Book Update

I apologize for it having taken this long, but I have important news to report: I've finished editing the complete rough draft of my book, and I think it's now in a form ready for publication. If you've read any of the chapters so far and would like to see the complete draft, e-mail me or leave a comment in this thread.In its current form, the book is approximately 78,000 words. This compares favorably with the current atheist bestsellers, while still being short enough to be read fairly … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Ozymandias

Today's Poetry Sunday features one of the classics of Western literature, written by one of its greatest and most fearlessly freethinking poets. Percy Bysshe Shelley was born in 1792 and wrote at the zenith of the English Romantic period. In 1811, while enrolled at Oxford, Shelley and his fellow student T.J. Hogg published a pamphlet titled The Necessity of Atheism (a title that's given much inspiration to others). This was a major scandal, and when Shelley refused to recant, he was expelled. … [Read more...]

Vignette from the New York Subway

Presented without further comment:Last night, when I got on the subway, I noticed an older, balding white man wearing a white T-shirt. The front of his shirt read, in multicolored block letters, "I'm so happy I'm saved," and the back read, over a backdrop of flames, "I won't have to spend eternity in the lake of fire. P.S.: There won't be a drink of water there!"As the train pulled away from the station, a young black man entered the car. He announced that he was down on his luck, was trying … [Read more...]

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 … [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...]


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