Threads of 2016

For many reasons, 2016 was a year that most of us would like to forget. But there are some good things too that are worth an annual wrapup, and so we begin with...Family MattersIn September, I became a parent. I wrote about how child-raising cries out for communal effort and the lessons humanists should take from that. I also listed 20 life lessons I'll teach my son when he's old enough to appreciate them.Later in the year, some old family albums inspired me to contemplate the … [Read more...]

New Channel, Same Old Atheism

You may have noticed a change here at Patheos. All of us secular bloggers used to be grouped under the Atheist channel, but no longer. We're now the Nonreligious channel. Here's the official announcement on the Secular Spectrum group blog.To reassure some people who were worried: there was no pressure from above to expunge our blogs of the dreaded term "atheist". It was an internal channel decision, proposed and discussed among ourselves. There was considerable debate, but there was no … [Read more...]

Daylight Atheism Is 10 Years Old

I've gotten lazy about these anniversaries over the years, but this one is too big to ignore. My first-ever post was February 10, 2006, which means this humble little blog is ten years old today!In the time I've been writing, the atheist movement has made amazingly rapid progress. The non-religious have grown by leaps and bounds in the U.S., and while congressional representation is a lagging indicator, we've gained political pull as well - including the candidacy of Bernie Sanders, the … [Read more...]

Threads of 2015

As the last hours of 2015 pass, it's time to revisit the themes and ideas that I kept returning to over the year. These are the most significant:A Violent YearParis suffered not one, but two atrocities. In January, there was a bloody terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo, committed by fanatics who slaughtered artists for the imaginary crime of blasphemy. I mused about whether terrorism is courageous and reacted with disbelief when Pope Francis condoned the violence. Then, in November, there … [Read more...]

Threads of 2014

As 2014 draws to a close, it's time for the annual wrapup. Here are the major threads that I kept returning to on Daylight Atheism over the past year:The New Civil RightsIn January, I reviewed Michelle Alexander's The New Jim Crow, the most important book in American politics of the last decade, about the prison-industrial complex and how it preserves de facto racial segregation.But that was soon eclipsed. Over the summer, the country was riveted by the fatal shooting of Michael … [Read more...]

Threads of 2013

The sand is draining from the last hours of 2013, so here's a look back at the passing year. Of course, it started off with Daylight Atheism moving to a new home on Patheos, but there were lots of other major developments as well:Feminism and the Atheist MovementIn January, I launched a petition calling for more emphasis on feminism and diversity in the secular community, which garnered over 2,000 signatures and was delivered to the leaders of many atheist and secular organizations. … [Read more...]

Why Have Comments

As reported by Against the New Taboo, the magazine Popular Science announced last month that they're shutting off comments on new articles. Popular Science's post cited research on "the nasty effect", which found that hostile comments contribute to a polarized and dogmatic reaction from readers on both sides, impeding rather than advancing understanding.The way I see it, the fundamental problem of comment threads is that ideologues and crackpots almost always care more about a topic than … [Read more...]

Welcome to Daylight Atheism

A sudden wind parts the mist, and where only yesterday there was nothing, there now stands a tall and stately mansion. Through the arched windows, you can catch glimpses of the rooms within:An entrance foyer, where deep, soft chairs gathered around a brick fireplace welcome old friends and shelter storm-tossed travelers...A majestic library, where ceiling-high shelves filled with well-worn, lovingly-tended books overlook reading tables of polished wood...A domed observatory, a … [Read more...]

Threads of 2012

To know where you're heading, it helps to know where you've come from. And with the last grains of sand slipping through the hourglass, now is the perfect time to look back over the year that was and survey the major themes which wove throughout my writing during the past twelve months. So, without further ado, here are the threads of 2012:The Emergence of Atheism PlusAs I expected, the battle against sexism and other prejudice in the atheist community and beyond continued to smolder … [Read more...]

Threads of 2011

One of the traditions of my old site was, at the end of each year, to choose a selection of my favorite posts from throughout the year and highlight them as the classics that give the best sense of what Daylight Atheism is all about. On the new site, I'm going to do something a little different: I'm going to pick posts which address themes that kept recurring throughout the year. In my mind, these were the most significant threads of 2011: The Arab Spring The biggest worldwide story of the … [Read more...]