayor in 2010 Rob Ford who seems to be almost a caricature of a scandal-plagued politician, embroiled in one …

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May 24 2013

Selective use of the word ‘terrorism’

‘Terrorism’ has now become a word without much meaning except to be brandished as a political weapon. Witness the absurd fuss in the US over the fact that president Obama initially referred to the Benghazi attacks as an ‘act of terror’ as opposed to ‘terrorism’. In the wake of the recent ghastly murder of British …

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May 24 2013

The impact of the Boy Scouts vote to allow gays

So the Boy Scouts of America voted quite overwhelmingly (61-39% of the 1400 member national council) to allow gay students to be members. Of course, the Boy Scouts still ban participation by gay adults as scout leaders. But that change will come, sooner rather than later. This kind of backing and filling towards a goal …

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May 24 2013

Is monotheism worse than polytheism?

We are taught to think of polytheistic societies as primitive and intellectually shallow and that the introduction of the idea of monotheism, that there is only one god, was a generally good thing, a sign of increased sophistication as civilization progressed. But an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education reviewing the work of Egyptologist …

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May 23 2013

And then there were four…

The US government now formally admits that it has killed four Americans in drone strikes, while continuing to assert that it has the right to do so and that it is ‘consistent’ with American law.

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May 23 2013

Are you celebrating National Masturbation Month?

Did you know that May is National Masturbation Month? I had no idea until today and wondered why this is not better known. Hugo Schwyzer partially answers this question in an article in which he says that this because of a remarkable prudishness about one of the most common sex acts, one that is central …

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May 23 2013

There are many atheists in foxholes and among tornado survivors

I am pretty sure that everyone has seen the video clip that has gone viral of CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asking Rebecca Vitsum who, with her husband Brian and infant son Anders, narrowly escaped the tornado though their home was destroyed, whether she ‘thanked the Lord’ for her narrow escape. When she mumbles her reply, he …

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May 23 2013

An opening prayer we can live with?

Recall my earlier post about an upcoming US Supreme Court case concerning the constitutionality of opening government meetings with a prayer, thus seeming to re-open an issue that it had addressed in 1983 in Marsh v. Chambers and which had served as the precedent for all subsequent cases.

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May 22 2013

Just putting on a show

The investigative journalistic body ProPublic has an informative article explaining its own role in the IRS ‘scandal’ and what the fuss is all about, saying that “it reinforces the point that much of the heat generated last week on this subject is just the latest expression of Washington cynicism and its consequences—that the talk show …

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