Weekend Coffee: February 22

• Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and science writer, has terminal cancer. Here, he writes a beautiful, elegiac, deeply humanist essay about confronting the prospect of death and what he intends to do with the time he has left.• This can't end well: In response to the increasing threat of ISIS, which is drawing Muslim extremists to its cause from all over the world, Western Christians, most with military experience, are traveling to Iraq and Syria to form an opposing Christian … [Read more...]

Weekend Bonus Music: Hard Believer

I was going to put up a Friday Night Music post, but I've been traveling this weekend and didn't have the time. So, here's a weekend bonus with two great songs.My post on First Aid Kit two weeks ago was popular, but as Jeremy Shaffer pointed out in the comments, they don't just make lovely music - they're unapologetically secular, too. Listen to the lyrics of this beautiful song, "Hard Believer", from their debut studio album The Big Black and the Blue:And for a 2-for-1, I was elated … [Read more...]

Alabama Speaking Recap

MobileSSATalkFeb2015

This past weekend, I spoke at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, courtesy of the local Secular Student Alliance affiliate, SSA at USA. This was a milestone for me: the first time I've ever been invited to speak about atheism in the Deep South!Making a public case for atheism in Alabama may seem like going into the lions' den, but as you can see for yourself, I'm alive and well. (The SSA at USA has hosted other speakers before me, and the group's president, Amye, told me that all of … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: First Aid Kit

Johanna and Klara Söderberg, two sisters from Stockholm with amazing voices, make up the indie-folk duo First Aid Kit. I've been listening to them around the clock since coming across them late last year. Here's a track from their lush, orchestral, country-influenced 2014 album, Stay Gold: … [Read more...]

Video: My Secular Cults Panel at FtBCon 3

FtBCon

Last night, I participated in an online panel on secular cults as part of FtBCon 3. I discussed Ayn Rand and Objectivism, and how a philosophy purportedly based on reason became a rigid ideology the equal of any fundamentalist religion. Together with Russell Glasser, Karen Stollznow, Vyckie Garrison and Angie Jackson, we also talked about homeschooling, multi-level marketing, utopian communes, New Age beliefs, and more. If you missed it, here's the full video:Thanks to my co-panelists … [Read more...]

Reminder: Secular Cults Panel at FtBCon Tonight!

FtBCon

Quick reminder: Tonight, January 24, I'll be speaking on a panel as part of the free online conference FtBCon 3. The topic of the hour is "Secular Cults", and together with my co-panelists Russell Glasser, Karen Stollznow, Vyckie Garrison and Angie Jackson, we'll talk about multi-level marketing, homeschooling, self-help - and, of course, Ayn Rand and Objectivism.The panel will be streamed live over Google Hangouts and will be archived on YouTube afterwards. Here's the panel description page … [Read more...]

Upcoming Travel and Speaking Schedule

It's a new year, and I've got some events lined up. Here's my schedule for the next few months:• First and foremost: this coming weekend, January 23-25, is FtBCon 3, a free online conference organized by the good folks of Freethought Blogs. On Saturday the 24th at 6:30 PM Eastern time, I'll be participating in a panel on secular cults, where I'll be discussing (who else?) Ayn Rand. You can view the full schedule of talks here.• Soon thereafter, I'll be in Mobile, Alabama, … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: January 18

• From Valerie Tarico, how religion can let loose humanity's most violent impulses. A thoughtful essay that almost perfectly captures my views on the link between religion and violence.• "Tim is patient, Tim is kind. Tim does not envy, Tim does not boast, Tim is not proud. Tim is not rude, Tim is not self-seeking, Tim is not easily angered, Tim keeps no record of wrongs. Tim does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth."• Alex Malarkey, a boy who wrote a … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: January 10

Coffee

• A can't-miss account of Charlie Hebdo's first editorial meeting since last week's horrific attack.• One-man outrage band Bill Donohue didn't kill anyone at Charlie Hebdo, but he's understanding and sympathetic towards the Muslims who did. They made fun of the Pope, after all!• "The right to blaspheme religion is one of the most elemental exercises of political liberalism."• The "radical feminism which has assaulted the Church and society since the 1960s has left … [Read more...]

Threads of 2014

Mixed Media Painting (Detail) by Choichun Leung / Dumbo Arts Cen

As 2014 draws to a close, it's time for the annual wrapup. Here are the major threads that I kept returning to on Daylight Atheism over the past year:The New Civil RightsIn January, I reviewed Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, the most important book in American politics of the last decade, about the prison-industrial complex and how it preserves de facto racial segregation.But that was soon eclipsed. Over the summer, the country was riveted by the fatal shooting of Michael … [Read more...]


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