May 28, 2020

Demand That Police Stop Murdering Our Neighbors

police officer

I can understand why some people would be outraged at the thought of a White woman calling the police when it isn't necessary to do so. I cannot understand why they would participate in mob justice or how they can feel good about getting her fired, but I have no difficulty understanding why they would be upset. Unfortunately, this obscures the serious problem that should be outraging all of us and which requires our action: police keep murdering people of color and facing few, if any, criminal penalties for doing so.

"But she shouldn't have called the police! She knew what she was doing!" Why shouldn't she have called the police? Because there was a decent chance that they'd murder somebody when they responded? Right, and that is the problem. Anybody, regardless of race, gender, or whatever other aspects of identity with which far too many people are currently obsessed, should be able to call the police and be reasonably confident that they won't murder anybody. All of us should be reasonably confident in that. If we can't, then we have a serious problem to resolve.

May 27, 2020

The Truth About Atheists: Correcting Misconceptions

fantasy

Back in 2006, Lya (Escapee From the Meme Machine) visited a number of Christian message boards in an attempt to determine whether increased dialogue between atheists and Christians might have some value. Her post inspired me to take a look at 10 of the most common misconceptions Christians have about atheists through a 5-part series I wrote in 2006. While I edited the first of these posts in 2018 to fix typos, update links, and improve clarity, I was never crazy about the multi-part approach and decided to consolidate them into this post. Remember, this is not my list of misconceptions I think Christians might have but those Lya found among Christians.

May 24, 2020

How to Be an Atheist

deep water

If you are currently a religious believer who is curious about how you might become an atheist, this brief post is for you. I think it will help to begin by making sure you understand what atheism is so that we don't run the risk of talking about different things without realizing we are doing so. It will be helpful to realize that at least some of what you have been told about atheism is likely false. If you are a Christian, this guide may help.

Now that we are on the same page about the meaning of atheism, it is time to acknowledge that there are probably almost as many different paths to atheism as there are atheists. Those of us who are atheists became atheists in a variety of ways. The good news is that there is no one right way to get there; the bad news is that this makes it challenging to offer guidance that will be widely applicable. We'll circle back to that in a moment because something just occurred to me that we better consider first: Might you already be an atheist?

May 23, 2020

Biden's Pledge to Pick a Female Running Mate

female

Anybody else think that we may have witnessed a historic moment in that last Democratic primary debate between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders when Biden promised to select a female VP? At the time I'm writing this post, he hasn't selected one yet; however, there have been a number of recent news reports that he has put a list together and started vetting at least a few. I'm thinking this pledge may be looked back on as an important turning point where any male Democratic presidential candidate will be expected to select a female VP in order to remain viable. I do not necessarily think this is a bad thing, but I do wonder if it is wise to cut the field of possible choices in half.

In Biden's specific case, I think that making this promise was a smart move. Not only did it seem to catch Sanders off-guard, but it helps counter one of the narratives around Biden. So yes, it seemed like a good thing for Biden to do. My question is about the precedent it might set. Going forward, will any male Democratic presidential candidate be expected to choose a female running mate?