Religion | Politics

On Blasphemy Laws

Walaiha Irafat did not know why they came for her. In Pakistan, during March 2012, she was arrested for allegations of “spitting and sitting on the Koran,” and also “tearing pages and insulting Allah.” After being denied bail, Walaiha spent 43 months in prison — around 24 of those were in solitary confinement. She attempted […]

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Culture | Media, Religion | Politics

The Virtues of Free Speech

Free speech must include the right to offend. Granted, there are limitations upon free speech which do serve valuable and necessary functions — such as the prohibition against incitement to violence, or the prohibition concerning the deliberate causing of a panic that would likely result in imminent injury, etc. — yet such limitations are not a […]

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Culture | Media

The Banality of Milo

You know someone isn’t funny when they have to explain their own jokes on a late night comedy show. When Bill Maher asked his guest Milo Yiannopoulos during the “Overtime” panel discussion why he had referred to a trans woman as “he,” Yiannopoulos responded, “Yeah, I did that on purpose,” nodding his head along to […]

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Religion | Politics

Fake News and Tribalism: Your Team Does It, Too

I can’t be the first person to have noticed that whenever someone makes a political statement more often than not it’s met with the dismissive response: “Oh, that’s something a Democrat would say,” or “that’s the line of thinking a Republican would adopt.” Take for example if I said, “Trump’s recent Executive Order or ‘Muslim Ban’ isn’t the same […]

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Religion | Politics

The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy — Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot

Religious apologists, particularly those of the Christian variety, are big fans of what I have dubbed, the atheist atrocities fallacy. Christians commonly employ this fallacy to shield their egos from the harsh reality of the brutality of their own religion, by utilizing a most absurd form of the tu quoque (“you too”) fallacy, mingled with numerous other logical fallacies and […]

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Features

The Problem with Intersectional Feminism

Those of us committed to social justice are accustomed to being told that intersectional feminism with its focus on critical race theory, queer theory and anti-ableism is the key. Only intersectionality, we are assertively informed, really listens to the experiences and needs of women of color, LGBTs, disabled people and other marginalized groups. Is this […]

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Review

The Salman Rushdie Fatwah, 28 Years Later

When Salman Rushdie wrote the sentence, probably some time in 1987, in The Satanic Verses, “Now there was no demand for satires — the general fear of Mahound had destroyed the market for insults and wit,” describing the milieu in the fictional city Jahilia which had been conquered by a war-lord, little could he have guessed how prophetic that […]

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Religion | Politics

What Trump’s Immigration Order Got Wrong

True to his campaign promises, President Trump quickly signed an executive order barring migrants from seven countries of origin to the United States under concerns of terrorism: Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan. No, the executive order is not a “Muslim ban,” as many people would have you believe, but that doesn’t mean […]

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Religion | Politics

Antifa and the Women’s March: A Tale of Two Protests

One day after anarchists smashed the windows of Starbucks and burnt a limousine with the stated purpose of protesting Trump’s inauguration, half a million marched on Washington and many more across the country as part of the Women’s March. The contrast in the behaviors of the two groups of protesters proved critics of Trump need […]

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Religion | Politics

How to Erode Conservative Support for Donald Trump

“What do you mean, our end-of-year bonuses?!” My friend works for a relatively large company that manufactures and distributes mobile and modular homes. Many of its employees voted for Donald Trump and support him. Prognosticating experts suggested they’d suffer from Trump’s policies, though not nearly as much as others, but they didn’t believe it. Some […]

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