James M. Martin's Blog (33)

Daily Beast on Veil Ban in France

French Senate Passes Full Veil Ban
Full Muslim veils will soon be illegal in France: The French Senate passed a ban by a vote of 246 to 1

on Tuesday, and the measure has already passed the lower chamber. Now

there are 10 days for dissenters to challenge the measure, which is

considered unlikely. Several Muslim women have vowed to continue wearing

the face-covering veils, despite the…

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Added by James M. Martin on September 19, 2010 at 9:53am — No Comments

Me and Unkle Al





Back in my film student days someone gave me a copy of a novel called “Moon Child” and told me to read it and let them know if it had any potential for a script and would I like to write one based on it. I said I would but did not. I was not “into Crowley.”

Many years later, I happened upon a reference to something called “Baphomet”

in a book about the Knights Templar and began a lengthy attempt to learn…

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Added by James M. Martin on August 2, 2010 at 10:30pm — 3 Comments

Of a Salamander in Eden: The Obfuscatory Illogicalities of Doctor David Berlinski

One of the very few joys of chemotherapy, I’ve learned, is the opportunity it offers for catching up on one’s long-overdue reading. I usually take to the cancer ward as I call the infusion room at my clinic, a couple of “readers’” magazines, and until the antihistamine kicks in (added to the saline solution to ward off such complications of Treanda as flush and flashes of heat in the head, even difficulty…
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Added by James M. Martin on July 23, 2010 at 5:30pm — 10 Comments

Give Anarchy a Chance

"I don't wanna be a politician, Mama/I don't want to lie...." --John Lennon



What kind of governments will we have, if any, in a post-religious era? Yes, the question pre-supposes an enlightened time when Lennon's Dream will be fact, when almost everyone agrees that there's "no hell below us/Above us only sky." I would even settle for something like the quasi-utopian world that already exists in Scandinavia, according to Ed Doerr (reviewing a book by Phil… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on July 18, 2010 at 10:18am — 4 Comments

Rand Paul, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and Turning Back the Clock

In the early 60s, I entered Texas Christian University as a freshman, and learned that this Christian Church-subsidized institution in Fort Worth, Texas required six hours -- two semesters -- of Judeo-Christian religion, the Old Testament first semester; the New, the next. While I found that I enjoyed these courses and in fact took another six hours of comparative religion the following year, it began to dawn on me that this was a place for the privileged. Only on scholarships (many for sports)… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on May 23, 2010 at 10:25am — 1 Comment

Little Letters to "God"

Dear "God": Sen. Eric Cantor certainly cannot have taken his Torah to heart. I

thought there was a Mosaic Law about not bearing false witness.

Cantor's appearance on "Meet the Press" revealed a skilled and habitual

liar. He swore an oath to represent his state's people and all the

rest of us by extension. When one swears an oath in Judaic law, one

promises to tell the truth. Cantor's lies about the health care reform

legislation shows he does not fear the god he… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on February 28, 2010 at 9:54am — 3 Comments

Getting Even With the Fake "Christians"

For months now I have allowed a prosperity gospel type cheap imitation megachurch to get my goat by sending out large-size postal cards in garish colors with pandering messages for their corporation, something they call the Bay Area Fellowship. It's run by a Barbee and Ken duo who post their mugs on every one of these sleazy solicitations, and when I finally saw them on one that inspired me to action, I thought, Now I have them! It was an almost all black card with neon red colors inviting me… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on January 16, 2010 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

Great American Atheists: James Dalton Trumbo

There is a sublime moment in the Umberto Ecco novel, Foucault’s Pendulum, when one of the characters, upon meeting the legendary (perhaps, in a euhemeristic sense, mythical) Comte de Saint Germain and asked him if his reputation for having, miraculously, lived many centuries had given him insight into the human condition and its progress. He answers that living for so long has its pluses, but one meets the same fools and cowards, montebanks and lunatics. I am afraid that this would be… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on September 3, 2009 at 7:00pm — No Comments

My Wicked, Wicked Past (as a Gnostic)

Given that many A|N members come to us from the mainstream faiths, while yet another, perhaps smaller number, graduated from paganism, Wicca, and the minority religions, I don't feel too terribly embarrassed to confess that in my relatively recent past I have practiced what is termed ceremonial magic(k) and been a follower of Vedanta, Buddhism, Wicca, and Gnosticism (in no particular order). I even founded a Gnostic church. If you don't believe me, get Melton's Encyclopedia of American… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on August 21, 2009 at 8:30pm — 1 Comment

Religion Poisons Everything (Even the Law)

I suppose I should not have been surprised by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent in a recent case before the court involving a wrongfully convicted African-American accused of murder, who, by writ of habeas corpus (what is known as an "extraordinary remedy" because it avoids claims that adjudicated issues are not to be relitigated), proved himself fully innocent of the crime for which he'd been imprisoned. In effect, Scalia, joined in his dissent by Clarence… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on August 20, 2009 at 10:26am — 3 Comments

About Pasolini: Filmmaker, Marxist, Atheist

Pier Paolo Pasolini said: "If you know that I am an unbeliever, then you know me better than I do myself. I may be an unbeliever, but I am an unbeliever who has a nostalgia for a belief." In the press, he was sometimes labeled a "radical Catholic," perhaps because he was acutely aware that Catholicism -- indeed Christianity itself -- had strayed so far from its roots that it no longer resembled the vision set forth by its prophet, an ordinary man who embraced prostitutes and publicans, threw… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on August 19, 2009 at 12:01am — No Comments

Unsung Atheists: John Huston

When Dino de Laurentiis announced his production of The Bible and told the press he had asked John Huston to direct, some thought the choice an odd one. After all, here was a movie-maker whose canon included bleak, misanthropic adventure films (Treasure of the Sierra Madre), gritty and godless crime molodramas (The Asphalt Jungle), and jaundiced views of Christian proselytization (The African Queen). Huston had shown no particular ecumenical zeal nor even for that… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on July 19, 2009 at 6:20pm — No Comments

At Fox Noise, Atheist = Gay

Am I crazy, or has anyone noticed that when Christer-loving cable news organizations like Fox Noise discuss atheists, someone almost always claims atheism is a "gay thing"? I have heard this a half dozen times, and, hey, I am not one to tune in Fox very often. Usually, it will be an obvious idiot like Sean Hannity, but others have said it, too. It's almost as if they were saying, "If you're an atheist, you're just a fag, so nobody should pay any attention to what you say." I met Madalyn Murray… Continue

Added by James M. Martin on January 1, 2009 at 9:33am — 5 Comments

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