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Month: December 2012

2012 Reflections

I have a short memory. I usually roll along in the moment, taking in questions, problems, and ideas as they come to me. More than once in the past few weeks I have had a conversation with a friend or coworker, only to have them come back to continue the conversation after a pause of a few minutes, but my mind has already moved on to something else. What were we talking about? I’m not sure if this is a symptom of our fast-paced short-attention-span society or if it’s just how my mind works anyway. So, with that in mind...

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What I Want for Christmas

This speech by Robert G. Ingersoll was printed in 1897, and is as fresh today as ever. Unfortunately Ingersoll has not yet gotten his Christmas wish, but perhaps this next year we can get a bit closer to attaining it. WHAT I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS. If I had the power to produce exactly what I want for next Christmas, I would have all the kings and emperors resign and allow the people to govern themselves. I would have all the nobility crop their titles and give their lands back to the people. I would have the Pope throw away...

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We’re halfway out of the Dark

Congratulations, we are halfway out of the dark. For those who don’t get the reference, I watched the Doctor Who “A Christmas Carol” special again last night. The Doctor refers to Christmas or the Solstice (they are considered basically the same in the story) as “halfway out of the dark.” So celebrate today. We are halfway out of the...

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No Solemnity Without Religion; or, Why Can’t Atheists Perform Weddings?

  By limiting authority to state actors and clergy, the state forces an irreligious couple to make a choice: conform to the hegemonic idea of marriage as a sacred institution; or implicitly acknowledge that their union is a matter of bureaucratic paperwork.  Either way, the experience of the irreligious is trivialized. I’ve been thinking this about the Indiana Court decision since the news broke. Why do leaders of religious groups get the privilege of “solemnizing” marriages  while trained secular celebrants who do not associate with a religious organization do not?  The more I think about it, the less sense it makes. No Solemnity Without Religion; or, Why Can’t Atheists Perform...

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