Year's End, And a Preview

As the final hours of 2006 draw to a close, it's a fitting time to look back on the passing year and sum it all up. Without a doubt, 2006 has been an eventful year for nonbelievers: the downfall of Ted Haggard, the conviction of Kent Hovind, the spectacular defeat of the Republican party in the midterm elections, the rise of the freethought movement with several best-selling books by prominent atheists leading the way, and more.We have made great gains this year, and despite the great violence … [Read more...]

Setting the Record Straight

Allow me to be absolutely clear about this:I am an atheist. That means I do not believe in any gods. I am not just an "aYahwehist", lacking belief only in the god of the ancient Hebrews, or an "anAllahist", lacking belief only in the god of the Muslims. The set of gods in which I do not believe is not limited to the anthropomorphic ones that look and act like humans, nor is it limited to the set of gods believed in by fundamentalists who take literally every word of their respective … [Read more...]

All Days Are Holy

The word "holiday" comes directly from the phrase "holy day". This designation, in turn, is based on the curious notion that a particular event happening on a certain date forever afterward gives that date some special sacredness or magical quality. The day of Halloween, for example, was once believed to be a time when barriers between our world and the other world grew thin and restless spirits could return to haunt the land of the living, and other supernatural events are often tied to the … [Read more...]

Return of the Carnival of the Liberals

On January 3, the Carnival of the Liberals will be returning to Daylight Atheism for its 29th edition. There's still plenty of time and plenty of space for submissions, so get writing and send in the very best of your unapologetically liberal thought! All topics are welcome, but I'll look with special favor on entries fitting any of the following criteria:With the results of the November midterm elections in, progressives have won a great victory in the United States. Now it's up to us to … [Read more...]

True Colors

The holidays are traditionally a time for reconciliation, but the Anglican church isn't taking the lesson of their own religion to heart. As reported in Beliefnet and elsewhere, it is now official: the 77-million-member church is in the process of breaking apart over the issue of how to treat gay congregants.Last week, two large, wealthy, historic Episcopal parishes in the state of Virginia - Truro Church and the Falls Church, which date back to colonial times and together have more than 4,000 … [Read more...]

Popular Delusions V: Santa Claus

I write the Popular Delusions series to critically investigate widely believed pseudosciences and superstitions. And while the topic of my latest entry in this series may seem odd, I think it fits - for after all, are there not tens of millions around the globe who are taught to believe in Santa Claus or other seasonal gift-givers? There are many pseudosciences believed by adults that do not command such a wide following.The figure of Santa Claus is uniquely paradoxical for atheists. On the … [Read more...]

Please Excuse Our Mess

Daylight Atheism was down for about two hours earlier today due to a coding error I made, so my apologies for that. Nothing was lost or damaged, and the site should now be restored to full functionality.The good news is that the reason I've been revising code is to handle the steadily increased traffic this site has been experiencing. Daylight Atheism is now seeing over 2,000 visitors per day on average, and recorded its 300,000th hit earlier this month. Both total and unique hit counts have … [Read more...]

A Freethinkers' Yule Sermon

Throughout the Western world, the end-of-the-year holidays are a time for celebrating and making merry. Our most time-honored traditions encourage us to come together at this time in commemoration and gratitude for the blessings that life has to offer and the good fortune we have enjoyed during the year.But even as we are encouraged to rejoice over the good things in life, the holiday season brings with it no shortage of reminders that there are many others who are not so fortunate. We are so … [Read more...]

The War on Christmas: Here We Go Again

In a post earlier this week, I wrote about how retailers and advertisers play on the sentiments associated with the holiday season as a way to make money, and how the religious right is actually, unbelievably, accelerating this trend by demanding the commercialization of their most sacred symbols. However, I failed to note at that time that the religious right is not stopping at encouraging others to commercialize Christmas. On the contrary, they are actively taking part in it themselves. As … [Read more...]

The Reason for the Season

As the solstice holiday draws near, the annual complaints by the religious right about the alleged "War on Christmas" are ramping up in volume, as usual. Every store greeter who says "Season's Greetings" is bitterly denounced; every municipality that erects a "holiday tree" is reviled with a level of shrillness that used to be reserved for schismatics and heretics. Some religious right figures such as Jerry Falwell are actually encouraging their followers to boycott stores that do not … [Read more...]


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