On the Second Day of Christmas…

…my true love gave to me:

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WNT: The Problem With Atheism

It’s Wednesday night, and that means it’s time for another episode of Wednesday Night Theater, pumping concentrated intellectual entertainment directly into your bloodstream. This week’s installment features prominent atheist Sam Harris delivering a talk at the 2007 Atheism Alliance Internation conference, wherein he argues that atheism doesn’t exist.

Confusing, I know. Just… just watch it.

Ipecac

Click to embiggen. Cross-posted at The Clarion Call.

Rick Santorum says he “almost threw up” when he read the text of John F. Kennedy’s famed speech on the separation of church and state, saying “I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country.”

Coincidentally, I almost threw up when I Google Image Searched for “Santorum.”

A Terrible Damn Problem

Click to embiggen. Cross-posted at The Clarion Call.

So-called “movement conservatives” have long claimed former Arizona Senator and 1964 GOP presidential nominee Barry Goldwater as the founder of their movement. They’re very fond of trotting out Goldwater’s most famous quip, “extremism in defense of liberty is no vice,” but these days some of his other quotations are curiously ignored. Although we shouldn’t be surprised that religious conservatives would take certain parts of a message as gospel truth while totally ignoring others— they do it with the Bible every day.

Dirty Little Secret

Click to embiggen. Cross-posted at The Clarion Call.

Doughy blowhard Bill Donohue, head of the Catholic League, is up in arms about the provision of President Obama’s health care bill that would require birth control to be covered by comprehensive health care plans. In typical hyperbolic style, Donohue says that the government is “[lining] up against the Roman Catholic Church.”

Considering that 98% of American Catholics use birth control, who exactly are loudmouths like Donohue speaking for, other than the collection of ancient virgins that make up the Catholic Church’s leadership? Another question— why do the only people upset about this seem to be old men?

France’s ban on religious headgear goes too far

This article was originally published in The Clarion Call.

On April 11, France became the first country in Europe to ban the hijab, the veil that some Muslim women wear to cover their faces according to religious custom.

The law, passed last fall by the French Senate by a near-unanimous vote of 246 to one, prohibits any clothing that covers the face to be worn in public.

Though controversial, the measure is popular in France, where anti-Muslim sentiment runs high amid fears of an increasingly Islamic Europe. Women in violation of the ban are subject to a 150-euro fine (about $217) and a mandatory “citizenship course.”

Perhaps those who are in favor of stripping their fellow citizens of the right to wear whatever they want and freely practice their religion (about three quarters of the French population according to polling) are the ones in need of a refresher course on citizenship. Continue reading →