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Clay Farris Naff
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Clay Farris Naff (claynaff.com) is a science writer with a special interest in the rational reconciliation of religions with science. An award-winning journalist and author, he has been a Tokyo correspondent for United Press International, a freelance reporter for National Public Radio, a science-and-religion columnist for the Metanexus Institute, and is the author or editor of numerous books, including most recently Free God Now! He has been a freelance writer for Newsweek, Earth Magazine, The Humanist, and Scientific American, among other publications. You can follow him at Twitter @claynaff, or join his Free God Now! page on Google+.or Facebook. Any opinions expressed are his alone.

Entries by Clay Farris Naff

Don't Laugh: A Trump Presidency Offers Rich Comic Fodder, But the Consequences Are No Joke

(18) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 7:30 AM

[The following is personal opinion and represents the views of no organization.]

2016-05-15-1463332369-8680046-Trump32closeBuddy.jpg
(Pawl Stuart)

Donald Trump could be our next president.

That's what poll numbers are saying. Yes, it's early, but...

A man who, with the nomination...

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Facing Hard Truths About Life, Death and Faith at 60

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2016 | 3:32 PM

Today, I turned 60. That's a bit of a hard truth, since various bodily bits are falling apart, but turning 60 definitely beats the alternative.

All the same, it's impossible to hit this age without thinking about life and death. As Jerry Seinfeld will tell ya, all a birthday means...

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If Trump Is a Cancer on the Republican Party, I Know the Cause and the Cure

(34) Comments | Posted March 4, 2016 | 8:45 AM

So it's sunk to this: the leading GOP presidential candidate leads off a nationally televised debate by insisting that he's well endowed. No need to whip it out, Donald. America knows you are a huge dick.

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Shocked by the depth of his vulgarity,...

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Darwin Day Revelation: Evolution, Not Religion, Is the Source of Morality

(101) Comments | Posted February 11, 2016 | 11:42 PM

As the world celebrates Darwin Day, much of humanity refuses to accept evolution.

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Creationists pretend that their argument is with science. Their posts are littered with gems of motivated reasoning such as this: "If natural selection were true, Eskimos...

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If Guns Are So Good, Invite 'Em to GOP Rallies

(175) Comments | Posted January 5, 2016 | 6:31 PM

Dear Donald, Ted, Marco, Jeb, and the whole GOP field,

Are you serious? Are you seriously contending that background checks for everyone who buys a gun are bad policy and a threat to the Constitution? The same Constitution whose Second Amendment starts, "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security...

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Terror, Guns, and Political Paralysis: How to Escape the Tribal Trap

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2015 | 8:48 AM

If there is one thing the carnage of the last few months has proven, it is that we are all human, and all too human. We may listen to Mozart and celebrate Einstein, yet we drag along some truly awful traits. Muslim or Christian, we descend into the madness of...

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Three Simple Truths About Terror, Religion, and Islam

(28) Comments | Posted November 15, 2015 | 3:03 PM

One: Terrorism is the illusion of power. It only becomes powerful when people fall for it. Picture a magician who performs a variation on the trick of sawing a person in half. The "victim" screams in agony as the saw appears to slice her in half. The magician then turns...

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Human Trafficking Jam: Sorting Out Consensual Sex From Slavery, Coercion and Abuse

(2) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 9:18 AM

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(Image credit: Wikimedia, public domain)

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court righted a longstanding wrong by ruling for same-sex marriage. The Obergefell v. Hodges decision includes a ringing affirmation of evolving moral views:


The nature of...

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In Backing Kim Davis, Republican Candidates Betray the Rule of Law

(27) Comments | Posted September 4, 2015 | 3:19 PM

"We must ... never surrender to judicial tyranny." -- Mike Huckabee
"it's absurd to put someone in jail for exercising their religious liberty." -- Rand Paul
"Today, judicial lawlessness crossed into judicial tyranny." -- Ted Cruz

Kim Davis may be deluded, shrewd or both. Whatever her motives, the...

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OK, GOP Presidential Field, Who's for Bringing Back Slavery?

