Archives for 2013

Friday Night Music: Shelley Segal

In my previous Friday Night Music posts, I've just been sharing artists I like, with no overarching theme. But this is Daylight Atheism, after all, and it's about time I featured an explicitly atheist musician!I'll be the first to say that I don't usually like what you might call "message music", but Shelley Segal is the exception. I heard her sing on Freethought Radio earlier this year, and I was instantly a devotee. I bought her 2011 record An Atheist Album right away, and I've been … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Gasland

Atlas Shrugged, part I, chapter VIIIAfter Dagny and Hank's train rolls in triumph into Wyatt Junction, Ellis Wyatt invites the two of them to his house for a celebratory dinner. While they eat, he encourages Hank Rearden to move to Colorado ("This is the capital of the Renaissance") and lets them in on his own future plans:He pointed west. "The Buena Esperanza Pass. Five miles from here. Everybody's wondering what I'm doing with it. Oil shale. How many years ago was it that they gave … [Read more...]

When Bishops Tie the Doctor’s Hands

Although the media has been thrilled by some symbolic statements about poverty by Pope Francis, the inconvenient fact remains that he's changed none of the doctrines that were the biggest reason for atheists to object to Catholicism in the first place. Last week in Michigan, we saw another example of that:Tamesha Means, the plaintiff in the lawsuit, said that when she was 18 weeks pregnant her water broke and she rushed to Mercy Health, the only hospital in her county.Her fetus had … [Read more...]

A Christian vs. an Atheist: On God and Government, Part 1

Author's Note: This post kicks off the "Of God and Government" debate series, featuring me and a Christian author, Andrew Murtagh, which I intend to become a semi-regular feature on Daylight Atheism. You can read Andrew's opening statement on Patheos' Versus blog, and this is my initial reply. I'll also be appearing at the Midtown Scholar in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with Andrew on December 14 for a live debate.* * *Hello Andrew,Thanks for contacting me! I appreciate your kind words … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Job Satisfaction

Atlas Shrugged, part I, chapter VIIIThe day has finally come for the maiden voyage of the John Galt Line, and Dagny and Hank are on the platform in Cheyenne, beaming with pride, amidst a scrum of reporters and spectators. The one person who isn't there is James Taggart, even though he wanted to come, because Dagny forbade it: "If you come, Jim... I'll have you thrown out of your own Taggart station. This is one event you're not going to see." [p.222]Jim is Dagny's boss and the head of … [Read more...]

More on the Calgary Secular Church

[Author's Note: For my newest AlterNet article on atheist churches, I reached out to some friends and acquaintances who were involved with these organizations, including Korey Peters. Korey has previously written on Daylight Atheism about the Calgary Secular Church, the atheist community organization he cofounded, and was happy to help out for my new column. In fact, he gave me much more material than I could use, so here's the full interview.]When and by whom was the Calgary Secular Church … [Read more...]

New on AlterNet: The Emergence of Atheist Churches

My latest column is now up on AlterNet, Why People Are Flocking to a New Wave of Secular Communities: Atheist Churches. In it, I report on the Sunday Assembly and other so-called atheist churches now gaining in visibility and prominence: what they're all about, what's driving their growth, and what benefits they offer us. Read the excerpt below, then click through to see the rest:As the broader atheist community becomes larger and better organized, secularists and freethinkers have shown … [Read more...]

December 2013 Book Reviews

I'm a bit behind on my book reviews (again), so here's a post reviewing the two most recent that've come my way. As per my usual book review policy, I accepted review copies of both books, but no other compensation.A Modern Christmas Carol by Bob SeidenstickerMy Patheos colleague Bob Seidensticker has written a novelette, A Modern Christmas Carol, that adapts the Dickens story to advance a moral of rationalism. His Scrooge character is named Nathan Thorpe, an arrogant superstar … [Read more...]

Atlas Shrugged: Industrial Accidents

Atlas Shrugged, part I, chapter VIIIWith the John Galt Line almost ready for its maiden voyage, Dagny invites reporters to her office for a big press conference:"Now I must tell you about the opening of the John Galt Line," said Dagny. "The first train will depart from the station of Taggart Transcontinental in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at four P.M. on July twenty-second. It will be a freight special, consisting of eighty cars... It will run non-stop to Wyatt Junction, Colorado, traveling at … [Read more...]

Living Wages, Living Work: A Humanist Sermon

A few days ago, progressive blogs reported on the "McResource Line", an instantly infamous (and quickly-disappeared) website created by McDonald's to offer comically insensitive health and financial advice to its 1.8 million employees, who collectively earn $7.75 an hour on average.Among the stress-reducing tips on this site were: quit complaining about your low-wage job ("Stress hormone levels rise by 15% after ten minutes of complaining"), chew gum, sing songs, and go to church ("People … [Read more...]