Author Archives: John Bruce Carver

About John Bruce Carver

I am a U. S. citizen living in Atlanta, Georgia, having grown up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and graduating from Chattanooga High School. I served in the Electronic Security Command of the U. S. Air Force before receiving a B.S. degree in business/economics and an M.Ed. in educational psychology, both at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I then completed a Ph.D. in clinical (and research) psychology at Emory University. I have two daughters and three granddaughters. An ardent international traveller, I have been in over 70 countries for business and pleasure. My reading, other than novels, tends to be in history, philosophy, government, and light science. I identify philosophically as a secular humanist, in complete awe of the universe including my fellows and myself. I am married to my best friend, Miriam, formerly of the United Kingdom and Canada.

“Enemies of the People”

How much longer will America allow Donald Trump—our accidental, disastrous president—to dupe a substantial number of Americans with lies and playing to the least discerning voters (watch any Trump rally), and to embarrass the rest of us with misinformation, conspiracy … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

I confess I’m an aweist

Most of us are gratified when reading others’ words that express our own view of life or emotional experience better than we have ourselves. I felt that when reading Phil Zuckerman’s short article “Aweism” in the April/May 2009 edition of … Continue reading

Posted in Pleasure, enthusiasm, and awe, Secular humanism | 3 Comments

I fear for my country

I fear for my country. We are threatened not by others, but by ourselves. We’ve weakened the independence—and with it, the accountability—of judicial, legislative, and executive functions. We’ve undermined the rule of law and our previously unifying e pluribus unum. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Why do Republicans love socialism?

Republicans are reluctant to campaign on their successes in having helped Trump besmirch American institutions and reputation. It’s been rumored that they might have to bring out a favorite old bugaboo: socialism. “It’s true we’re Trump’s toadies,” they can assure … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Trump is NOT America’s problem

Most Americans understand that this untrustworthy, incompetent, man-child is arguably the most unfit person ever to be American president. Whether caused by derangement, startling ignorance, or simply evil is of no importance. What is monumentally important is that the United … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Creeping toward theocracy

Slightly over half the world’s religionists are Muslim or Christian, each powerfully motivated by belief that a loving/vengeful god entices with paradise and threatens with horror. To each camp, the other is anathema. Adherents of each are convinced of a … Continue reading

Posted in Church and state, Liberty, Politics | 2 Comments

Mr. de Tocqueville, we got the government we deserve

Before it eventually collapses with political rot, the Trumpublican Party fecklessly enables the unprincipled, undignified, even un-American fool we’ve placed in the White House. Whatever President Trump’s lying, scorn of separation of powers, reprehensible treatment of allies, silence in the … Continue reading

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America’s love/hate affair with science

In a country so benefitted by science, science ignorance among Americans is uncanny. In an age wherein science-informed wisdom is essential for political choices, we vote unschooled politicians into office. Supplied with stunning scientific advances, millions of us choose superstition … Continue reading

Posted in Science and society | Leave a comment

Trusting our Leaker-in-Chief in Russia

President Trump plans a visit to Russia this summer to confer with Vladimir Putin. In normal times, this kind of top level meeting would be met with excitement and even hope that some benefit would result. But Americans have elected … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

A disgraceful leader implicates all

Although there’s no excuse for hyperbole . . . well, outright lying . . . in a politically mature democracy, we’ve come to expect candidacies of all persuasions to be fraught with it. But there are degrees of dishonor and … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

Islam: religion or political ideology?–Part 3

This concludes a series of three posts that together address the claim that a growing Islam population in America is a danger due to its being a political ideology flying under a false flag as a religion. I’ve pointed out that while … Continue reading

Posted in Church and state | 1 Comment

CEOs over federal bureaucracies

Despite the title, this post has nothing to do with politics—well, almost nothing; at any rate; no partisan politics. I’ve been thinking about selection of top managers in government, particularly heads of massive bureaucracies. In America the positions are often … Continue reading

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Islam: religion or political ideology?–Part 2

My most recent post (April 13) began to address a reader’s claim that Islam is not a “true religion, but a political ideology masquerading as a religion . . . incompatible with the Constitution.” I argued that defining religious doctrines … Continue reading

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Islam: religion or political ideology?–Part 1

“Is Islam a true religion or a political ideology masquerading as a religion?” One of my blog’s “followers” in early 2017 posed this question in the comments section of my February 25 post, titled “So-called religious liberty bills.” My reader went … Continue reading

Posted in Church and state | 1 Comment

Science and religion in Louisiana

I’ve written more than a dozen posts in this blog on the clash between science and religion, as well as more than two dozen on Christians and Muslims using their beliefs to bully and control others. In the United States no … Continue reading

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The lethal cost of playing with guns

