Truthdig contributors, clockwise from top: Sam Harris, Kevin Tillman (with brother Pat at left), Molly Ivins, Gore Vidal and Robert Scheer.
Truthdig turned one year old last Wednesday, and we couldn’t have done it without you. So thanks! In honor of the occasion, we’re taking a look back on 12 of the most popular stories of the last 12 months.
Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, wrote this powerful, must-read document that made headlines across the country.
At a time when fundamentalist religion has an unparalleled influence in the highest government levels in the United States, and religion-based terror dominates the world stage, Sam Harris argues that progressive tolerance of faith-based unreason is as great a menace as religion itself.
While contemplating the ill-starred presidency of G.W. Bush, I looked about for some sort of divine analogy. As usual, when in need of enlightenment, I fell upon the Holy Bible, authorized King James version of 1611; turning by chance to the Book of Jonah, I read that Jonah, who, like Bush, chats with God, had suffered a falling out with the Almighty and thus became a jinx dogged by luck so bad that a cruise liner, thanks to his presence aboard, was about to sink in a storm at sea.
In the discussion, Harris spoke publicly for the first time about a foundation he is creating to promote secular values worldwide; about his new book, “Letter to a Christian Nation”; about how he navigates dinner parties without coming off as the Antichrist; and about the “Salman Rushdie effect” that accompanies his newfound celebrity as an atheist.
The president played the scoundrel—even the best of his minions went along with the lies—and when a former ambassador dared to tell the truth, the White House initiated what Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald calls “a plan to discredit, punish or seek revenge against Mr. Wilson.” That is the important story line.
Watch with amazement as our commander in chief mangles the English language, and speaks nonsensically about the war in Iraq, America’s standing in the world, his relationship with his father, and Albert Camus.
No matter their own scandals, religious institutions through history have a consistent scapegoat: homosexuals. Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and a pioneer in the field of gay and lesbian studies, digs into why churches condemn gays to damnation.
The former Middle East bureau chief for the New York Times and author of the bestseller “War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning” reports on Bush’s plan for Iran, and how a callous war, conceived by zealots, will lead to a disaster of biblical proportions.
After Tony Snow announced the results of Bush’s recent physical, “The Daily Show” host seized the opportunity to mock the president’s weight gain. Snow declared that the president was “fit for duty” although he’d gained five pounds, prompting Stewart to remark, “Mr. President, I know things are tough right now, but you can’t eat your way to happy.” But when Bush ... began talking about eating crabs with the 1972 Miami Dolphins, Stewart decided that the president had, finally, gone off the deep end.
Why continue to read newspapers? After all, newspapers are losing circulation at precipitous rates, giving rise to fears that they may not survive long enough to write their own obituaries. Cutbacks, buyouts and layoffs are widespread, affecting many of America’s most prestigious newspapers, including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times, where it was recently announced that the paper faced an 8% reduction in its editorial staff. Morale plummets, anxiety mounts.