The Congressional Nontheist Is Revealed

Following up on my earlier post, the Secular Coalition for America has made good on its promise and has revealed the name of the first openly nontheistic member of the U.S. Congress: Democratic representative Pete Stark, a seventeen-term House member representing California's 13th district.I didn't expect a nontheist to be a supporter of George W. Bush, and I'm glad to say that isn't the case. On the contrary, Rep. Stark seems to have his priorities in exactly the right place: he is a member … [Read more...]

The Virtues: Be Humble

The sixth of the Virtues is humility. In many religious traditions, humility is considered the very highest of virtues, and while I think it is an important and desirable quality to practice, I wouldn't go quite so far. Furthermore, as we'll see, my idea of what constitutes humility differs somewhat from the theistic view.What I advocate is not the humility enshrined in many religious texts, the aim of which is to abase oneself and think of oneself as lowly and worthless, in order to avoid … [Read more...]

How Religions Are Born

On Tuesday night, after watching the lottery drawing (I didn't win, alas - and I wished really hard for it, too!), I saw an ABC special about one José Luis de Jesus Miranda, a Puerto Rican man who has announced to the world that he is the second coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. Ordinarily, such a claim would firmly relegate one to the ranks of street-corner crackpots, but Miranda differs from garden-variety kooks in one fairly important way: he has somehow attracted an actual … [Read more...]

A Freethinker in Congress!

A brief update to pass along an exciting e-mail alert I received last night from the Secular Coalition for America:On Monday, March 12, the Secular Coalition for America, a national lobbying group representing Americans who do not hold a god-belief, will make history by announcing the name of the first open nontheist member of Congress.Yes, you read it right - there is an atheist in Congress, and one who is willing to step out of the closet and identify themself! I have no idea who it might … [Read more...]

Book Update

In October of last year, I posed the question: Daylight Atheism: The Book?, on whether it would be worth the effort to try to compile some of my writings into a form suitable for publication. The response, to my delight, was overwhelmingly positive, and that response combined with other reasons convinced me that this was an endeavor worth embarking upon.However, the last few months - February in particular - have been a time of great activity here on Daylight Atheism, the blog. There have been … [Read more...]

The Harris-Sullivan Debate: III

In the previous exchange from their debate, Andrew Sullivan has declared that his faith in God is not based on any evidence whatsoever, and no imaginable evidence could cause him to change his mind about it. Sam Harris reacts with bemusement, as well he might:I now feel like a tennis player, in mid-serve, who notices that his opponent is no longer holding a racket.You have simply declared your faith to be immune to rational challenge. As you didn't come to believe in God by taking any state … [Read more...]

Subduing the Earth

Christianity's relationship with the environmental movement has always been a rocky one. While some groups of Christians view protecting the planet to be a sacred imperative, others - an alarmingly large number of others - believe that God gave us the Earth to use and exploit in any way we deem fit, and since Jesus is coming back real soon to destroy the world anyway, it really doesn't matter what we do to it in the meantime.Now, Pharyngula gives us not one but two examples of prominent … [Read more...]

The Harris-Sullivan Debate: II

As the debate continues, Sam Harris responds to Andrew Sullivan's contention that many of the fundamentalists he knows are compassionate, caring people who do many selfless good deeds for others:For instance, you claim that many fundamentalists are tolerant of dissent and capable of friendship with you despite their dogmatic views about sex. You also remind me that many devoutly religious people do good things on the basis of their religious beliefs. I do not doubt either of these … [Read more...]

The Tomb of Jesus?

The media has been abuzz lately over a Discovery Channel special about a tomb in Israel that, according to the show's producers, may once have contained the bones of Jesus Christ.The tomb was discovered in 1980 during an archaeological excavation in Jerusalem. Inside, researchers found ten ossuaries - carved stone boxes used in many ancient cultures to inter human bones. Six of the ten ossuaries bore inscriptions of the names of their occupants, including, allegedly, "Jesus, son of Joseph", … [Read more...]

FFRF at the Supreme Court

Tomorrow, February 28, will be a date of tremendous importance for all friends of church-state separation in the United States of America. For tomorrow, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom from Religion Foundation will be presenting oral arguments before the nine justices of the Supreme Court, in the case of Hein v. FFRF. The principle at stake is whether American citizens, by virtue of their status as taxpayers, have the right to bring suit against the executive branch of the … [Read more...]


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