March has marched in like a lion. Our shameful president is busily destroying America’s institutions. House and Senate Republicans continue to negligently ride a tiger of their own making. The NRA owns our elections even more than Russia. America’s international … Continue reading

Posted in Morality, Politics | 2 Comments

America has too few dead kids

Our politicians make sycophantic speeches and announce that “something must be done,” but decide it must not be by them. Our Congress and the president are ostensibly waiting until the numbers get high enough, unconcerned that while scores are killed, … Continue reading

Posted in Morality, Politics | 3 Comments

Legislators set to abuse religious freedom . . . again

State legislatures are busy again considering so-called “religious liberty” bills, and the year’s just begun. Over 160 bills have been filed by legislators around the country thus far. Seasoned observers, after years of watching politicians’ sausage-making, are not fooled by … Continue reading

Posted in Church and state, Liberty | 2 Comments

Aiding and abetting injury to America

Donald Trump’s presidency (the Jerry Springer Show comes to mind) stumbles on with the outspoken or at least tacit support of almost all his party. But stumbling doesn’t mean getting nothing done. On the contrary, Trump is getting a lot done. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Merry Christmas!

Yes, I—an enthusiastic and secular humanist atheist—often wish someone a Merry Christmas, and I respond happily to others when they use the term. I react the same way to Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, and other expressions of seasonal benevolence. … Continue reading

Posted in This blog, this blogger | 6 Comments

Theocracy’s poster boy, Alabama’s Roy Moore

Alabama’s twice-deposed judge, Roy Moore, exemplifies such a distressing feature of present day America that I admit to a little schadenfreude in view of his recent sexual behavior problems. Innocent until proven guilty applies to state action in a court, … Continue reading

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Moral courage and the Trump threat

During the Cold War, America spent much treasury on the ability to respond within minutes to a Soviet threat. How many months are needed to respond to our own homegrown threat from Donald J. Trump? Will lack of moral courage … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 10 Comments

Men and #MeToo

In evolutionary biology, significant changes are normally thought of as gradual over incredibly lengthy periods. Yet sometimes major changes—according to some biologists like the late Jay Gould—occur quickly though infrequently, called in theory “punctuated equilibrium.” Political and social phenomena can … Continue reading

Posted in Morality, Secular humanism | 1 Comment

Are we crazy?

Are we crazy? The Las Vegas death toll has shocked the nation, as all such events do. News channels are full of the usual hunt for information on the assailant, identity of the victims, and examination of the circumstances that … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 6 Comments

Illegal immigration, dreamers, and mixed messages

I’m a bit of a hawk on illegal immigration; well, in theory. I have a liberal friend who disagrees with having national borders to begin with, though as well-meaning as is her position on pan-citizenship, I’ve never been convinced by … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

Fish rot from the head

Memory and attribution serve me poorly, but I’ll credit the late management guru Peter Drucker for this insight: the cost of working for a corrupt boss is to become corrupt yourself. We don’t work for Donald Trump, but much of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Americans stand for democracy! Really?

From the successful marketing of what became America’s Constitution in 1788 until today, we Americans have not only celebrated our commitment to democracy, we have proudly proclaimed our union to have brought democracy to the world and that, even now, … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

The awesome power of faith

Religious faith—a formidable force—has figured prominently in human experience for untold millennia. We have faith with regard to much in life, but in this post I’m concerned with religious faith. I’m excluding faith in one’s airline pilot, in aspirin for … Continue reading

Posted in Faith and reason, Religion's costs and foibles | 3 Comments

Tennessee’s monkey trial revitalized

Due to a 1960 movie, Inherit the Wind, many Americans are familiar with the 1925 trial of high school teacher John T. Scopes in Dayton, Tennessee, just north of Chattanooga. Because Scopes had violated the state law against teaching Darwinian … Continue reading

Posted in History, Science and society | 2 Comments

Our republic . . . if we can keep it

Citizens of the United States made Donald John Trump the most powerful man in the world. Citizens of the United States made a grave, careless error. A mechanism for removing an unfit, incompetent, shallow president is available only if his … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

My steps from sacred to secular

Atlanta’s begun another sweltering, but gorgeous summer. I’m going to take a break from blogging for a few weeks. There are now 154 posts in this blog, all accessible using the listing just to the right of this text. It … Continue reading

Posted in Atheism and other freethought, This blog, this blogger | Leave a comment

Prerequisites for the presidency

What should we look for in a president? I don’t mean the obvious consideration of whether a candidate’s vision for the country is compatible with our own. Nor do I mean political choices like health insurance, immigration policies, or other … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

Faith in science gaining on faith in faith

As what we now call “science” developed a few centuries ago, Christians—along with other religionists—took arms against facts accumulating due to the new method. (“Taking arms” was not only just figurative, but frequently physical.) Over time fewer natural phenomena were ascribed … Continue reading

