A Personal Note

As I've said in the past, I don't usually write about myself or my personal life on this blog. But every so often, something forces me to break that rule. This is one of those occasions.As of yesterday, I'm engaged to be married to the love of my life: a wonderful woman who, for the past eight years, has been my friend and companion. It's been my great good fortune and happiness to have been together with her this far, and I'm looking forward to making our commitment a formal one.I'm going … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: The New Colossus

To commemorate the Fourth of July, here's this month's Poetry Sunday. American readers will likely recognize today's poem immediately, as well they should: it's engraved on a plaque mounted on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. But what may not be as widely known are the freethought sympathies of the poet.Emma Lazarus was born in 1849 in New York City, the daughter of parents who were descended from generations of Sephardic Judaism. But according to the Jewish Virtual Library, "the Lazarus … [Read more...]

Some Items of Note

I have two short announcements to bring to your attention:• Daylight Atheism commenter Eshu has started his own blog, Bridging Schisms. If the first few posts are any indication, it ought to be a fine addition to the ranks of the atheist blogosphere. Go check it out and tell him I sent you!• John Loftus of Debunking Christianity will soon be releasing a book, Why I Became an Atheist. I haven't read it yet, but he's collected some superb endorsements. It definitely ought to be worth … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Fern Hill

For my northern hemisphere readers, the full flush of summer has arrived. In honor of the season, I've picked an appropriate poem for this installment of Poetry Sunday: the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' idyllic, evocative hymn to nature and childhood, "Fern Hill", from his 1946 collection Deaths and Entrances.Born in 1914, Dylan Thomas was named in honor of his uncle, a Unitarian minister. He moved to London in 1934 and that same year published his first volume of poetry, 18 Poems, which was highly … [Read more...]

Open Thread: Site Slowness, Continued

I'm aware that this site has been having problems loading these past few days. I assure you all, I'm just as frustrated by it as you are. In a way, it's good news - these are a sort of growing pains; the slowness is at least in part because of the steady increases in traffic I've been getting. But these response times are intolerable, and I assure you all I'm working with my host to get it fixed as soon as possible.If you're still having slowness, or if you're not, please comment about it here … [Read more...]

Site Issues

I'm aware that commenting and permalinks were broken earlier today. I think all that should now be fixed. If you notice any further bugs or problems, please let me know. … [Read more...]

New Post on Dangerous Intersection

I've posted a new essay on Dangerous Intersection, "The Supreme Court restores habeas corpus". This is a followup to my post from October 2006, "This Is Not America".This is an open thread. … [Read more...]

Book Update

It's been a long time in the making, but I've finished the tenth and final chapter of my book. Its title is "Into the Clear Air", and it discusses the process of becoming an atheist, on an individual level, and the effort to organize atheists on a political level. As before, I'm open to editorial review from my readers; if you've read previous chapters and are interested in reading this one, let me know.What's next? I want to write a brief epilogue, then I need to go back over the book, do … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Design

This month's Poetry Sunday features another classic by a famous poet who's already made an appearance: Robert Frost, the skeptical New Englander whose work has become iconic of the American experience.Frost's views on God are complex. In some of his letters, he calls himself "an old dissenter", "secular till the last go down", and said there were "no vampires, no ghouls, no demons, nothing but me". In others, he expresses belief in and even fear of God, whom he usually identifies as the … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism in the News

I just have to boast: I'm on TV!Well, sort of, anyway. Daylight Atheism commenter RiddleOfSteel has brought to my attention this clip, in which Richard Dawkins is interviewed for the Canadian TV program The Agenda. As we all know by now, my essay "The New Ten Commandments" is quoted in Dr. Dawkins' book The God Delusion, and about halfway through the clip (at around 4:10), the interviewer reads one of my ten commandments verbatim.That being said, I have to raise a substantial objection to … [Read more...]


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