Authenticity, anti-vaxxers, and the rise of neoprimitivism

In William Gibson’s new work of time-travel speculative fiction, The Peripheral, there’s a back-and-forth between a woman named Flynne, who is from our near future, and Wilf, who lives in an alternate future 70 years further on. At one point Wilf expresses surprise that Flynne’s people still catch colds and fight infection with antibiotics. In his 22nd century, Wilf says, the only people who get sick are people who do so deliberately, as a form of status-seeking.

Podcast 1: Discussion of “atheist” shooting of three Muslims in NC

On this week’s podcast, Edwin, Rick and RobRoy discuss the atheist shooting of three Muslims.  What does this troubling example have to say about the state of the secular community?

My Robes of Shame

It’s a secret, a deep-held shame that I hide from myself as much as from other people.  It often takes refuge between the rant-laced lines of Armchair Blasphemy.  But I can no longer conceal it or wave it away—I must at last face it and admit to you the reader my deepest shame:  I harbor deep jealousy of religious clothing, most especially robes.

It has nothing to do with belief or unbelief; it’s just about comfort.  I am what is often known in American parlance as a “fat slob.”  I can’t buy shit off the rack, because even though I am nearly six feet tall, I have only a thirty-inch inseam, and I’m shaped like a stunted pear. Continue reading My Robes of Shame

What ISIS Really Wants

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been its leader since May 2010, but until last summer, his most recent known appearance on film was a grainy mug shot from a stay in U.S. captivity at Camp Bucca during the occupation of Iraq. Then, on July 5 of last year, he stepped into the pulpit of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul, to deliver a Ramadan sermon as the first caliph in generations—upgrading his resolution from grainy to high-definition, and his position from hunted guerrilla to commander of all Muslims. The inflow of jihadists that followed, from around the world, was unprecedented in its pace and volume, and is continuing.

Read the rest.

Tennessee state Rep. James VanHuss (R) wants to change the state’s constitution so that it includes the phrase: “We recognize that our liberties do not come from governments, but from Almighty God, our Creator and Savior,”

I feel like he should re-word it just slightly, and endorse the Southern Baptist version of Christianity as the Official State Religion of Tennessee.