Full disclosure: as I have said elsewhere, I never got the “hang uv” being a Christian, and consider the multiple decades I spent beating my head against that particular brick wall as time merely pissed away. I still believe that. But that is only half the truth. The other half is that it is equally true that I could never get, have never gotten, the “hang uv” being an atheist. I am no more successful as a “creedal” atheist than I was as a “creedal” Christian. My admiration for, e.g., Sam Harris, the late Christopher Hitchens, Bill Maher, Richard Dawkins, Julia Sweeney, and Daniel Dennett is undiminished. Nothing I say in what follows should be interpreted as disagreeing with their contention that religious statements should be subject to the same critique as other statements. Religio
I recently engaged in a Facebook discussion with a couple of Facebook friends regarding the kerfuffle about some disparaging comments the chef / gourmet-show host Andrew Zimmern made here and here about Chinese food, and Asian food generally, in the US. Considering that the conversation about Zimmern’s critique occurred among three Facebook friends, my remarks were uncharacteristically sharp. (One Facebook friend said "abrasive".) What aroused my ire was that the Zimmern critique provoked yet another round of bend-over-backward-til-your-vertebrae-crack political correctness that evidently holds that all works on the part of people of color, particularly people of color who are recent immigrants, should be immune from open and honest criticism and replaced by approbation on the part of
Now that Christmas is over -- unless you celebrate Christmas from the first Sunday of Advent through and including the Feast of the Epiphany -- it might be a good time to examine the political and ideological questions raised by Christmas carols ... which I do in this week's "Skeptic's Collection" column in hopes of increasing the "woke-ness" level for Christmas of 2019. No reason to thank me ...
Recently, the cultural outrage factory, never short of work, has managed to evoke a sense of high dudgeon about the allegedly sexist lyrics, amounting to an advocacy of date rape, attaching to the well-known Christmas carol “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. Before following the controversy on Facebook, I would have thought that this kerfuffle