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Is the Religious Right Responsible for America’s Fading Allegiance to Religion?

350x[1]There seems to be something of a disconnect in America between the rising number of people who profess to have no religion and the state legislatures that are falling over themselves to enact legislation that is little short of theocratic. Research is repeatedly showing a sharp rise in the number of Americans who have no religion – the “nones” as they are known to academics who study the changing dynamics of religion. [Read more]

Religious Belief = Mental Illness: A More Venomous Response

If humanists ever adopt the concept of sainthood to honor their most impressive members, I hope that Chris Stedman is their inaugural inductee. For those unfamiliar with Stedman’s work, he is a humanist chaplain and author who consistently tries to foster engage and understanding between believers and non-believers and does so with remarkable diplomacy and tact. And his recent article on reasons that atheists shouldn’t equate religion with mental illness was no exception. But I think the hypocrisy and arrogance of this tactic merits a little more venom. So here’s a little more venom. [Read more]

For Sale: Purity Ring, Slightly Used

I thought this was good: an Ebay auction for a Used Purity Ring. But the real joys are in the Q&A. Best of all, proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. Since it started at $5 and is now over $100, that may turn out to be a nice little money raiser. [Read more]

“The Lord’s Standard of Morality” Promotes LDS Rape Culture

When people in my social media circles began posting links a couple of weeks ago to “The Lord’s Standard of Morality,” Elder Tad R. Callister’s 2013 talk at BYU-Idaho reprinted in the March issue of the Ensign, I read it and sighed heavily. Callister boldly claims that his talk encapsulates God’s word and “trumps all the opinions” on sex and morality, including those of “psychologists, counselors, politicians, friends, parents, or would-be moralists of the day.” [Read more]

The Larger Complexities of Poverty

My career as a therapist started in the heart of Detroit, working at a methadone clinic treating heroin/opiate addiction, which used a for-profit business model and was subsidized by federal funds. I was tasked with developing a family system approach to treatment, even though the clientele, administration, and financial reimbursement system were all highly resistant. As a young, white, female, non-addict Mormon, this treatment center was a stark introduction to the complex world of drug use and addiction. And I was rightly challenged by many of my clients as naïve, privileged, and too “innocent” to know how to work effectively within this population. It was a personal and professional wake up call for sure. [Read more]

Condemnation and Criminalization of Drug Use: Bad Policy and Bad Religion

Those of us who care about social reform know full well the dangers of proof-texting. Selected adroitly, particular Bible verses can be used to justify almost any public policy under the sun. Jesus changed water into wine, but that didn’t keep Prohibitionists from brandishing their Bibles to support the 18th Amendment. Today, four verses still fuel homophobic rage. [Read more]

When Science Casts Doubt on Religious Details

At the beginning of February, some archaeologists from Tel Aviv University made the shocking discovery that, contrary to their inclusion in the bible, there couldn’t have been any camels used as pack animals in Israel during the time of Abraham since they weren’t introduced into the Levant from Egypt until much, much later (in time though, the Times assures us, to be historically appropriate by the time of the Three Wise Men). Wait, you say, who’s still shocked by anachronisms in the Bible? [Read more]