Return of the Carnival of the Liberals

On January 3, the Carnival of the Liberals will be returning to Daylight Atheism for its 29th edition. There's still plenty of time and plenty of space for submissions, so get writing and send in the very best of your unapologetically liberal thought! All topics are welcome, but I'll look with special favor on entries fitting any of the following criteria: With the results of the November midterm elections in, progressives have won a great victory in the United States. Now it's up to us to … [Read more...]

True Colors

The holidays are traditionally a time for reconciliation, but the Anglican church isn't taking the lesson of their own religion to heart. As reported in Beliefnet and elsewhere, it is now official: the 77-million-member church is in the process of breaking apart over the issue of how to treat gay congregants. Last week, two large, wealthy, historic Episcopal parishes in the state of Virginia - Truro Church and the Falls Church, which date back to colonial times and together have more than 4,000 … [Read more...]

Popular Delusions V: Santa Claus

I write the Popular Delusions series to critically investigate widely believed pseudosciences and superstitions. And while the topic of my latest entry in this series may seem odd, I think it fits - for after all, are there not tens of millions around the globe who are taught to believe in Santa Claus or other seasonal gift-givers? There are many pseudosciences believed by adults that do not command such a wide following. The figure of Santa Claus is uniquely paradoxical for atheists. On the … [Read more...]

Please Excuse Our Mess

Daylight Atheism was down for about two hours earlier today due to a coding error I made, so my apologies for that. Nothing was lost or damaged, and the site should now be restored to full functionality. The good news is that the reason I've been revising code is to handle the steadily increased traffic this site has been experiencing. Daylight Atheism is now seeing over 2,000 visitors per day on average, and recorded its 300,000th hit earlier this month. Both total and unique hit counts have … [Read more...]

A Freethinkers' Yule Sermon

Throughout the Western world, the end-of-the-year holidays are a time for celebrating and making merry. Our most time-honored traditions encourage us to come together at this time in commemoration and gratitude for the blessings that life has to offer and the good fortune we have enjoyed during the year. But even as we are encouraged to rejoice over the good things in life, the holiday season brings with it no shortage of reminders that there are many others who are not so fortunate. We are so … [Read more...]

The War on Christmas: Here We Go Again

In a post earlier this week, I wrote about how retailers and advertisers play on the sentiments associated with the holiday season as a way to make money, and how the religious right is actually, unbelievably, accelerating this trend by demanding the commercialization of their most sacred symbols. However, I failed to note at that time that the religious right is not stopping at encouraging others to commercialize Christmas. On the contrary, they are actively taking part in it themselves. As … [Read more...]

The Reason for the Season

As the solstice holiday draws near, the annual complaints by the religious right about the alleged "War on Christmas" are ramping up in volume, as usual. Every store greeter who says "Season's Greetings" is bitterly denounced; every municipality that erects a "holiday tree" is reviled with a level of shrillness that used to be reserved for schismatics and heretics. Some religious right figures such as Jerry Falwell are actually encouraging their followers to boycott stores that do not … [Read more...]

The Gospel of Consumerism

In the United States, the day after Thanksgiving is often called Black Friday, both because of the chaos it engenders and because it is the day when many businesses are "in the black", in other words able to show a net profit, for the first time of the year. Both reasons are because Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season and is one of the busiest shopping days of the year. It is becoming increasingly common for retailers to open in the very earliest hours of the … [Read more...]

Sex and Consequence

The spectacular public downfall of Ted Haggard last month continues to reverberate through the media. And now, an aftershock: Paul Barnes, founder of the 2,100-member evangelical Grace Chapel in Colorado, has resigned after admitting he had engaged in homosexual sex acts. (Predictably, Barnes' former church wasted no time in trying to erase his existence from their website, similar to the major religious right leaders who swiftly tried to downplay Haggard's importance after his resignation.) In … [Read more...]

A Christmas Carol

At this the spirit raised a frightful cry, and shook its chain with such a dismal and appalling noise, that Scrooge held on tight to his chair, to save himself from falling in a swoon. But how much greater was his horror, when the phantom taking off the bandage round its head, as if it were too warm to wear indoors, its lower jaw dropped down upon its breast! Scrooge fell upon his knees, and clasped his hands before his face. "Mercy!" he said. "Dreadful apparition, why do you trouble … [Read more...]


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