On the American East Coast where I live, midnight is officially past, and that means the date is now February 10, 2007. This is a date of great significance to me, because it was on February 10, 2006 that I officially launched this blog with its inaugural post, “Welcome to Daylight Atheism“. Much to my astonishment, this site has now marked its first anniversary!
The past year has come and gone with astonishing swiftness. It seems like only yesterday that I published that first post. Immediately after doing that, I sent out a flood of e-mails to my most treasured or memorable correspondents, people whose acquaintance I had made over e-mail via Ebon Musings in the several years prior to the creation of this site, and then waited breathlessly for the first hits and comments to roll in. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed, and ever since then, it’s been my honor and privilege to preside over this site and cultivate its steady growth of readership. Writing for it has taken a great investment of effort and time, but every minute has been a labor of love for me, and I would do nothing differently if I had the chance to start all over.
This past year has been a time of tremendous change for me, both personal and professional. After leaving the halcyon days of college and graduate school behind, I embarked on my first full-time job last summer. The change in schedule, and the sharp decrease in my free time, came as a shock at first, but I feel I’ve adapted well and am now thriving in my new environment (and newfound independence). Happily, I’ve found ways to schedule my free time so as to barely affect my blogging output at all.
Though I understand that keeping a blog isn’t for everyone, I’ve found that writing for this site has been an enormously rewarding endeavor. It gives me great satisfaction to take the philosophy of freethought I’ve spent several years fine-tuning out into the “real world”, to apply it to current events and issues of immediate concern. This is a viewpoint that has been badly underrepresented and underserved by the traditional media, and it’s my pleasure to provide it in their stead.
As I’ve always said, atheists stand for positive and valuable traits – traits like skepticism of authority, an evidence-based view of world affairs, a morality of individual conscience informed by reason, and an unapologetic willingness to stand against popular prejudices – the very traits I think our society badly needs more of. And we are organizing, and our voice and our numbers are growing. We have nowhere to go but up, and it’s been my honor to play a part, however humble, in that effort. If there is such a thing as a spirit of the times, I think ours is a hopeful one. Despite all the pain and chaos of the past few years, and despite all the challenges that still await us, something good may yet emerge from it all. I feel very much as if there is a new enlightenment taking shape, and if its promise is fulfilled, glorious days may lie ahead for us.
In commemoration of Daylight Atheism’s one-year anniversary, I have two more announcements to make. First, as you’ve all undoubtedly noticed, is the new site masthead. I’ve been mulling over a more graphically-oriented site design since the beginning, but the credit for actually implementing it goes to regular commenter James Bradbury, who generously donated his time and effort and showed great patience with my repeated change requests. (Another commenter also assisted; I don’t know if that person wanted to be named, but they’re welcome to step forward if they wish, and I’ll be sure to see that they also receive the credit they deserve.) My most sincere thanks, James! I’m grateful for your help. Reader feedback, as always, is welcomed. Keen-eyed readers may also have already noticed the “Bookmark This” links now below the comment form in each post, which I encourage everyone to use. Suggestions for other sites to include in addition to or instead of the existing ones are also welcome.
And now the second announcement: I have a special gift for my readers. I’ve always been eager to branch out into other media, and recently, I was interviewed by Rich Orman for his podcast Dogma Free America. That interview has now been posted on his site and is available for downloading. In it, we discuss witch camps in Africa, the faith-based initiative, the media depiction of atheism, and other issues of concern to freethinkers. If you’ve ever wanted to actually hear me and not just read my words, now’s your chance! Even beside the interview with me, Dogma Free America is a promising program that I’ve enjoyed listening to so far, and I encourage you to check out some of the other episodes as well.
That is all I have to say for now, and I thank you, readers, for your indulgence this far. As always, I have an ever-growing list of topics to write about, including some major news items of note just this month. I’ve spent enough time looking back, and it’s time to return to my work. Onward!