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Austin Cline

Newsletter 02-09-05

By February 9, 2005

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News items from the past week include attempts by an evangelical to explain how to talk to atheists, problems for LeHay at his publisher, Novak arguing that it's wrong to dissent at Bush's inauguration, and Canada standing up to the Vatican.

Fritz Stern on Nazis and Religion
Last month I wrote about Fritz Stern, a refugee from Nazi Germany who has seen some disturbing parallels between the Germany of his youth and America today. The context was a speech he gave when receiving the Leo Baeck Medal and I've been sent a link to the full text.

How to Talk to An Atheist?
Do Christians know how to talk to atheists? That isn't very likely. The biggest problem is probably that Christians, but especially conservative evangelical Christians, have no idea what atheism is or what atheists think. Everything that they think they know about atheism they have acquired from evangelical writers who promote more myth than truth, more prejudice than knowledge.

The Importance of Reproductive Rights
Does the right to have an abortion really matter much? Some might not think so, imagining that now that it exists it's safe or, even worse, that it's ultimately irrelevant whether abortion is legal or not. These positions seem to be based upon complete ignorance of what life was like for women before they could obtain safe, legal abortions.

Author of Evolution Text is a Practicing Catholic
...but accused of atheism

Canada Rejects Vatican Call to Halt Gay Marriages
Good for them!

LaHay's Tribulation
What's wrong?

Parents Object to Rainbow Diversity Flag

Wrestling Coach Ceases Prayers Before Matches
Never should have started...

Novak: Inauguration Protests Are Not 'Free Speech'
Since when?

Entartete Kunst
Still being complained about


User Polls:

1) What is Your Position on Agnosticism & Atheism?
When it comes to atheism, theism, and agnosticism, there are four general positions: agnostic atheism (don't know that any gods do or don't exist, but don't believe), strong ('gnostic') atheism (don't believe in any gods and are certain they don't exist), agnostic theism (don't know for sure that a god exists, but believe anyway), and strong ('gnostic') theism (believe in a god and are certain that one exists).

2) The Seven Deadly Sins
The so-called Seven Deadly Sins of Christian tradition are always popular fodder for modern media. They have played important roles in movies and there are books out about them. Most people today seem to commit one or more on a regular basis - but which is your favorite Deadly Sin?

3) Is Bush Manipulating Science for Political Reasons?
There have been a number of incidents where it appears that science has been manipulated for the sake of political or even religious preferences - putting creationist tracts at the Grand Canyon, for example. Is this part of a pattern of subordinating science to politics?

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