Sex & Religion

Can Atheists Have a Code of Sexual Morality?

Can atheists have a code of sexual morality? With the publication of recent books about atheism, the simultaneous attempts to blur the separation of church and state promised in our Constitution, and Americans’ unending obsession with matters sexual, the question arises: Can atheists have a code of sexual morality? This question is at once hilarious, insulting, pathetic, and revealing. It only makes sense if you believe in two things: 1. Moral thought and behavior are essentially determined by the fear of punishment; 2. The definition of “morality” regarding sex is different than it is for other human endeavors. And indeed,…

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How Will Anti-Choice Forces Atone For George Tiller’s Murder?

The verdict is in: the guy who murdered physician George Tiller will spend the rest of his life in jail, feeling good about what he did. Yes, the verdict shows that the justice system works, sometimes. But this doesn’t bring back Tiller. His family only had one of him. We have very few of him. The other side has plenty of Scott Roeders. Roeder is a suicide bomber. He sacrificed his own life and blew up Tiller. No one can defeat a culture that produces suicide bombers. Almost a decade after 9/11, the mightiest military the world has ever seen…

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Gay Priests? No, Confused Priests

Social scientists at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice have been researching the causes of the Catholic Church’s modern tradition of priests sexualizing boys. In releasing their initial findings, researchers said they can not attribute it to gay priests or seminaries for teenagers. “We do not have data to support those assertions,” said Karen Terry, lead researcher for the $2 million study commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. She believes that the priests had sex primarily with boys mainly because they had access to boys. “Even though there was sexual abuse of many boys, that doesn’t…

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Abortion: “Morally Equivalent” Doesn’t Mean “Politically Equivalent”

The President spoke eloquently this week on the need for Americans to find common ground on the issue of abortion. He made a start by naming the ONLY common ground—the desire of almost everyone to reduce the number of abortions done each year. And that’s the end of the “common ground” conversation. People don’t even agree on WHY they want fewer abortions. Some people think abortion is a bad thing. Other people think the need for abortion is a bad thing. The anti-choice side (we’re ALL pro-life, after all) says it takes a “moral” position—that abortion is wrong. The pro-choice…

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Florida Now Safe For Goats & Jesus

Honestly, I’m not making this up. On the one hand, the Florida Senate has voted 38-0 to criminalize sex with animals. At the very same time, it’s about to issue license plates depicting the crucified head of Jesus. Each of these is a nutty idea—supported by large numbers of voters. I’m not sure which would be more offensive: seeing my neighbor making love with his goat, or seeing my neighbor’s car sporting a government-issued “I believe” license plate. Wait, of course I know: it’s the license plate. Florida lawmakers have their priorities upside down. Floridians don’t need to be protected…

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Belgium Declares Pope Public Enemy

You’ve probably heard about Pope Benedict’s announcement three weeks ago that AIDS “cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms. On the contrary, they increase the problem.” The comment was especially brutal and uncivilized given the timing—on a trip to Africa, which has 137 million Catholics and 60% of the world’s HIV population. In response, the Belgian parliament passed a law ordering the government to “react strongly against any state or organization that in the future brings into doubt the benefit of using condoms to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus.” The government then lodged a formal, diplomatic protest with…

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