As an Orthodox Jew growing up in Philadelphia, Passover was my favorite holiday because children were an integral part of the ceremony, and I got to sit at the Seder table with grownups. After the Seder leader hid the Afikomen (a piece of matzo) during the meal, the child who found it received a small prize.
I had been trying to persuade bestselling author Richard Dawkins to give a talk in my hometown of Charleston, South Carolina for a long time, so I was thrilled when he agreed to speak at the College of Charleston on March 9. But instead of giving a typical lecture, he suggested a format I liked even more: having an amicable conversation with him over a glass of wine on stage.
Tradition is important to the Catholic Church, but even the Church sometimes changes procedures when it becomes beneficial to do so. With that in mind, I propose blending the current method of choosing a pope with the method adopted by another venerable tradition that has been mostly scandal free. I speak, of course, of the Miss America Pageant.
Many atheists, myself included, are offended by what we view as unwarranted antagonism toward atheists. I’ve participated in a number of debates on topics like “Can we be moral without a belief in God?” In these debates, I try to change stereotypical opinions that atheists are inherently immoral and untrustworthy.
February 12, 1809 must have seemed like an ordinary day to those alive at the time, but we now know it to be the birth day of two giants of humanity: Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. Lincoln ended slavery in the United States in the 19th century, and Darwin made one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 19th century.