Must have been a really slow news day

Astrology is taken very seriously in Sri Lanka with many people, including politicians and businesspeople, not taking major decisions without first getting advice from astrologers as to what the decision should be and the proper time to take action. When my daughter was born in the US, we refused to tell people back in Sri Lanka what time she was born in order to thwart some relatives there who asked for that information because we knew that they would use to create a horoscope for her and we did not want her to be saddled with this nonsense.
[Read more...]

The strange opposition by some to the Sunday Assembly movement

I read through the first couple hundred of the nearly 500 comments on the Guardian website responding to the video of the Cleveland Sunday Assembly, part of the big worldwide rollout of such assemblies around the globe last Sunday that more than doubled the existing number. I was surprised at the number of commenters who were outright hostile to the idea. These were people who said they were nonbelievers themselves but felt this was the wrong thing to do.
[Read more...]

Reflections on the Cleveland Sunday Assembly

Yesterday saw the kickoff around the globe of 35 new Sunday Assembly programs to add to the 28 existing ones and I attended the Cleveland one. The event was a lot of fun. Special credit must go to organizers Layla Nelson and Eric Tawney who rounded up an impressive array of volunteers to put together the whole thing and did an excellent job. There must have been close to 100 people present. They had a nice array of refreshments for people to help themselves before, during, and after the event, and when it was finally over about 40 people went to an adjacent Mexican restaurant for lunch. I had an enjoyable conversation with people and an enlightening discussion with a philosophy teacher whom I happened to sit next to.
[Read more...]

Harry Potter, Christian warrior

The Harry Potter series of books captivated many people young and old, but especially the young. As I discussed back in 2005, the students at Hogwarts seemed to be well and truly heathens because the books had zero references to god and religion, with only a passing reference to Christmas (a pagan holiday anyway) and the name of a Christmas carol, while filled with stories of sorcery and witches and wizards and spells.
[Read more...]

Superstition and science

Well, Thursday came and went with absolutely none of the goodies arriving for me as promised by astrologer Susan Miller. I did not get a “big professional victory” nor a “surprising influx of unexpected cash” (can something be surprising and expected?). Of course, I did not “help things along” by doing the things she recommended such as arranging for a “big presentation, interview, or other major career event” nor did I launch a “new website or send out a press release on a recent victory”, so it may have been all my fault. I suspect that this is how believers in astrology rationalize when things fail to materialize.
[Read more...]

Oklahoma ten commandments monument gets reprieve

An Oklahoma county judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of a Baptist minister charging that the 6-foot tall granite Ten Commandments monument that was placed on grounds of the state capital violated the state’s constitution. The judge blocked the lawsuit from even going to trial. The ruling will be appealed to the state supreme court and there is another lawsuit pending in a federal court that is scheduled for trial on March 10, 2015.
[Read more...]