I Drew the Line at Canaan

I quit attending church nearly six years ago, at which point I had already been an atheist for two. And let me tell you, it’s not easy attending church as an atheist, much less teaching Sunday School as one (interesting story I’ll tell you about another time). Today I’d like to tell you about the last time I was able to stomach going, because it was a major turning point for me. First you must realize that this was the culmination… Read more

Making Your Faith Impossible to Disprove

A few days ago I reshared an article entitled “Why I Broke Up with Jesus” which always inspires a predictable set of rationalizations from people defending their tradition using the same time-tested tools I learned to use when I was a Christian. I’m always glad they do it, too, because it brings into such stark relief those mental gymnastics which finally made me realize I was playing mind games with myself all along. The smarter you are, the better you are… Read more

How Do You Measure the Worth of a Man?

How do you measure the worth of a man? I know you’re supposed to say that all human life is valuable, and I’m not disputing that. Human life, indeed all life from where I sit, is inherently valuable because life is fleeting and therefore precious. In fact, life itself is a “natural miracle” in the sense that we still don’t fully understand how it came to be, much less how it ever learned to become self-aware. Yet here we are, thinking, and… Read more

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

If you follow this blog you’ve undoubtedly noticed a break in the content, first slowing from a run to a walk over the course of the last year, then finally to an almost complete standstill over the last couple of months. If the struggles I’ve been working through weren’t so personal and intimate, I would talk about them more. Perhaps in time I will, but right now it’s going to have to play out in spaces that are private. To… Read more

Oh, Say, Can You See?

There is a kind of fatalism in the Bible which views political events as divinely ordained, teaching people to accept whoever is in authority without question. This should come as no surprise to us once we remember this book was written at a time when kings and emperors ruled the world, long before democracy came into its own. Clearly this book was written in a context wherein “the will of the people” meant nothing, and the will of an emperor… Read more

A Living Sacrifice No More

“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline, and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” –Proverbs 3:11-12 “For it was fitting for Him…in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10 “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children…God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness.” Hebrews 12:7,11… Read more

How the Bible Views Humanity (and How to Get Over It)

The Bible’s estimation of human nature is very, very low. If you were raised in an evangelical Christian setting, you learned how to dress it up and make it sound gracious and forgiving. You learned how to sugar coat the condemnation heaped upon humanity by the biblical writers, making very bad news somehow sound like it could possibly be good. But let’s take a look at what the writers of the Bible have to say about human nature: “The heart… Read more

The Best of Godless in Dixie in 2016

Here on the first day of the new year I want to look back to see which posts over the last twelve months found the most traction among the people who read Godless in Dixie. Just like every year, I’m going to list the top ten posts according to page views, and then throw in two or three honorable mentions because they meant something to me, and I want to make sure people have a chance to check and see if they… Read more

How Christianity Stunted My Relational Growth

I used to think I was a relationship expert. Boy, was I wrong. I was married for 16 years, 14 of which were pretty good years. By “pretty good” I mean that we felt like we were a pretty good team, and others seemed to agree with us. We never fought, never raised our voices at each other, and there was a pretty even split of responsibilities between the two of us. We had a kind of “mind meld” about… Read more

It’s Okay to Still Like Christmas

Good morning, and Merry Christmas :) And yes, that was an atheist wishing you a happy holiday, despite not subscribing to the religion behind it. Because you know what? People can enjoy special occasions even when they come from traditions not their own. And in my case, as a former Christian myself, it was my tradition. That’s why I can still enjoy it. And I know I’m not alone. Those of us who weren’t always put off by the Christian faith,… Read more