How Religious Thinking Disregards Consent

Bloomingdale's recent ad debacle got me thinking about consent—both in the sexual sense and in the wider realm—and about the ways religious thinking may actually encourage a disregard for consent.

If you missed it, the ad in question (pictured right) came from Bloomingdale's holiday catalog. It shows a stylishly dressed man and woman with the caption: Spike your best friend's eggnog when they're not looking.

'Tis the season for holiday parties and drunken date rape?

The backlash was swift on social media and Bloomingdale's has since issued an apology for the ad, saying that they now realize it was "inappropriate and in poor taste."

Skeptic Gal and Logic Lad

Superheroes who answer the call of irrational debates and emotional spats everywhere. Correcting faulty logic and bad arguments in an effort to make the world a better, more rational place to live, love and disagree--respectfully.

Following the Evidence of Man-Made Religion

When people ask why I'm an atheist, I often say it's because there is no evidence for the existence of a supernatural god or gods. But that really only tells half the story. The other important piece of my reasoning is that the evidence we do have about religion shows that it is man-made.

Early religions filled a void

From our earliest ancestors, evidence shows that human beings have used religion as a way to make sense of the world around them. Creation myths tell the story of how the world (life, universe, etc.) began, while other stories explain various natural "mysteries" such as the movement of tides, solar eclipses, foodborne diseases, droughts, illnesses, and successful or failed crop production. Things that we can now easily explain through science.

How the Duggar Scandal Could Be a Rallying Cry

With media coverage of the Duggar scandal expanding, there is plenty of schadenfreude to go around. It's hard to resist feeling a bit smug, or somehow vindicated, when someone who discriminates against others loses their credibility. On the other side, some steadfast supporters--like POTUS-hopeful Mike Huckabee--are digging in with their own reasons for defending the Duggar family.

The resulting media coverage has focused largely on whether Josh Duggar can, or should, be forgiven. But by turning this into a matter of conservative vs. liberal (or Christian vs. atheist) viewpoints we're missing an opportunity to deal with an issue that affects all of us, regardless of politics or religion.

Responding to "I'll Pray for You"

As an atheist, I don't particularly like to hear "I'll pray for you" or "You're in my prayers" but, when it is a sincere expression of sympathy, I'm grateful for the kindness behind the words. It's the other "I'll pray for you," the one that silently adds because you are an atheist who is going to burn in hell, that offends me.

Let's consider these two general expressions separately.