Thursday, February 21, 2008

The age of american unreason

If you've had your fill of books on atheism and secularism for the time being, you might check out Susan Jacoby's recently released "The Age of American Unreason." It attempts to put all recent anti-rationalist trends - evangelicalism, scientific backlash, "facts are just opinions," etc. - into historical perspective.

I can't comment it on it yet since I've only just ordered it, but I'm happy to provide a review after. Incidently, I did read Jacoby's last book, "Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism," which was thorough and engaging. I'm happy to loan it to anyone who'd like to read it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Vet embarrassed by Bush's actions

The following letter by our Vice-President Irv Ottenberg appeared in the San Jose Mercury News on Friday Feb. 15:

As one who served in the armed forces of this nation from October 1942 to June 1954, I wish to congratulate your editorial board for having the courage to print the editorial condemning the use of torture by the present administration. I can think of almost nothing that is so against what America stands for and what many of us served to defend. I served this country because I loved it and what it stood for, but I am now embarrassed by the actions of our president. This country has the capacity to once again be the beacon to lead other countries to assure all people are treated in a humane way and that the basic dignity of all is preserved, but we must be careful to elect people who believe in these principles.

Irwin Ottenberg

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pleas for condemned Saudi 'witch'

Another example of the medievil (sic) judicial system in Saudi Arabia. Will our government condemn these barbaric acts and impose economic sanctions on the Saudi's? Don't hold your breath.

Obama inspired by 'open-minded' mom

Interesting story about Barack Obama's mom. I can only believe that Obama is a closeted secular humanist and that his professed "christianity" is a mere charade due to political expediency. Unfortunately, in this day and age, no self-avowed atheist or free-thinker has a snowball's chance in hell of sustaining a viable political career. All things considered, Obama is the closest thing to having a true secular humanist in office that we're likely to get in the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Huckabee strikes again

To a growing list of odd or just downright disturbing statements uttered by Mike Huckabee, add to it this: "I didn't major in math, I majored in miracles . . ."

Everyone is wondering why Huckabee is staying in the race when he's so far behind McCain in delegates. Here's my theory, from my Political Relief blog, involving what would be a troubling "miracle," if it were to play out: Huckabee-Christ '08. I'd be curious whether people think I'm off base on this one. Either way, I think Huckabee has yet to add many more bizarre statements to the growing list.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Paulos makes Comments at ABCNews

Here's a commentary by John Allen Paulos, the mathematician mentioned by Chris in a previous post, on religion in politics posted at ABCNews. Glad to see that the mainstream media is starting to air ideas such as these. Maybe the resurgent Humanist movement is beginning to have an effect on public discourse. So let's renew our commitment to do our part to help build a secular humanist community in Santa Cruz!

Maher on Larry King

Wow! Try to catch Bill Maher on Larry King tonight or when the show repeats. I'll try to get some clips when they appear on Youtube to post here. Maher is one of the most outspoken critics of religion and an ardent advocate of rational thinking. He's an equal opportunity skeptic and lambastes mormons, catholics, jews and muslims with equal vigor! King sits there rather flabbergasted and tries to move the conversation on as if he hadn't heard what Maher just said. What a kick!