"Would you do it?": An open question to believers

One of my favorite podcasts on secular issues is the Atheist Community of Austin's broadcast The Atheist Experience (also a cable access TV show). Good topics, live listener call-ins, and hosts who really know their stuff; I highly recommend that you listen in. (I wish more of those callers would regularly listen; they might learn to 1. Turn down the TV when calling!; and 2. Quit asking "So, you're atheist; that means you don't believe in anything, right?", again and again and again.)

I have a question about how one particularly loony Christian conceit fares in debates. I don't get much chance to talk to rabid believers, so thought I'd ask the debating pros at The Atheist Experience about their experience. The reply is an eye-opener. Here's my email first: Readeth thou more

Partially Clips comics

I'm not a big reader of web comics (because I'd do nothing else if I really got started on them), but found myself perusing the whole archive of the great Partially Clips.

The links below are to a small double-handful of strips that touch on themes of religion, faith, and reason, even just a little. In no particular order:











The faithful, of course, will refuse to see themselves skillfully parodied in those panels.

Readeth thou more

SPORE game for Creationists

Heh. You know the new Electronic Arts game SPORE, which has Creationists screeching "foul" because its digital creations - gasp! - evolve throughout the levels of the game?

Among the Customer Reviews for the game at Apple's iPhone/iPod App Store, someone named Lost in Iceland asks:

Will they offer a Creationist version that only has one level, already finished??

: ) Readeth thou more

Pac Zach Man

PZ Myers communion wafer incident

Okay. The "wafer wars" – the "desecration" of a cheap communion wafer by a Florida student and later PZ Myers, followed by a righteous uproar among Catholics and demagogues – is past its peak, so I'm late with this. But still:

The hubbub put a picture in my mind of an atheist "Pac Man" gobbling up wafers, pursued by outraged fundie "ghosts". Drawing up the cheap gag, the image got bigger until it reached what I'm attaching here. Readeth thou more

Escape from the Amish

The Amish? Those gentle, hardworking Luddites that won't lift a hand in anger even if you smear ice cream onto an Amish farmer's nose?

It looks like life among the Amish isn't all butter churning and barn raising. There's also the rape, incest, child beatings, misogyny, animal abuse, and religious brainwashing that take place among the Old Order Amish, according to one amazingly brave girl who had the head to see that she was in a bad place, and the nerve to make an escape.

I'm not going to blame religion here as the cause for the ills she describes. They're the kind of nastiness you'll find in any closed, insular world – heck, in the big, wide world too. As the story takes pains to point out, there are also praiseworthy qualities in the Amish upbringing, and the bad qualities certainly can't be taken as representing all members of the community.  Readeth thou more