Daily Reads: Race, Riots, and Context

In light of the riots in Baltimore in response to the death of Freddie Gray at the hands of Baltimore police, I offer this article by Conor Friedersdorf. Writing in The Atlantic, Friedersdorf condemns the violence while urging that the state-sanctioned violence perpetrated by police against Baltimore residents – particularly those of color – be addressed… Continue reading

Shifting Perspective: House and Home

Several weeks ago I impulsively started looking online at local houses for sale and began fantasizing about owning property again. In 2011, I walked away from the condo I’d purchased in 2005 for $196,000 because it had dropped in value to somewhere around $40,000. So with a foreclosure on my record, and a deliberate one… Continue reading

Daily Reads: Almond Joy

California is experiencing a severe drought, so severe that Governor Jerry Brown recently mandated 25% cuts in water use for individuals and businesses throughout the state. Those cuts did not include agricultural users. Many people are upset that farmers are escaping the restrictions, and they have turned their ire on a specific crop: almonds. It… Continue reading

Daily Read: Fundamentalist Atheism

Today’s Daily Read is a perfect follow-up to my post from yesterday on religion. Mary Elizabeth Williams says what a lot of atheists like me are thinking when she takes Bill Maher to task for his particular brand of fundamentalist, militant atheism. Writing in Salon, Williams points out that Maher does a grave disservice to his cause… Continue reading

(R)anthropology Class: The Culture of Religion

It is no secret to my students that I am an atheist. It usually comes up early in my classes when I have to talk about cultural universals like religion, or when I have to explain why I don’t teach intelligent design (the secret code name for Christian creationism). I am also quick to reassure them… Continue reading