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Robyn Blumner
Robyn Blumner is executive director of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in Washington, D.C. She spent 16 years as a nationally syndicated columnist and editorial writer at the Tampa Bay Times newspaper in St. Petersburg, Fla. And was executive director of the Florida and Utah state affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Entries by Robyn Blumner

Why Are the Openly Secular Openly Disdained?

(326) Comments | Posted May 23, 2014 | 4:46 PM

Which moral position is worse, cheating on one's spouse or rejecting religious dogma? Are you less trustworthy if you use an illegal drug or reject supernatural explanations for life?

These questions were recently put to Americans by the Pew Research Center in a poll asking what traits would make someone...

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Dear Too Big To Fail

(3) Comments | Posted December 11, 2008 | 8:31 AM

Dear Too Big To Fail,

Happy Holidays to you. I'm guessing your end-of-the-year bonus won't be quite as eye-popping as it was last year -- sorry there. But at least you still have a job. That's not necessarily true for my associates in the world of Too Small To Matter....

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Gay Adoption in Florida

(6) Comments | Posted December 9, 2008 | 5:50 PM

This article originally appeared in the St. Petersburg Times on Sunday, November 30th, under the title "Making a loving home for two brothers".

Please allow me to introduce you to John, age 8, and his brother James, age 4 [months]. These boys are thriving in the home of two loving,...

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The True Values of Values Voters

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2008 | 10:35 AM

I find so-called "values voters" to be completely inscrutable.

First, their "values" seem to revolve entirely around their opposition to: abortion rights, promiscuity, gay marriage, sex-education and church-state separation. Values like compassion, tolerance, generosity and humanity do not apply.

But then, when these voters are confronted with politically...

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Sen. McCain and the Zygote

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2008 | 12:46 PM

I had a conversation with a seemingly smart woman recently who thought that Roe vs. Wade would never be overturned regardless of who wins the presidency. Though deeply pro-choice, she said she has voted for a Republican as president in the past since she likes the concept of...

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About Kindle

(29) Comments | Posted August 19, 2008 | 11:03 AM really thinks I need a Kindle. You know what that is: the Web store's portable, wireless reading device that instantly downloads -- for a price -- virtually any book you'd like from among thousands of titles. Feel the impulse to dive into Ahab's cetacean obsession? Just send...

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The Return of Government

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2008 | 1:05 PM

If you want to give a name to the coming era in American politics, you could call it the Return of Government.

I think of the years between the time that John F. Kennedy told us to ask what we can do for our country and the aftermath of 9/11...

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Workers Deserve a Rescue Too

(18) Comments | Posted July 22, 2008 | 4:16 PM

Once again the taxpayer comes to the rescue of investors.

Last week, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson quickly fashioned a plan to keep mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac liquid and solvent by using billions in taxpayer loans and guarantees.

It was similar to treatment given the major...

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America's Peasant Class

(8) Comments | Posted July 14, 2008 | 6:05 PM

The list of allegations against the Postville, Iowa, slaughterhouse recently raided by federal officials for its use of illegal immigrant workers reads like a story collectively written by Upton Sinclair, Charles Dickens and Harriet Beecher Stowe.

Agriprocessors, the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant, is at the center of page after...

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Scalia's 2nd Amendment Punt

(22) Comments | Posted July 7, 2008 | 7:11 PM

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." --The Second Amendment to the Constitution.

Now we finally know what this Amendment means. The Supreme Court's five conservative justices have just...

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The Vanishing Middle Class

(19) Comments | Posted July 1, 2008 | 5:52 PM

In case you haven't been keeping up with the fortunes of the fortunate, the private jet business is booming. In the first quarter of this year, shipments of private jets were up 41 percent. It seems that servicing America's elite is a thriving niche. There are so many new mega-yachts...

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A Razor-Thin Redemption

(1) Comments | Posted June 24, 2008 | 1:12 PM

We just came very close to losing our national character. By a one-vote margin the U.S. Supreme Court salvaged it.

By ruling in Boumediene vs. Bush that Guantanamo detainees have habeas corpus rights -- a ward against arbitrary imprisonment considered foundational to any free society -- the high court held...

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Democrats Plus Unions Equals Better Wages

(3) Comments | Posted June 19, 2008 | 12:41 PM

During Hillary Clinton's gracious concession speech she mentioned that during the 40 years that she's been involved in politics and public life the country has voted 10 times for president, with a Democrat winning the seat only three times.

"Just think how much more progress we could have made...

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A Tribute to Irish Writer Nuala O'Faolain

(4) Comments | Posted June 11, 2008 | 12:18 PM

Are You Somebody? was Irish journalist Nuala O'Faolain's seminal memoir. She began it: "I was born in Dublin that was much more like something from an earlier century than like the present day. I was one of nine children, when nine was not even thought of as a big family,...

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The Key to a Half Century of Marriage

(1) Comments | Posted June 10, 2008 | 2:53 PM

Fifty years ago, on June 1, 1958, two young public school teachers in New York decided to make a life together. Today, at a big party on Long Island, more than a hundred family members and friends will celebrate that decision.

My parents' marriage has spanned...

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The FBI's Bystander Guilt

(0) Comments | Posted May 26, 2008 | 1:26 PM

Bystander guilt. That is what FBI and Justice Department officials have on their conscience and what John Ashcroft, the former attorney general, and FBI director Robert Mueller should be haunted by every day.

The long-awaited report from the Justice Department inspector general on abusive detainee interrogations says that the FBI...

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The Ends Versus the Means

(4) Comments | Posted May 19, 2008 | 6:50 PM

There are two kinds of people in this world: those for whom the ends justifies the means and those for whom the means matter. Count me as someone who cares supremely about the means. Count the present administration as one who doesn't give a hoot.

This "means be damned"...

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Just a Penny a Pound

(0) Comments | Posted April 24, 2008 | 2:08 PM

It is hard to believe that this is America in 2008. It seems more like Upton Sinclair's turn of the century Chicago stockyards or Edward R. Murrow's Harvest of Shame of 1960. But it is today that the tomato pickers of Immokalee, Florida, toil under oppressive, retrograde conditions.


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You Bet I'm Bitter

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2008 | 1:37 PM

Barack Obama may have been a little too blunt in his now infamous quip about how the economic insecurities gripping small-town America manifest themselves, but the word "bitter" perfectly sums up my feelings these days.

You bet I'm bitter.

I've watched my country get hijacked by a group...

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