Facebook’s Fake News Poisons Democracy

In the past couple of months, I've noticed a significant dropoff in page views on Daylight Atheism. From what I've found out, it's not just me and it's not even just Patheos. It's an industry-wide problem, affecting media companies large and small, and it's being driven by Facebook changing its algorithm to deemphasize links to external sites in favor of native content, like photos and status updates from your friends.In a sense, this is an understandable business decision. Whenever you see … [Read more...]

Why America Needs Identity Politics

The debate about what lessons American progressives need to take from the 2016 election is just beginning. One of the first shots in that war was fired this month in an editorial by Mark Lilla, "The End of Identity Liberalism", that implores us to stop thinking or talking about race and gender so much. It leaves a lot to criticize:In recent years American liberalism has slipped into a kind of moral panic about racial, gender and sexual identity that has distorted liberalism's message and … [Read more...]

The Moral Ruin of Evangelicalism

According to exit polls, 81% of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. It's safe to say that most of them are happy with the outcome. But there's one question they may not have considered: What price did they pay for this victory?An article by Robert P. Jones, head of the Public Religion Research Institute, gives us the answer. They won the election, and all it cost them was their convictions:In 2011 and again just ahead of the election, PRRI asked Americans … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Love & Kindness

The next few years are going to be a dark time. I like to think that I'm a generally optimistic person, but I've found precious little to be cheerful about in these past two weeks, and giving up on activism entirely is a thought that's crossed my mind. In the months to come, I feel as though we're all going to need reminders that there's goodness in the world and that it's worth defending.So, let's have a thread devoted to love and kindness. This is the place to share something that gives … [Read more...]

You Get What You Vote For

With a Republican Congress and president set to be seated in 2017, it's a good bet that all the coverage gains of Obamacare will be rolled back. Paul Ryan has been open about his desire to dismantle every piece of safety-net legislation since the Great Society, and it's likely that he's going to get his wish. That's very bad news for the residents of depressed Clay County, Kentucky:For Freida Lockaby, an unemployed 56-year-old woman who lives with her dog in an aging mobile home in … [Read more...]

Searching for the Path Ahead

If you've been paying attention, you may have noticed that my blog output has been spotty since the election. Part of that was the expected emotional low I felt in the days immediately afterward, but I'm mostly past that. However, I have an admission to make. I'm stuck at a dilemma, and I don't see a way to move past it.Here's the problem I'm having: I don't know if I want to keep writing about politics. Truthfully, I don't see what the point is.I have no doubt that I could spend the … [Read more...]

SF/F Saturday: Matthew Swift

We be light, we be life, we be fire! We sing electric flame, we rumble underground wind, we dance heaven! Come be we and be free! We be blue electric angels.—anonymous spam mail, source unknownI'm always on the lookout for new sci-fi and fantasy series. Here's one I heard about from the Borderlands Books newsletter: the Matthew Swift urban fantasy series by Kate Griffin. I read the first book, A Madness of Angels, and liked it enough to immediately go on to read the … [Read more...]

Fellow White People, We Need to Talk

There are going to be countless post-mortems written about the 2016 election and what lessons we need to learn from it. Here's my contribution.Ultimately, there was nothing magical about Trump the candidate. He didn't win over huge numbers of Obama voters to his cause, he didn't tap into a hitherto unknown faction of the electorate, he didn't excite or energize people who were formerly uninterested in politics. He got about the same number of votes that Republican candidates always get, from … [Read more...]

The America I Thought I Knew

[Note: I've still got a lot of raw emotions, and this post is written in the spirit of catharsis. If that's not what you need right now, feel free to skip it. You may also like this one: Dear America, Stop Gaslighting Me]Over the last few days, I've been cycling back and forth through all the stages of grief, trying to come to terms with what's happened. I've come to realize that the reason that last week's election results were such a devastating and unexpected blow - even besides the … [Read more...]

What to Do Now

This is a guest post by my wife Elizabeth, who blogs and podcasts at Political Flavors. Follow her on Twitter at @MissCherryPi.I'm an optimist and so Trump's election came as a huge shock to me. I was so sure Hillary Clinton would be our next president I never even considered what this would feel like. On election night, family and friends who knew of my certainty in a Clinton victory texted me things like "I'm scared. Please reassure me." and I responded "Don't worry, everything's fine! It … [Read more...]