The Secular Census and Women in Atheism

RedAndWhite

The American Secular Census is releasing statistics about the data they've gathered so far, and one of the first articles concerns women's experiences in secular groups. There's a lot here that's worth commenting on.First, the necessary caveats: The Secular Census isn't a rigorous survey with random sampling of the population, but is open to anyone who wants to sign up and answer the questions, so there's an element of self-selection which could have influenced the results. On the other … [Read more...]

Upcoming Travel Schedule

Here's where I'm planning to be in the next few months. If you're going to be in one of these places at the same time and are interested in meeting up, let me know!• Coming up soon, I'm going to Washington, D.C. on February 17, for the Sierra Club's Forward on Climate Rally. The rally itself is on Sunday, but I'll be in town most of that weekend.• I haven't made a definite decision yet, but I'm considering going to the American Atheists' 50th anniversary convention in Austin, … [Read more...]

Should I Cash a Christian Charity’s Check?

My desk has a drawer full of free address labels, pens, and other cheap gimmicks sent by charities who hope that sending a gift would make the recipient of their letters feel obligated to give something back. (It doesn't; I plan my giving in advance and never respond to solicitations.) But a letter I got in the mail this week was a new gambit:This mailing came from an evangelical Christian charity (I know - bad targeting on their part). Enclosed with the letter, as you can see, was a $2 … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: The Religious Right’s Failed Predictions

HaroldCamping

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, Notable (and Hilarious) Examples of the Christian Right's Failed Prophecies. In it, I examine the track record of religious-right culture warriors who've claimed that their correct understanding of God's will gives them insight into the future. While some have prophesied the coming apocalypse, others have staked a claim to advance knowledge of worldly events. Needless to say, most of them haven't done all that well. Read the excerpt below, then click … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: Bring on the Autonomous Cars!

SelfDrivingCar

In a previous post, I wrote about the extremely cool technology of 3D printers. Today I want to geek out about another imminent technological advance I'm even more personally excited for: the self-driving car.This technology is exactly what it sounds like: a robotic car that senses its environment with ultrasound, radar and computer vision, automatically avoiding obstacles, obeying signs and traffic signals and following GPS routes to a programmed destination. But the transformative … [Read more...]

The Lay of the Land

Canyon

I've been writing about atheism since 2001 (yes, really!). Since moving to Patheos is a pretty big milestone, now seems like a good time to pause and look back on how far atheism in America has come in that time.When I first started writing, or even as recently as when I wrote "Unapologetic" in 2005, there was scarcely any atheist movement to speak of. There were groups like American Atheists and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, but they were smaller, obscure, and mostly siloed off from … [Read more...]

No Greater Power

PlanetEdge

When you arise from the abyssal depths of self-chosen slavery, when you step out from the obscuring shadow of superstition, you begin to see the world as it truly is. And with the clear sight that atheism grants, the next step follows naturally. Once we know what beliefs are false, we have to begin the much harder task of discovering what's true. I'd like to offer a signpost in that quest.As human beings, we find ourselves in a world not of our own making. But although we didn't choose it, … [Read more...]

The Shadow and the Flame

GiordanoBruno

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: I'm an atheist because I consider myself a deeply moral person.If religion were just a collection of benign cultural practices, of special clothes and distinct cuisine and silly rituals on the weekends, I wouldn't spend so much time writing about it. I'd still consider beliefs about gods and the afterlife to be false, but I'd probably let it pass and find something more worthwhile to do with my life.But religion isn't benign. It's a cause … [Read more...]

Breaking the Surface

Abyss

Imagine what it's like to drown in deep water.I've never had the experience, but I can guess what it must be like: the silence, the darkness closing in, the crushing pressure. It's not a fate I would wish on anyone. But when I look around at the world, I'm convinced that there are millions of people who are suffering something like this every day of their lives. What's more, they've chosen it for themselves.I've written about how religion creates imaginary crimes, turning a vast … [Read more...]

Welcome to Daylight Atheism

A sudden wind parts the mist, and where only yesterday there was nothing, there now stands a tall and stately mansion. Through the arched windows, you can catch glimpses of the rooms within:An entrance foyer, where deep, soft chairs gathered around a brick fireplace welcome old friends and shelter storm-tossed travelers...A majestic library, where ceiling-high shelves filled with well-worn, lovingly-tended books overlook reading tables of polished wood...A domed observatory, a … [Read more...]


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