Freethinker Group Holds “Ask an Atheist” Panel Discussion

On the evening of November 21st, the Antelope Valley Freethinkers (AVF) in Lancaster, California held an open panel of five atheists to answer anyone’s questions about atheism, agnosticism, Humanism, and other issues around religion. I was very honored to be invited to participate on the panel. We were hosted by the Center for Spiritual Living. AVF President David Dionne described it this way:

This isn’t a debate with winners and losers; it’s an opportunity to address biases and misconceptions, and promote better understanding and acceptance of nonbelievers through civil discourse. Our goal is that everyone who participates will come away with something positive and affirming. Consider bringing a religious friend or two!



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Atheist Group Continues to Help Community Clean Up Its Riverbed

For 21 years, the City of Santa Clarita in southern California has held an annual “River Rally,” where local citizens converge on a section of the Santa Clara River to clean out thousands of pounds of litter and debris, and for the third year in a row, the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers, of which I’m a member, joined 1,400 other people to help clean up another couple of miles of southern California’s last completely natural river, an important refuge and migratory route for dozens of species of wildlife.

SCAF River Rally 2015 with logo

Why do we do this? It must be because we think that all people and all living things are nothing but accidental piles of molecules with no meaning, purpose, or value, right? It’s because we don’t give a crap about life, death, or anything in between, right? I mean, many Christians frequently tell me that’s what I think. Helping the environment and the community for free is what immoral, uncaring, cynical, selfish nihilists like us do, right? [Read more…]

I Gave a Sermon at a Church About My Atheist “Spirituality”

From my work on the local interfaith council in my home town, I’m familiar with several clergy from a wide variety of churches, and so a senior member of the Unitarian Universalist Church who knows me well invited me to give a sermon as a guest on Sunday, August 9.



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I Was a Guest Speaker at a Church Last Sunday

In May of 2013, Kile Jones launched a nation-wide project called Interview an Atheist at Church Day where he matched atheists and preachers for video-recorded conversations in their churches. I had immediately signed up as a candidate, but he was not able to find a match for me. Since then, he has continued to do interviews of his own and to pair up several more atheists with pastors. Finally, several weeks ago, he introduced me to Dr. Scott Colglazier, the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, and we had the interview last Sunday, June 28. (Thank you, Kile, and thank you, Dr. Colglazier.)



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Atheists and Believers Respond to Westboro Baptist Church with Unity, Positivism, and Resolve

On their way to Hollywood to peddle their drug of addiction, hate, outside the Academy Awards Sunday night, half a dozen members of the Westboro Baptist Church paid a morning visit to my home town 50 miles north of Los Angeles. They targeted five churches in a series of brief picket protests for the sin of having female pastors and other doctrinal practices that they abhor. Armed with their typically vile signs and antagonistic rhetoric, they timed their demonstrations to be seen by the parishioners as they arrived for or left Sunday services.

A few of us from the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers (SCAF) joined 200 to 300 members of the community to counter-demonstrate at each of the churches, despite the drizzle of much-needed rain. Groups from other churches and faith organizations, many students from Gay-Straight Alliance clubs at high schools and the community college, military veterans, and plenty of families and individuals turned out to overwhelm the little sidewalk bigot squad with a flood of harmony, acceptance, and love.

Here’s a small sampling of the nasty and rather goofy messages of the WBC:



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