The Case for a Creator: Facts About VD

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 1We pick up where we left off, with self-proclaimed former skeptic Lee Strobel interviewing a rural Appalachian community whose inhabitants were violently resisting the teaching of evolution. As we'll see, Strobel believes a person can be fully justified in advocating creationism. Yet it seems improbable that these isolated, deeply religious communities were thoroughly acquainted with the complicated philosophical and scientific arguments he deploys later in the … [Read more...]

The Twisted Moral of Passover

This week is the holiday of Passover, one of Judaism's high holy days which commemorates the ancient Israelites' deliverance from slavery in Egypt. Although the archaeological evidence for captivity and exodus is lacking, this story has become a fundamental part of Jewish cultural consciousness, as well as a symbol and an inspiration to others. In pre-Civil War America, for example, the Exodus mythology played a role in the abolitionist movement, as African slaves and their allies looked to … [Read more...]

Congratulations, Iowa!

Last week, friends of equality had some very welcome news: the Supreme Court of Iowa has unanimously struck down a ban on gay marriage in that state. No blue state this, no liberal haven like California or Massachusetts that is so often demonized by conservatives and religious right bigots: Iowa is part of the mythologized "American heartland", a midwestern swing state whose electoral votes went to George W. Bush in 2004 (although Barack Obama won it in 2008, and Democrats currently control both … [Read more...]

Sunday Open Thread: Tell Your Deconversion Story

Of all the essays I've written for Ebon Musings, one of my favorites is "Into the Clear Air": a chronicle of the stages of deconversion, as told by people who were going through them.What shines through from these testimonies again and again is the pure relief, the freedom experienced by people who left behind their oppressive, confining religious beliefs and found exhilaration and joy in finally taking control of their own lives. Closely intertwined with this feeling is a newly arisen sense … [Read more...]

The Case for a Creator: Angry Hillbillies

The Case for a Creator, Chapter 1The first chapter of Case opens with an anecdote from Strobel's days as a journalist for the Chicago Tribune, a story from the 1970s when he went to West Virginia to cover a story of rural communities rioting over evolutionary content in their schools' textbooks. In some cases that anger had spilled over into open violence, with angry locals shooting at school buses or firebombing classrooms, and at least two people had been seriously injured.Like many … [Read more...]

Rebutting The Case for a Creator

In my third anniversary post, I discussed some of the directions I'd like to take Daylight Atheism in during this year. I mentioned that I've always admired Fred Clark (a.k.a. Slacktivist) for his methodical, page-by-page deconstruction of the Left Behind series from a progressive Christian viewpoint. It's a very cool idea, and a successful idea, one that I thought worthy of imitation. I wouldn't want to go after Left Behind myself, as that ground is already well-trodden. But there are plenty of … [Read more...]

Life Goes On

"If the Devil's Time were above a thousand years ago, pronounced short, what may we suppose it now in our Time? Surely we are not a thousand years distant from those happy thousand years of rest and peace and (which is better) Holiness reserved for the People of God in the latter days; and if we are not a thousand years yet short of that Golden Age, there is cause to think, that we are not an hundred."—Cotton Mather, The Wonders of the Invisible World, 1692In every era since the … [Read more...]

Strange and Curious Sects: Koreshanity

Cyrus Reed Teed, a.k.a. the Prophet Koresh. Public-domain image from Wikipedia.It seems that every religion has at least one signature bizarre belief: whether it be that the messiah is an American soldier who will return from across the ocean bringing marvelous cargo, or that human beings are possessed by the ghosts of murdered aliens, or that God wants us to transform him into crackers and consume him each week. But for sheer extravagant, defiant wackiness in the face of obvious … [Read more...]

Poetry Sunday: Leaves

Today's Poetry Sunday features the American poet Sara Teasdale. Like other female writers of the nineteenth century, she lived a quiet and reclusive life, yet was acclaimed in the wider world for compositions showing far greater skill and beauty than her seemingly limited perspective should have allowed. Unlike her predecessors, however, she lived to see the feminist movement take shape and win some resounding victories. One biographer wrote that she spoke for "women emerging from the humility … [Read more...]

How to Think Critically: Memory & Confabulation

The reliability of eyewitness accounts is one of the bedrock beliefs of our society. In ancient cultures - and in some modern cultures that still follow ancient laws - some crimes could only be proven by eyewitness testimonies. One of the most infamous examples was Pakistan's Hudood Ordinances, which mandated that allegations of rape could only be proven by four eyewitness accounts; otherwise, the woman was to be punished for making false accusations. Even in our supposedly more enlightened … [Read more...]


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