Daniel Dennett recently published a fascinating study on nonbelieving clergy: pastors and ministers from various denominations, both liberal and conservative, who’ve either lost their faith or hold beliefs that they know their superiors would condemn as highly unorthodox. Naturally, these people remain in the closet, often getting up before their congregations every week to preach beliefs that they no longer hold to themselves. It’s easy to condemn this as hypocritical – and indeed, one of the ministers freely applies that… Read more

Editor’s Note: Last month, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the next in that series of interviews, which will be posted each weekend. Please welcome Ergo Ratio! Tell us… Read more

Although science progresses through reason and experiment, it’s fundamentally driven by curiosity. The impulse that motivates science is the same one that motivates explorers to trek into uncharted wildernesses and climb unconquered mountains […] Read more

John Hartwig was the principal of a private elementary school run by the conservative Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Last month, he was fired by a church council. The reasons for his dismissal are murky, but they appear to have something to do with this: Hartwig’s father, a former pastor, authored a document years ago questioning Lutheran doctrine that says women shall not have authority over men. Church members say Hartwig, who has been principal since the summer of 2003, was… Read more

You’ve probably heard of Constance McMillen, a lesbian student at a Mississippi high school who wanted to bring her girlfriend as her date to her senior prom this year. The school officials, not even attempting to disguise their bigotry, refused to grant permission – and then canceled the entire prom rather than face a discrimination lawsuit which they’d be certain to lose. (In fact McMillen and her family did bring a suit, and the judge did rule that she had… Read more

Editor’s Note: Last month, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the next in that series of interviews, which will be posted each weekend. Please welcome Thom Wynn! Tell us… Read more

So, if this is the sort of thing that interests you, I’ve created a page for Daylight Atheism on Facebook. If you’d like to sign up as a fan, do so with my blessing, and help spread the word! At the moment, the page contains nothing but the RSS feed for this site. That may change, if I can think of any worthwhile information about me or about the site to put there. Suggestions welcomed. Read more

Every so often, I get a letter I just have to share – whether because it’s so eloquent and insightful that I want more people to read it, or because the author deserves to be roundly mocked by as many people as possible. Here’s an example of the latter. I got this e-mail the other day. It starts out as seemingly thoughtful praise from someone who’s obviously taken the time to read my website; then it abruptly takes a different… Read more

By Sarah Braasch In loving memory of my baby brother, Jacob Michael Braasch (01/28/86 – 02/02/10) In an internet café in downtown Rabat in Morocco, a middle-aged, middle-class Muslim woman told me that her fondest wish would be to have all of the Arab nations rise up as one and slaughter every Jew on the planet. A young and brilliant male Chinese engineer and co-worker at a small high-tech firm in the San Fernando Valley in California told me that… Read more

I just finished reading Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s book on what we can do to improve the status of women worldwide. One of the book’s major arguments is that, despite their opposition to abortion and contraception, religious groups often do more good than secular liberals give them credit for: Religious conservatives… have also saved lives in vast numbers by underwriting and operating clinics in some of the neediest parts of Africa and Asia. When you travel… Read more

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