Consitution

Tom Paine Died for Your Sins

Tom Paine Died for Your Sins

autonomy, Consitution, critical judgment, Politics, Religion, Spirituality
I left Christianity gradually and "came out of the closet" as an atheist -- first to myself, then to others -- over a period of several years. But my vestigial Christianity continued to haunt me like Banquo's ghost at MacBeth's feast. I continued to assess the rectitude of actions according to the moral precepts of a God in Whom I no longer believed -- and Whose alleged actions in history, both in the Bible and out, if true, gave me good cause to question God's moral character, even questions of existence aside. (I.e., even if a God exists, the Bible itself indicates that Bill Maher was right:  the God of the Bible slaughters people in industrial-strength quantities.) Once I realized this, I was faced with the still-ongoing task of constructing an ethic divorced from God. This task, whil
Of Dead-Weasel Toupees And Homophobia

Of Dead-Weasel Toupees And Homophobia

Christianity, Consitution, Discernment, Essay, GLBT, Jim Cowles, Philosophy, Politics, Sexuality, Skeptic, Spirituality
Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness. -- George Santayana In opposition to civil rights for LGBTQ people, conservatives often advance the argument that, whereas civil rights legislation for African-Americans is justified on the basis that one is not free to choose one’s race, civil rights legislation for LGTBQ people is not justified because homosexuality – at least, so the allegation goes – is something people choose.  So, the argument proceeds, legislation prohibiting discrimination against African-Americans in matters of housi