Monthly Archives: January 2010

Certitude and the Unknown

The first Beyond Belief Conference was held in 2006, and of all the hours of discussion and presentation, this brief exchange between a theist and Ann Duryan, who is, of course, the widow of Carl Sagan, was to me the most poignant moment.  Ms. Duryan is a world-class scientist in her own right, and she delivers a classic reproof to a theist who expresses his discomfort with being in the unknown.

The clip starts with a Neurobiologist finishing an answer to a question posed by an audience member, then the theist takes the floor, relates his “religious experience.” and than proceeds to critique the conference and comment on the scientific method.  When he finishes, the fun starts.  Enjoy!


Of Scott and Lot

Lot and his daughters

I must admit I don’t know a great deal about Scott Brown, the new Senator from Massachusetts, I haven’t paid much attention to that race.  From what I gather, he’s a Teabagger, and a conservative Republican who has probably been born again, and again, and again.

There was a bizarre, and rather revealing moment during his victory speech that took me back fifty-five years, or so ago to Sunday School in the First Congregational Church in my home town.  When he offered up his daughters to the crowd, so help me, he reminded me of Lott offering up HIS daughters in Sodom before the fire and brimstone shower from the loving god.  Some of this story was told in Sunday School, the rest was glossed over lest the kiddies be prematurely thrust into the “ways of the world.”  For those of you who never read Genesis 19, in it’s entirety, I present it here as an example of Christian family values. Continue reading

Ride That Tiger!

I have had conversations, some on this blog, with Atheist Libertarian friends who have embraced the tea party movement as a means to further the political fortunes of their champion, Congressman Ron Paul.  I suggested to my friends that they pay some attention to those making up the bulk of the tea party movement, with whom Libertarian Atheists have only the most tenuous common ground.  Atheists just don’t have a whole lot in common with the rural, southern, Christian fundamentalists that make up the bulk of the tea party constituency, to whom “liberty” means the freedom to write Christian moral imperatives into the laws of the United States.

I suggested to them that the “movement” would tolerate them only as long as it needed them, and that they would be the first group purged when the tea partiers obtained a degree of national importance.  Now, it seems that what I warned them about during the summer is about to come true, at least the seeds are being sown.  It appears that the tea party movement is being hijacked by the remnants of the religious right, in exactly the same manner they hijacked the Republican Party itself twenty-five years ago. Continue reading