How Did Hanukkah Get Lumped In with Christmas?

There is no shortage of exasperation about the hypercommercialism of Christmas. Secular or devout Christian, it’s not news that the Dickensian ideal of enjoying time with one’s family with some drinking and music and feating upon a big goose is gone, replaced with an overwhelming and mind-numbing consumeristic orgy of overspending, overeating, and over-stressing.

Or maybe that’s just me.

But one aspect of the holiday season that gets less attention is just how Hanukkah managed to get lumped in with the whole mess. [Read more...]

Taking a Bit of a Break…

By the time you read this, I’ll be off in some far-away land enjoying my (slightly-delayed) honeymoon :)

The excellent Paul Fidalgo will be taking over while I’m gone. Paul is the Communications Director for the Center for Inquiry, a blogger at Near-Earth Object, the host of The Obcast, and someone who just plain cracks me up.

I’ll be back in a week (minus a few posts thrown in here and there), hopefully relaxed and caught up on a stack of books and tanned. (More tanned?)

Be good to Paul while I’m away!

[Read more...]

How Atheists Celebrate the Holidays (Or Don’t), at HuffPost Live

Are you celebrating Christmas today? Atheists’ experience of the holiday of course runs that gamut, with many going the Full Santa, complete with decorated trees and tinsel and candy canes and jolliness and all the rest, while others happily opt out of marking the day or the season in any way — and everything else in between. (My four-year-old boy got up this morning entirely disappointed that Santa was not in the living room waiting for him. Don’t worry, he came around.)

At HuffPost Live, host Josh Zepps (who is also the new co-host of Point of Inquiry, my organization’s podcast) gathered some atheist thinkers and activists to discuss the topic of the way atheists celebrate (or not) Christmas. [Read more...]

Secular Coalition Announces 2014 Lobby Day

The Secular Coalition for America has announced the dates for its 2014 Lobby Day and Policy Conference this summer, June 12th-14th. Last year’s event featured actual in-person addresses by actual, real-life officeholders, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who for whatever reason were unafraid of getting atheist cooties. [Read more...]

Pope Francis Calls Upon Atheists to Work with Believers for Peace

Pope Francis, in his first Christmas address since becoming head of the Catholic Church, specifically called on atheists to join with believers of all stripes to work toward a global “homemade peace.” [Read more...]


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