Posted in Faith and reason, Religion's costs and foibles, Science and society | Leave a comment

Church donations trump secular ones by IRS

In case you’ve missed the news the last couple of weeks about the Johnson Amendment, named after Lyndon Johnson, its promoter, let me catch you up. The provision requires a few pages to understand, but in general it establishes that … Continue reading

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Religion and Gays as “the Others”

We often fail to incorporate scientific learning into social improvement. Consider sociology’s concept of the “Other” and our vulnerability to the dynamics it explains. By vulnerability, I mean our tendency in actual instances of dealing with those we don’t understand … Continue reading

Posted in Gays and other LGBTQs, Morality, Secular humanism | Leave a comment

Marching for science

The March for Science is a public celebration of science planned for April 22 in many cities across America and some abroad. As a gesture of support, my wife and I plan to participate. According to the national organizers, the … Continue reading

Posted in Science and society | Leave a comment

You and I deserve Despot Donnie

To say that Despot Don is an international embarrassment, better fitted to lead a banana republic than history’s most powerful country, is to express the obvious. In fact, that may be the least of the perils he imposes on the … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 1 Comment

A note to new visitors to “John just thinking”

If you’ve joined as a “follower” of this blog later than 2013, you may not know why I write these essays (“posts” in blog lingo), now numbering almost 150. (If that’s of interest, take a look at “Getting started,” Apr. … Continue reading

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Congratulations, Trump voters

Well, the presidency of [here, reader, insert a string of adjectives so now overused as to be tiring] Despot Don continues in its shameful way perfectly consistent with his behavior during his years of birther madness and months of campaigning. In … Continue reading

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Despot Don

President “Despot Don” is ushering America toward despotism . . . or—almost as bad—his precariously excellent imitation thereof. (OK, I coined the moniker, Despot Don, to inject a bit of comforting humor to aid my own endurance.) One frightening aspect … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 2 Comments

So-called religious liberty bills

Here in Georgia and in state legislatures around the country, “religious liberty” bills are once again in the air. These bills propose to protect rights which proponents claim are slipping away—Americans’ religious freedom. Well, not really “religious freedom,” for that’s … Continue reading

Posted in Church and state, Gays and other LGBTQs | 2 Comments

Trump and the new American truth

President Trump’s distortions, deceitfulness, and simple lies are so unceasing that to believe him on any specific matter is bad judgment. Strong allegation? I assure you I mean it. But first, a proviso: Being untrustworthy does not mean he never … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 5 Comments

Flirting with fascism in Trump’s America

President Donald Trump’s victorious campaign was remarkable for both inciting Americans’ incivility and fears and for exploiting them. Over the past months, the most troubling of the fears associated with President Trump is his proto-despot personality and his growing list … Continue reading

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Variations in morality

As author of this blog, I pay attention to readers’ comments and occasionally reply to them. As a policy, however, I’ve chosen not to use the posts themselves to interact with any one person, notwithstanding that readers’ comments have occasionally … Continue reading

Posted in Morality | Leave a comment

What does a proto-despot look like?

Strange hair? Small hands? Please forgive my inappropriate levity; my point is deadly serious. President-elect Trump is a proto-despot. Might I be wrong, crying wolf? Will happier events in the next few years lead me to regret the chilling words, “proto-despot” … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

“God-given” rights—2

This popular term in the United States is as incumbent on politician-talk as mouthing the obligatory “God bless America” at the end of each speech. I’ll skip past the self-serving implication of a speaker’s allying herself or himself with God … Continue reading

Posted in Church and state, Politics | 7 Comments

Slogging to the blogging

Blogging means different things to different bloggers. For me it’s a channel for expressing my thoughts to others, but simultaneously it’s a tool that forces me to sharpen my own thoughts. However, as much pleasure as I get from writing … Continue reading

Posted in This blog, this blogger | 2 Comments

Please, Mr. President-elect

Donald J. Trump is a fool. He is dangerous to America and to the world due to his incompetence, his paranoid reactivity, and his l’état, c’est moi personalization of important issues. Let me be clear: I acknowledge the legitimacy of … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 3 Comments

October relief…sort of, Trump’s still here

The intent of this blog has not been to enter political controversy. The weirdness of the 2016 not-so-presidential campaign has shaken my resolve, but I don’t intend to write another on this topic. Previous ones are “Democrats vs. theocrats” (Jan. … Continue reading

Posted in Politics | 4 Comments

Islam – 3

In my recent post, “Islam – 2” (Sep. 14, 2016), I promised—with ample provisos, I trust—to share thoughts on how Americans can reduce one source of their fears about our growing Muslim population and to do so without sacrificing one of … Continue reading

Posted in Church and state, Politics | 1 Comment