Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic is reporting on Al Qaeda’s first English-language magazine.  It’s based out of the Arabian Peninsula, called “Inspire,” and is aimed at the millions of Muslims who speak English as a first or second language.  A U.S. official has confirmed that it appears to be authentic.  And we all thought publishing was dead! (more…)


From my experience, there are two types of atheists. The first group are just naturally predisposed to question everything immediately and probably realize they are atheists by the time their eighth birthday comes around. Generally, though, these enlightened young ones were not brought up in any particular religion. The second category is the one that I fall into (and perhaps many of you do as well?). This atheist is one that is raised in one religion or another and becomes an atheist in (usually) early adulthood. I was raised fundamental Baptist . If you come along, I’ll tell you a little bit about how a southern Baptist is indoctrinated. I may be a Latino woman in New York, but I have a special connection with these homophobes for Christ.

Eagerly reading today about Obama’s speech on the healthcare de(bacle)bate in the US got me thinking about the meaning of reform, be it for an individual or for a system, and how reform comes about.  While I haven’t personally read anything comparing the current press for universal healthcare to the civil or women’s rights movements, I do think that there are parallels to draw.

This video is from an interview on popular Australian program Enough Rope with former Imperial Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan, Johnny Lee Clary.  In it, Clary describes the influence of preacher and NAACP state leader Wade Watts on his eventual disillusionment with, and rejection of, the White Knights.

This clip is only a segment of the full interview with host Andrew Denton, and some aspects of it are problematic.  On my initial viewing, I felt like Watts was elevated to Magical Negro status, with his twinkly-eyed cheer winning over the misguided white man.  (more…)

rapture pets

For your consideration, here is the best thing I’ve seen all day:  Eternal Earthbound-Pets is an organization of atheists who will, for $110 ($15 per each additional pet, per household), look after your abandoned pets in the event of the Rapture.  Animal-loving, atheist representatives in 20 states will assume responsibility for your animals, provided the Rapture take place within ten years of contract initiation (tagline: ‘The next best thing to pet salvation in a post-Rapture world”).

Genius.  Hilarious.  Exploitative?  Actually rather touching, and possibly boundary-crossing?  I’m voting for all of these things.  From the FAQs section of the website (which assures us this is a real service):

Q: How do you ensure your representatives won’t be Raptured.
A: Actually, we don’t ensure it, they do.  Each of our representatives has stated to us in writing that they are atheists, do not believe in God / Jesus, and that they have blasphemed in accordance with Mark 3:29, negating any chance of salvation.