Archive: Tom Flynn
Too few voices argue that since the capacity for personhood does not exist until the infant brain begins some internal wiring well after birth, the only justifications for imagining that abortion is murder flow solely from personal metaphysics or religious doctrine.
By Tom Flynn | March 1, 2011; 09:45 AM ET | Comments (16)
Across the Christian and Muslim worlds, almost every concept we associate with freedom arose in reaction to Abrahamic religion
By Tom Flynn | February 15, 2011; 01:43 PM ET | Comments (15)
If we are serious about our commitment to free exercise, then (sigh) the right of Catholic hospitals to restrict doctors from performing common and legal medical practices must be upheld. At the same time, the gulf between Catholic hospital care and any meaningful definition of full-service hospital care should be recognized.
By Tom Flynn | January 25, 2011; 02:34 PM ET | Comments (15)
It's no more "normal" for non-Christians to celebrate Christmas than it is for non-Muslims to observe Ramadan or non-Hindus to keep Diwali. Devout or otherwise, I think all non-Christians should take advantage of this annual opportunity to heighten our visibility by opting out of the Christians' birthday celebration more openly.
By Tom Flynn | December 20, 2010; 01:45 PM ET | Comments (105)
The current flurry of survey data suggesting that mainstream Americans are giving up on marriage fills me with hope.
By Tom Flynn | December 7, 2010; 11:25 AM ET | Comments (15)
The notion that America has been specially singled out by God has a long history. As an atheist, I find it difficult to take it very seriously. After all, if there is no God, then it's not very likely that He has blessed America.
By Tom Flynn | November 29, 2010; 01:28 PM ET | Comments (4)
As a secularist, I believe that democracy is healthier when most voters aren't voting their religious convictions.
By Tom Flynn | November 1, 2010; 01:59 PM ET | Comments (5)
Public life would benefit greatly from re-instituting a few "religion-free zones."
By Tom Flynn | October 25, 2010; 04:49 PM ET | Comments (18)
Religion is the greatest obstacle gay-rights activists confront because scripture uniformly condemns homosexuality. But it already seems inevitable that the zeitgeist will shift.
By Tom Flynn | October 12, 2010; 05:10 PM ET | Comments (21)
Research suggests that conversions from religion to atheism are disproportionately likely to be largely cognitive in nature, while conversions from atheism to religion tend to be more emotional. In addition, as adherents of an often-unpopular worldview, atheists and agnostics are frequently challenged to defend their position.
By Tom Flynn | September 28, 2010; 05:42 PM ET | Comments (16)
9/11 was a faith-based initiative. Well-meaning bromides that try to separate this attack from Islam as the terrorists understood it make the events of that terrible September day incomprehensible.
By Tom Flynn | September 7, 2010; 05:04 PM ET | Comments (4)
What's actually going on when people enthuse about achieving transformational faith or having a spiritual experience? They're actually reconfiguring their view of themselves.
By Tom Flynn | August 9, 2010; 03:38 PM ET | Comments (6)
As an atheist, I sometimes have difficulty persuading exceptionally broad-minded people that I am both non-religious and non-spiritual too!
By Tom Flynn | August 2, 2010; 02:54 PM ET | Comments (16)
It's time to acknowledge that the understanding of Islam that made Ground Zero into Ground Zero lies within, not outside, the spectrum of Islam as it is understood and practiced around the world.
By Tom Flynn | July 20, 2010; 04:09 PM ET | Comments (18)
As a secular humanist, I hold that all religions are human creations. Though I view them therefore as all equally wrong, they are anything but equal in the abundant diversity of concepts each has developed.
By Tom Flynn | July 6, 2010; 12:35 PM ET | Comments (13)
Bringing religion to bear on environmental issues is above all an exercise in irrelevance. The environment's best hope may lay in most of us deciding that it's too important to leave it up to faith.
By Tom Flynn | June 1, 2010; 03:13 PM ET | Comments (14)
Allowing large-scale immigration is out of the question for reasons that have nothing to do with race or culture. Of course, recognizing this requires us to rethink a couple of traditional verities. One is Christianity's historic call to welcome the stranger at all times and places (a call Christians have a very uneven record of heeding, by the way).
By Tom Flynn | May 25, 2010; 10:16 AM ET | Comments (6)
when I read that U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb had ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, I felt like someone had turned the clock back to the days when most Americans understood that separation of church and state meant, well, the separation of church and state.
By Tom Flynn | April 26, 2010; 02:00 PM ET | Comments (3)
Religion definitely presents an alternative view of sex and sexual relationships to the culture at large. But it's one that I'd urge sophisticated, increasingly secular people to reject. Wait a minute, most of them don't need my urging!
By Tom Flynn | April 21, 2010; 11:48 AM ET | Comments (13)
The Vatican has long been accustomed to deferential, even fawning treatment by most mainstream media outlets, especially on the searing-hot topic of clergy sex abuse. Fairness is unfamiliar -- and stinging.
By Tom Flynn | April 5, 2010; 04:03 PM ET | Comments (24)
If investigation reveals that Cardinal Ratzinger participated in covering up abuse in Europe, and if the pope resigns -- who could replace him?
By Tom Flynn | March 26, 2010; 04:37 PM ET | Comments (2)
Since the early 20th century the unspoken secret festering at the heart of most American mainline Protestant churches has been the yawning gulf between what ministers learn in their seminaries and what church members believe in the pews.
By Tom Flynn | March 16, 2010; 10:01 AM ET | Comments (3)
How long can governments rely on religious providers to discharge what are ultimately public responsibilities? Whenever public entities rely on religious agencies to provide public services, conflict of interest is inevitable.
By Tom Flynn | March 10, 2010; 01:40 PM ET | Comments (9)