Spark: Update from the Gay Marriage Files

California, post Supreme Court decision (that discrimination based on gender is discrimination), now uses marriage licenses that ask for the names of “Party A” and “Party B” to the marriage. As someone who still doesn’t feel like the word “wife” applies to her, I think this is pretty awesome. It is, however, causing waves. I … [Read more…]

What Should the Punishment Be?

This has been floating around the feminist blogosphere and is by no means new. The argument goes thusly: some people think that abortion should be illegal; what, then, do they propose the punishment for breaking the law be? Tellingly, the answer is often “counseling” or “prayer” for the woman but loss of license or jail … [Read more…]

April Advice and Queries.

On the first Sunday of every month, someone reads a set of questions before we settle into silence at our meeting for worship. We can draw on these queries to guide us in our personal and group meditation. I wanted to post some of April’s queries here, partly for my sake, but also for catBonny … [Read more…]

Can Skeptics Learn from Religion?

This question is primarily to the agnostics, skeptics, secular humanists and atheists out there: Are there good things that we can learn from religion? Are there practices, principles, or even ways of knowing that religion can teach us? If there are, can we absorb these without buying into superstition or validating those elements we find … [Read more…]

the glass is unnecessary

John’s link to Pharyngula’s post about optimism & pessimism in atheism & religion. Both sides, of course, think that they’re the optimists and the other ones are the pessimists (I always like to say that both optimists and pessimists call themselves realists…). I wanted to start a similar conversation here. I know that for me, … [Read more…]

Religious ethics for the 21st Century

The three major monotheistic religions all have holy books that date to a minimum of 1400 years ago. This makes the relevance of these supposed Divine rules somewhat suspect. A Jewish cartoon that I enjoy reading has an interesting take on Jewish bioethics, including links under the cartoon to discussions of same. Among some of … [Read more…]

Is the patriarchy bad for your health?

I was watching my new favorite TV show and I cried. Once my eyes had stopped dripping, my ears started to. I immediately administered Q-tips. But it reminded me that I frequently end up with fall-out from crying that is not limited to my eyes. Apparently, there is a reason they’re called ear, nose, & … [Read more…]