The Humanist Advocate

How America is Slipping Towards Authoritarianism

The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis was just a symptom of a problem that America has and was one of many signals of how America has changed and how dangerous the resistance to that change has become. The dangerous part? The American right is showing increasing signs of tolerating authoritarianism with the involvement of police and federal officers to shut down all demonstrations that were the biggest since the Civil Rights Movement in 1964.    The Republican party has…

Beyond Humanism (Or Not)

The following post borrows its title from the magazine article that is its subject. The sub-headings are also similar.    The three inevitabilities of life: taxes, death, and criticism. We know not much good can be said of death, but there are some benefits from paying taxes, and often criticism can be a rich learning experience.  Not the obsessive, masochistic self-criticism of oneself, or the systemic mandatory progress reports or write-ups of the organization, or social shaming and bullying on…

Plagues and Protests

Is there a thread of connection between national and world events that have at once threatened the health and life of large swaths of the human population in the form of an extremely contagious viral invasion evolving into a global pandemic, and an uprising of protests in dozens of cities in the United States sparked, ostensibly, by the video of the clumsy yet brutally degrading execution of a black citizen—protests which have become, much as COVID-19, a worldwide phenomenon? If…

The Other Pandemic

    It wouldn’t take two people to argue about the volatility of the world right now in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic. It also reveals how divided America has become. The cultural war on science achieved a partial victory among its champions unjustly when, as they claim, viruses can now be deemed as hoax and the number of people who died in the United States , totaling 75,000 as of May 8th 2020, is also a lie. But why…

The *Trolley* Triage

      With a little imagination, it is not hard to visualize Eduardo Morales feat of engineering as acting out in real time a classic thought experiment in the study of ethics and morality.    Morales was shuffling train cars with his engine at the Port of Los Angeles in San Pedro when he (self-admittedly) “snapped” and engineered (drove?) his locomotive engine off the end of the track and toward the hospital ship USNS Mercy. The ship was tied…

On Sticking Apart

This is the wa y the world ends     This is the way the world ends     This is the way the world ends     Not with a bang but a whimper.   T. S. Eliot “The Hollow Men” 1925 Sometimes the magnitude of a crisis doesn’t register with you until something—something large, small, something normally insignificant or unavoidably substantial—presents itself to you with the abruptness and urgency of a boxing glove sailing your way; and philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre’s quotation “Hell is other people”…

Coronaville, TX and LA.

      It’s probably a good hunch that the decision to cancel services at Lakewood Church in Houston was made by every secularist’s favorite bad-example preacher Joel Osteen, who, for when all is said and done, owns the place.        And his decision was the right thing to do: he closed the congregation as a public gathering in the church’s huge sanctuary Sunday, March 15, in  an effort to help in the mitigation of the spread of God’s latest pestilence, COVID-19. The show…

Biblical Prophecy/Public Policy: Nuptials From Hell

There is a church in the city of Bethlehem built on the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born called the church of Nativity. If you consult UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, it will tell you that the church is located in Palestine. But when the question of its location came up during a round of Jeopardy in January 2020, the answer of one of the contestants who mentioned Israel set off something of internet firestorm.     Today, evangelical…

Barking Mad D.o.G. Theology

The Madman “Whither is God: he cried. “I shall tell you. We have killed him—you and I. All of us are his murderers”…..Do we not hear anything yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God?…God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him….What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must not we ourselves become gods simply to seem worthy…

The Remains to be Seen

Occasionally there is an event or circumstance in New Orleans that can lead our thoughts and imaginations to very interesting and sometimes even large topics or principles about the humanist experience, and how it meshes with the reality of that circumstance. The existence and revelation and consequent public reaction of the visibility of the remains of a construction worker pinned in the collapsed rubble of the Hard Rock Hotel building site at the corner of Canal and Rampart street in…

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