(1) Comments | Posted August 20, 2015 | 8:49 AM

You knew it was coming. Like porno producers and morning-drive DJs, Republican presidential contenders are continually on the prowl for new ways to shock and offend. And in the Iowa State Fair season, no one makes the media porker squeal like the despicable Donald.

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Does Legal Gay Marriage Doom Evangelical Christianity?

(1127) Comments | Posted June 27, 2015 | 8:40 AM

2015-06-27-1435409091-7895659-17323224392_0da1d21ebf_z.jpg(Photo credit: Evert Barnes, Creative Commons)

Hell hath no fury like the religious right scorned. The ink was yet wet on the Supreme Court's decision legalizing gay marriage when Southern Baptist minister and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee called for an uprising.

"I will not...

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Caitlyn Jenner Unites Old Time Religionists and Gender Feminists in Wroth

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2015 | 10:29 AM

For those who cling to rigid categories, transgender is a nightmare. Just look at how Caitlyn Jenner's splash on the cover of Vanity Fair has freaked out such strange bedfellows. Evidently, the category of people who need rigid categories is itself quite flexible. It includes, among others, the pope, evangelical...

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Christianity's Supernova: Why the Church's Loss Isn't Necessarily the Progressives' Gain

(207) Comments | Posted May 13, 2015 | 9:49 PM

When a big old star runs out of fuel, it collapses of its own weight. That's what appears to be happening to Christianity, at least in the advanced countries where it once dominated. The latest Pew Center report shows that the rising generation will likely be the first...

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Not OK: Oklahoma Marriage Bill Is Jaw-droppingly Unconstitutional

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 9:13 AM

A preacher of the Gospel, a priest, and a rabbi.

Sounds like front end of a bad joke, right? But that's the full list of religious officials deemed competent to perform marriages under HB1125, the bill that Oklahoma's House just passed in an attempt to restore ecclesiastical...

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The Retreat From Universalism: How Identity Politics and Old Time Religion Corrode Human Rights Progress

(2) Comments | Posted February 25, 2015 | 7:16 AM

Amid the ashes of World War II, with the stench of industrial-scale genocide in their nostrils, the nations of the world pledged to do better. They signed onto the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. For the rest of the 20th century, human rights blossomed.

How can it be...

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If We Equate Muslims With Terrorists, al-Qaeda Wins

(20) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 8:13 AM

Germans are a menace.

Long before there were Nazis, this was the prevailing sentiment in America's heartland. During World War I, patriotic Nebraskans formed "The Council of Defense" and went about intimidating anyone who spoke or published German. Propaganda, like the image below, stoked their righteous rage.

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An Open Letter to Warren Buffett: Why Not Run Those Coal-Fired Plants on Carbon Dioxide?

(0) Comments | Posted December 28, 2014 | 10:53 AM

Dear Mr. Buffett:

I hope this letter will please you. For one thing, this is the first open letter addressed to you in, gosh, nearly a month. What's more, I won't ask you for money, investment advice, or a tax-deductible contribution. I simply hope to point out...

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Do Bacteria Go to Heaven?

(10) Comments | Posted December 15, 2014 | 9:53 AM

Pope Francis has hinted that all creatures go to heaven. 2014-12-15-popelamb717x450.jpg

"The Holy Scriptures teach us that the realization of this wonderful plan covers all that is around us, and that came out of the thought and the heart of God," Pope Francis said,...

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Does Ferguson Herald the End Times? Ptolemy Says No!

(4) Comments | Posted November 25, 2014 | 8:12 AM

These are dark and bloody days.

In Russia, Putin is out to restore, of all things, the Soviet empire. In China, Hong Kong's promise of freedom endures slow strangulation. In Europe, neo-fascist parties are scaling the heights of power. The Middle East, never at peace, has...

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Islamo-Fascism for Real: To Appease Islamists, Egyptian Court Makes a Travesty of Justice Over Gay Wedding

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 7:04 AM

Eight men attended what may have been a gay union on a boat on the Nile. We know this because in September a video of the event went public. The men were not seen to have engaged in any sexual acts; the most "damning" thing in the video is that...

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