Best Anti-theist Song Ever?

“Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam” by The Vaselines.  There are a lot of songs against god and that means plenty of room for disagreement.  “Dear God” by XTC is strong, really lays out a case.  This one is more personal.  Lately, I’ve been feeling that the personal is more powerful.  It’s like the difference between a grandiose story with a cast of thousands, and a story about just a few people.  Personal is more affecting.  Anyway, fuck god in all his names.  Carry on.

Rock Wildly

I need a new post on top of my stack, so have a music video.

WARNINGS: Strobing Lights / Seizure Risk, Comparatively Naked Ladies Gotta Do the Hardest Dance Moves, The Usual Rap Mention of Gang-style Violence, Transphobia (“How High” interlude ends with ‘lol, a woman said she has a penis’ moment)

If you can get through all of that, this video will make you dance like a fiend. I was pretty checked out of pop culture when this was new, so it’s new to me.

Disingenuous Concern

Somebody thinks I need to make a public statement of specific criticism against specific bloggers and commenters elsewhere on the network. Someone with the same last name as one of PZ’s obsessive haters, which of course could be a coincidence. Whether or not their feelings on those matters were genuine, the post is indistinguishable from a slyme pitter trying to start shit, and therefore this person has been added to my blocked list. Alongside, amusingly, the name of one of the people they wanted me to publicly rebuke.

I am allowed to choose my battles. If you think that’s a moral failing, that’s cool. Lots of other things for you to read on the internet. Goodbye.

FtB’s Statement on Richard Carrier

The ethics committee of Freethought Blogs, including myself, an esteemed Bachelor of the Fine Arts, has drafted a statement regarding the circumstance under which Richard Carrier has left this network.

Freethought Blogs unequivocally condemns any behavior that threatens the safety of atheist community members, including particularly marginalized groups. Freethought Blogs also recognizes the role of sexual harassment as one of numerous barriers for women that limits access to and participation within atheist conferences and spaces.

When the recent allegations against Richard Carrier were made public, Freethought Blogs initiated a process to investigate these claims and formalize its policy concerning the conduct of its members. The FtB Ethics Committee received several reports of Carrier’s behavior and was in the process of reviewing them when Carrier chose to leave the network. A thorough review of the allegations against Carrier cannot be completed by Freethought Blogs without his cooperation.

As part of our commitment to equitable access to freethinking spaces for all, Freethought Blogs members who violate our commitment to social justice by creating or maintaining barriers to participation will be removed from the network as a matter of policy. All reports submitted to us in furtherance of this policy will be kept in the strictest of confidence, unless the accusation was made publicly or in the event we have express permission to reproduce the complaint.

-The FtB Ethics Committee

A number of people on this network have not participated much in this process. I’m certain many of them have barely any idea who Richard Carrier is, no involvement in any of the organizations affected by the situation save this anarchic one.

So for anyone tempted to levy an argument against Freethought Blogs as a whole, keep this in mind. You think someone who has never entered the Western Hemisphere has something to do with this?  Maybe, maybe not.  We’re international.

We’re a group of individuals with a range of opinions. You may see some individual opinions expressed in the future. I’m personally inclined to follow the thoughts of people like Zvan and Christina on The Orbit. Do what works for you.

My individual position? I am not saying or even intending to imply that Richard Carrier is guilty of what has been alleged. My personal opinion remains personal. I only say that anyone who must deal with him personally or professionally will have to observe the situation for their self, look at his side, but try not to fall into our cultural trap of dismissing the statements of possible victims and other people close to the matter. Good luck.

Pay Attention to the Ex-Muslim

In the atheist community, we’ve got an islamophobia problem. This is an especially bad problem for us to have, because we’re the anti-theist Jiminy Cricket for the world. We’re supposed to be the ones who point out how religion contributes to the moral evils of the world as they transpire, and our islamophobia (and often attendant racism) completely undercuts any moral authority we have in criticizing that religion.

This is where diversity saves our bacon. You know who is an atheist with moral authority on the issue of islam? Heina Dadabhoy! You want to say something about rampant homophobia in the muslim community contributing to the actions of horrible outliers like the Orlando shooter, but fear being regarded as just another shitty white person in the shitty white people media hurricane? Link to the thoughtful, progressive, formerly devout muslim, and totally atheist Heina Dadabhoy.

I don’t know if Heina would approve of this approach, but it’s a safe thing to do. I like to play it safe.

Medicine for Islamophobia

I’m getting better about not immediately sliding creepy and rightward in the wake of terrorist acts committed by muslims (in this case, apparently, not even a very devout one). But it’s still good to be reminded of why islamophobia is real and bad (even while islam is as metaphysically wrong and ethically retrograde as any abrahamic faith), and to see who we’re shitting on if we cave into it. I’m not sure about the proper attribution of these images but if someone wants to track that down, they can start where I found them. Here you go, below the fold, LGBTQIA muslims:
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Sex Positivity: Still Necessary

Some people in the lefty / progressive / social justicey sphere of loosely affiliated movements online have disagreements on important issues. That’s fair. The DiscourseTM is meant to help us all improve our ethics, work toward a better world. You don’t have discourse without coming from at least slightly different positions. However, there are some positions people take that are so wrong they tempt me to throw my hands up and give that conversation a pass.
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