The Desert III

(Author's Note: "The Desert" is a work of short fiction in several parts. If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to go back and read the previous chapters so that you know what's going on.)III: The TraditionalistI plodded on through the desert. The heat was mind-blasting in its intensity, and I walked in a shimmering haze. My world had narrowed to placing one foot in front of the other, following the faint, almost invisible path that led onward.But the white blast of noon … [Read more...]

The Desert II

(Author's Note: "The Desert" is a work of short fiction in several parts. If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to go back and read the previous chapter so that you know what's going on.)II: The PenitentThe instant I crossed the boundary, the heat of the desert rose up to engulf me. It was suffocating, practically a solid thing, surrounding me like a wall of burning iron. The sun beat down white-hot from above, so hot it seemed to have mass, and the air rippled and … [Read more...]

The Desert

(Author's Note: In the last post of 2006, I mentioned possible plans to write a serialized work of fiction on this site. This new series is not that work, which still lies in the future. However, it's something different from what I normally write here, and I thought it was an interesting opportunity to try something new. I'm curious what readers think of it, if they have any thoughts to volunteer.)I: PrologueIt was a late-summer day at my home, and as on most summer days, I was outdoors in … [Read more...]

Open Thread and Revised Comment Policy

I've updated Daylight Atheism's comment policy. I felt the old one was too vague, and I wanted to be clear in enumerating the types of comments I consider abusive. If you're a regular visitor, you probably have no need to read this, but it's there just in case.I'd also like to announce that Daylight Atheism passed its one millionth hit yesterday. I don't think it will take as long to get to the next million. :)This is an open thread. Comments and discussion are welcome. … [Read more...]

Do You Really Believe That? (III)

The Ten PlaguesThe third installment of "Do You Really Believe That?" will examine another famous story of the Old Testament, the ten plagues of Egypt. As the Book of Exodus tells it, the Israelite prophet Moses was chosen by God to set his people free from their long slavery in Egypt. But when the hard-hearted Pharaoh refused to release them, God sent ten plagues upon the land, each more terrible than the last, until the Egyptians' resistance finally crumbled.These are the famous … [Read more...]

The Religious Right Hates America

Via Talking Points Memo, I've come across a story I still find almost unbelievable. It happened at the "Values Voter" debate for Republican presidential candidates that took place last week in Fort Lauderdale.This event was skipped by the major candidates, Rudolph Giuliani, Fred Thompson, John McCain and Mitt Romney, which left seven minor candidates who spent the evening attempting to one-up each other in competing for the Republican base. If you, readers, have ever wondered about the roughly … [Read more...]

Golden Atheists

The popular aphorism "there are no atheists in foxholes" implies that people can only be atheists in times of comfort and security, and that if the end of life is in view, they will inevitably cry out to God to save them. I wish everyone who uses this thoughtless and insulting slur could meet Claire Hull:Claire Hull rarely misses a Sunday at church. That's remarkable for two reasons: She's a 91-year-old with a replacement hip, and she's an atheist.Yes, you heard right: Ms. Hull is a … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Selections from "Sunday Morning"

For the fourth installment of Daylight Atheism's Poetry Sunday, I'm presenting selections from the poem "Sunday Morning" by Wallace Stevens. In this work, Stevens' nameless narrator finds happiness and comfort in a humanist philosophy, expressing the view that the only good we can expect to receive is from our fellow human beings, and that this world provides all the beauty we could ever wish or ask for.Wallace Stevens was born in Pennsylvania in 1879 and attended Harvard University, and after … [Read more...]

Theocracy Watch XII: The Army of God

The topic of today's installment of Theocracy Watch is a lengthy one, and I don't know if I can do full justice to it, but I will try. I've written in the past about how Christian fundamentalists disturbingly portray themselves and their mission in the language of war and violence, but this is a far worse and more ominous story: Christian fundamentalists who have infiltrated the U.S. military itself and are openly using its power and command structure to advance their noxious goals.This … [Read more...]

Opting Out

Humans are communal creatures, and we have been ever since we roamed the African savannas. Our greatest evolutionary advantage is our intelligence, but even the world's greatest genius would probably find that to be little help if forced to survive in total isolation. Intelligence is inherently a social adaptation; it works best among groups that can share ideas, pass down knowledge, and brainstorm solutions to problems.Since we have always lived in clans and tribes, it's not surprising that … [Read more...]


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