The Sewers of Hate

Last week, James Adkisson was sentenced to life in prison. Adkisson was the right-wing terrorist who went on an armed rampage against the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist church in Knoxville last July, killing two parishioners, Greg McKendry and Linda Kraeger. He had intended to kill many more, but the people of the congregation, showing uncommon courage and heroism, swiftly subdued and disarmed him and held him until the police arrived.Adkisson's manifesto has just been released (HT: … [Read more...]

Announcing the AHS

I'm pleased to announce the launch of the National Federation of Atheist, Humanist and Secular Student Societies, an umbrella organization representing freethinking student groups from schools and universities throughout the United Kingdom. Similar to the U.S. Secular Student Alliance, the AHS will do the vital work of organizing nonbelievers where it's most important - among the young generations that will be the vanguard of the future - and presenting our ideas to those who are most likely to … [Read more...]

The Amorphous Enemy

In a previous post, "The Soft Landing", I wrote about the future and about one potential scenario that I find disturbing: that militant, fundamentalist churches will grow at the expense of moderate and liberal ones, leaving behind a world split between atheism and angry, intolerant religion. In this post, I'll again look to the future, this time to outline another possibility that I find worrisome in a different way.In this scenario, both moderate and fundamentalist religion will decline … [Read more...]

Little-Known Bible Verses XII: Communism

"Atheism and communism always seem to go hand in hand," begins a letter to the editor I recently found through a Google alert. And though the fear of communism has died down since the crumbling of the Soviet Union, the prejudice that this writer was parroting has affected our politics for decades.In the Cold War, when anti-communist fear and paranoia were rampant, we sought to differentiate ourselves from the enemy in every way possible. It was this fear that spurred the U.S. government to … [Read more...]

The Liberty to Blaspheme

Considering how often I've written about this topic in the past, I had some reluctance to return to it, fearing I wouldn't have anything new or unique to say this time around. But the right of free speech is once again under assault, and whenever that happens, I believe friends of liberty around the world have a moral duty to man the barricades and raise our voices against the barbarous fanatics who would take it away.So, here's the story in a nutshell (HT: Andrew Sullivan). Johann Hari, the … [Read more...]

Love Is No Sin

In Second Corinthians, the Bible contains a widely cited teaching against interfaith relationships:"Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? ...Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you." … [Read more...]

Bands of Iron

On a wintry day late last year, I visited the Museum of Natural History in New York City. While touring the geology wing, I came across this boulder-sized chunk of a rock formation:A banded iron formation from the geology exhibit of the Museum of Natural History. Photo credit to Erich Vieth.It was out in the open with no ropes or glass around it, inviting visitors to touch it. I brushed a hand across its polished surface, which was as smooth and cool as a sheet of glass. … [Read more...]

Forms and Essences

In the past, I've written about the origins of religion and how belief in gods likely arises from one of humanity's most common psychological fallacies, the tendency to attribute agency where none exists. (When was the last time you got angry at your computer and felt as if it was trying to balk you? It happens to me much too often - even when I know there's no one inside there.)There's another, related tendency that often manifests in religious belief, which is that human beings are concrete, … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism: Anniversary #3

Oh yes - it's that time again. As difficult as it is for me to believe, today officially makes it three years I've been writing for Daylight Atheism.This past year has been the most eventful one yet. I finished writing my first book; met a fellow freethinker in an unlikely setting; was attacked by a sitting member of the U.S. Senate (still a proud moment); and more. As well, I continue to be encouraged by the thriving, friendly community here. It's the commenters that make a site what it is, … [Read more...]

The Renaissance of Atheist Evangelism

In one of my first posts on Daylight Atheism, I asked whether atheists should evangelize. My conclusion was that, while it would be foolish to go door-to-door on Sunday or pass out fliers on street corners, we can and should appear in forums like TV, radio and print media to press our case before the public.In the two years since I wrote that post, I'm glad to see that many prominent atheist groups have come to feel the same way. In the U.S., there's the Freedom from Religion … [Read more...]


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