The Bubble

The Evangelical Outpost, a major Christian blog, last week published a positive review of Nancy Pearcey's book Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from its Cultural Captivity. In it, Pearcey argues that true Christians must purge their thinking of evolution and all other secular ideas and philosophies: Most Christians are more secular then they realize, and this must change if the Church is to have any sort of significant cultural impact... Christians must counter the affects [sic] of … [Read more...]

Noises in the Night

In the first chapter of her autobiography Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali recounts some of the Somali folktales her grandmother taught her when she was a child. One was a story of a nomad, searching for a home for his wife and child, who mysteriously finds an oasis with a fine grass hut already built in the middle of the desert, and a smiling, friendly stranger who invites them to live there. Alas for the trusting nomad, the stranger was really "He Who Rubs Himself with a Stick," a monstrous … [Read more...]

Think for Yourself

In one of his "My Answer" columns, Billy Graham replies to a correspondent who doesn't see the need for organized religion: Don't make up your own ideas about God, but understand from the Bible who He really is, and commit your life to Christ. "Don't make up your own ideas" - this is Billy Graham's advice to the seeker. Instead, presumably, we should read the Bible and believe exactly what it says, without bringing any of our own imagination or independent thought to the subject. My friend … [Read more...]

Update on the UC-Calvary Lawsuit

One of the first posts on Daylight Atheism, over two years ago, was "The Fallacy of Free Speech", about a private Christian high school which sued the University of California because the UC had refused to give college credit in biology for courses which taught young-earth creationism. Well, the wheels of justice grind exceedingly slow, but they do eventually turn. Last week, a federal judge issued a preliminary ruling which, while it does not completely prevent the case from going forward, … [Read more...]

The Aura of Infallibility

Religious beliefs, as a general rule, aren't based on evidence. I have little doubt that my fellow nonbelievers will agree without reservation, and equally little doubt that religious believers will call me arrogant and uninformed for so sweepingly dismissing the basis of their beliefs. But that's not what I'm trying to say. By this statement, I'm not referring to the question of whether solid evidence underlies the tenets of religion (although I trust I've made my views on that issue known). … [Read more...]

Wolves in the Fold

In February of 1906, Pope Pius X issued an encyclical titled "Vehementer Nos", which denounced France for its passage of a revolutionary law establishing the separation of church and state. This document contained a blunt insight into the Catholic view of the relationship between religion and government: That the State must be separated from the Church is a thesis absolutely false, a most pernicious error. Happily, France ignored this musty blast from a figure who - then, as now - serves as … [Read more...]

Flickers of Conscience

One year ago this month, I posted an essay titled "A Seriously Warped Moral Compass". In it, I highlighted the disturbing tendency of religious beliefs to twist and distort a person's conscience to the point where they accept terrible evils as just acts, and, conversely, elevate harmless actions to the height of wickedness and sin. But I do wonder sometimes if even the most thorough and relentless religious brainwashing can ever completely succeed. Are human beings infinitely malleable, so that … [Read more...]

The Exploitation of Antony Flew

Have you heard the shocking news? The world's most notorious atheist has converted! No, it's not Richard Dawkins. Or Sam Harris. Or Christopher Hitchens. Or Dan Barker. Or Michael Newdow. Or Julia Sweeney. No, this world-famous, notorious atheist convert is the philosopher Antony Flew. If you're wondering, "Who?", you're probably not alone. Antony Flew is a British philosopher, now retired and of advanced age. Though fairly well-known in philosophical circles in his day, I doubt he was … [Read more...]

The Pretense of Superiority

Religion has always been used to sanctify inequality here on Earth, in the present no less than in the past. By teaching their followers that they are God's chosen rulers, religious authorities can accustom the flock to obedience and ascend to positions of power without the consent of the majority. The fundamentally oligarchic and anti-democratic nature of most established religions, in which the church leaders choose their own successors, testifies to this. These anti-democratic beliefs are … [Read more...]

Aspiring to Slavery

Last month, I wrote about slavery and the Bible's embarrassing (though historically understandable, if we assume there was no divine revelation behind it) endorsement of that vile practice. Today, slavery is widely recognized as the evil it is, and though it still exists in some forms, it lingers only in the shadows, not in the light of mainstream acceptance. Today religious people of all stripes reject slavery, and do their best to gloss over or explain away the unchanged scripture that still … [Read more...]


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