Your weekly Charlie

The Charlie Hebdo (“weekly Charlie”) cover shows Mohammed holding up a sign that reads, “Je suis Charlie.”

All is forgiven: Mohammad holds up a sign reading, “Je suis Charlie.”


The unbelievers: New Atheism and the Old Boys’ Club

The unbelievers: New Atheism and the Old Boys’ Club

Bitch Magazine points out

“From Madalyn Murray O’Hair, the founder of American Atheists, whose 1963 Supreme Court lawsuit brought an end to prayer in public schools, to Sergeant Kathleen Johnson, who started an organization for atheists in the United States military, to Debbie Goddard, founder of African Americans for Humanism, countless women have worked as successful atheist activists.”

It goes even further back. Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were atheists, pointing out that God made a perfect enforcer for men’s prejudices.

Sunday musings

Wiccan pentacle

Ten years old is when my son decided he wanted to be a Pagan. In my very occasional churchgoing, I had just heard a guest pastor praising a ten-year-old in some other country for choosing Christianity. So I knew that he was old enough to make his own religious decisions and said, “Fine.”

The hobo code of conduct

PZ Myers on Pharyngula pointed out that the hobo ethical code forbids molesting children or letting others get away with it. That puts them one up on the practices of the Roman Catholic Church.

13. Do not allow other hobos to molest children, expose all molesters to authorities, they are the worst garbage to infest any society.

God the Father?

I don’t know about that.


What have you done with your life?

If you’re remembered for your peripheral part in a big story, will that satisfy you?

Catholics wonder how to leave the Church

A lot of Roman Catholics are fed up with being associated with an organization that covers up sex crimes against children.

Getting off the Catholic roll: it’s too slow to be provocative and hope they’ll excommunicate you.

  • I suggest placing an announcement in the paper, the way people used to when they got divorced, that you are no longer a Catholic and will not be held responsible for their crimes, either moral or legal.
  • Also, write to your census bureau, telling them to change your religion to NONE as you no longer with to be associated with the church.
  • Then write to the parish where you were baptized and demand that they add a note to their register and their files that you refuse to be counted as a Catholic any more. Follow up in a month and ask them to check your file and see if there are any annotations. If not, make a fuss. Repeat weekly until they tell you it’s done. Then ask to see a certified copy. Repeat until they are so sick of you they add the note. If it takes too long, start calling the diocese and the archdiocese regularly to complain that they’re not doing it fast enough. Ask them to address the problem in their governance meetings and let you know how procedures are being changed.
  • Write to your most recent parish and tell them to take you off their membership list and remove you from all mailing lists. Explain that you refuse to be part of a criminal organization. Again, follow up to ensure that it’s done.
  • The principle here is to cost them enough in wages dealing with your polite but firm request that it becomes cheaper to comply. If enough people phone them every week — a dozen, a hundred? — maybe they’ll get the picture and create a streamlined procedure. Remember to phone back every year or so to make sure that you haven’t crept back onto their membership roll.
  • Finally protect the future. Look for any place in your government or educational or child welfare system where a church is consulted and express your opinion that they are not suitable advisers. Ask when and how they can be removed from those positions. Work towards it.