Phew. It has been a few weeks. A month and a half’s worth, in fact. As is my custom, let me catch up on some of the goings on over that time:
The World Cup Happened
The vast majority of my posts over the months of May and June were related to the World Cup. Thankfully, it was an enjoyable World Cup.
It had excitement, drama, upsets, biting, the emotional crushing of a nation, and the subtle twinge of guilt any liberal feels while enjoying a spectacle built on the exploitation of others.
David Feit wrote a funny post prior to the start of World Cup that accurately hits a number of the insecurities of American soccer fans. Hopefully this World Cup was able to suck in even a non-fan as himself.
Here’s a nice review of some of the best memes from the World Cup.
Lastly, and thankfully, the goal that made Germany the champions was worthy of winning the tournament.
The Hobby Lobby Decision
I have nothing to add. Just, you know, ugh.
The Satanic Temple Has Religious Convictions, Too
The Satanic Temple is looking to use the recent Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case to undermine state laws that put unnecessary barriers on women seeking their legal right to an abortion. You can find a nice overview of the story at the Friendly Atheist.
However, as Ed Brayton points out, this may not accomplish much.
The Moral Landscape Challenge Winner
A year ago, Sam Harris issued a challenge to defeat his argument put forward in his book, The Moral Landscape. For this challange, Russell Blackford was selected as the judge. The winner received a cash prize that increased if the winning essay convinced Harris that he was wrong.
The winner was chosen, and the prize went to Ryan Born. Congratulations to him. You can find his winning essay and Blackford’s comments on why he chose Born’s essay here.
There’s Finally a TV Channel for Atheists
American Atheists launched AtheistTV – “the first on-demand television station that presents exclusively atheist, humanist, and freethought programming.” At this point, the channel is not producing new, original content. Of course, that’s not surprising. It is a budding venture of an organization whose primary goals are related to activism, not entertainment.
Mary Elizabeth Williams was critical of the channel insofar as it’s not clear what the future of the channel will look like. This is fair criticism, but American Atheists is likely well aware of the channel’s shortcomings at launch.
My personal thoughts? I don’t really care. I will likely never watch the channel. If they produce a new show that gets buzz, I may change my mind. My biggest concern? There just isn’t a tangible subculture of tv-watching/streaming fans that will watch the channel. I’ve seen people offer Christian-focused channels as evidence that AtheistTV can succeed. However, I suspect a large part of these channels’ success is due to a sense that American culture, generally, is secular and ‘godless’ (i.e., not expressly Christian). In other words, they’re providing programming sought after by a sizable population. I’m just not sure there are a number of atheists asking for their own TV channel.
I’d be happy to be proven wrong, and I wish American Atheists success in their venture.
Patheos Poaches Another Godless WordPress Blogger for the Atheist Portal
Neil, writing at Godless in Dixie, has made the jump to Patheos. Congrats to him.
Carry on, my wayward son.