“Atheism for Lent”: The Spiritual Practice of Doubt

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A few months ago, I wrote a post on “Poetically Dwelling on the Earth as a Mortal,” which was in honor of my favorite undergraduate philosophy professor, James Edwards. Dr. Edwards was the most well-known, articulate, and matter-of-fact of atheist at my college. And suffice it to say that in the late 1990s in South Carolina there were very few “out” atheists. I had a few good friends in high school that were self-professed agnostics, but Dr. Edwards was — if not the first atheist I … [Read more...]

Poetically Dwelling on the Earth as a Mortal

edwards

I am a religious skeptic. I don’t believe in Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, or Ogun; nor do I believe in the resurrection of bodies two days dead and buried, nor water changing into wine, nor men walking about unharmed in fiery furnaces. Likewise for angels, ghosts, demons, statues that weep milk, and miraculous cures effected by the blessed water of Lourdes. About my skepticism, I feel neither pride nor shame; it’s not an achievement, nor is it a failing. It’s just a fact about me . . . a fact … [Read more...]

Do We Need a Moratorium on the Word “God”?

Edwards

I have been trying to find a way of being religious that’s still possible (or maybe the word is “decent”) for us. What would it be like to be religious without fudging our best thoughts, without repressing anything we have learned...? What would it be like to be religious when we can’t really believe any of that glorious stuff — creation ex nihilo, virgin birth, bodily resurrection — we used to believe? It’s not decent, I think, to pretend to believe it, or to do a fancy … [Read more...]

Atheists May Have a Point on Clergy Tax Breaks

Many news outlets have reported in recent days about a group of atheists who have filed a federal lawsuit to end tax breaks for clergy. I’m on record as strongly supporting the separation of church and state as outlined in the first part of the First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” I’ve also said a number of times over the years that I wasn’t sure the government-sponsored tax break for … [Read more...]


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