Sorry Apologetics: an essay wherein I use lots of big words

Have you ever heard of the presuppositionalist apologetic method? What about the transcendental argument for the existence of God? If you’re not into debating religion or the existence of gods then you probably neither know nor care what they are. Some people, however, are quite taken with them. When many people interact with me about my non-belief, either online or in person, they cannot resist debating me about my beliefs even if I tell them I don’t really care for… Read more

Being a Mom (or Dad) is More Than Enough

A few years ago I read an essay by a woman arguing that feminism did a major disservice to families by teaching women to evaluate their own worth by the same measures which men use to evaluate themselves.  She argued that the movement adopted the typical American man’s view of self-worth which says a person is only “worth” the economic capital he or she produces.  Consequently, she argued, women delegated the raising of their children (which in itself makes no… Read more

Letters to My Daughters #3: “Fighting Fear and Shame”

I can imagine that one of the first things you girls may feel upon learning I am no longer a Christian will be some mixture of worry, fear, and anxiety for my soul.  I imagine it could disturb some of you a great deal because over the years you have heard people say some pretty dramatic and condemning things about people who do not believe in God.  Most of all, you may fear that one day I will be severely… Read more

The Challenge of an Atheist Outlier

I’ve always had a knack for feeling out of place wherever I am.  I don’t know why this keeps happening to me, but I can’t seem to escape it.  It has always been true of my professional life and it usually holds true in my personal life as well.  I’ve taught on many a faculty and I’ve never had a significant friendship with any of my coworkers.  I am too dissimilar to everyone with whom I work.  I suppose another major… Read more

Encouragement from Strangers

As anyone who has tried her hand at this can tell you, blogging can get pretty discouraging sometimes.  If you’re lucky, once in a while you write something that for one reason or another gets seen by a bunch of people.  One day last month I got 4,400 visitors reading one single blog post.  That was pretty cool.  Some bloggers are so well-connected that they would call that a slow day, but for me it was fantastic.  My usual numbers… Read more

I Am Not A Freethinker (and neither are you)

“Know Thyself” — ancient Greek proverb. I have never cared for the word “freethinker” even though I myself have used it on occasion to denote a skeptic/atheist/agnostic.  When I use the term, I do so in order to avoid monotony; I am trying to swap out the words I use to describe a demographic to which I now belong.  But I do not like the term for one simple reason:  There’s no such thing as a “freethinker” if what you… Read more

An Atheist’s Take on Sex and Monogamy

Some people seem to think that the most important thing about you is what you do with your genitals.  I disagree.  On the other hand (heh), it’s not inconsequential, either.  Hang with me for a bit here and I’ll try to explain what I mean. Like most men, I’ve given sex a great deal of thought.  When I was a Christian, I was told two memorable things about that:  1)  That’s bad, somehow, and 2) Women don’t think about sex… Read more

Evangelicals and Closet Fundamentalism

You will often hear me say that the main difference between a fundamentalist and an evangelical is that a fundamentalist wears his beliefs on his sleeve while the evangelical keeps them under his hat. I have not been able to identify any substantive doctrinal differences between the two—they believe the same things. Their differences are a matter of style, not of substance. The fundamentalist doesn’t discuss ideas, he preaches them. He doesn’t converse, he recites. But the evangelical usually feels… Read more

Letters to My Daughters #2: “Just Be Yourselves”

I think what concerns me most about you girls learning I no longer believe in God is that I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable around me in any way.  I love the closeness of our relationship and I would be heartbroken if anything took that away from us.  I am convinced this issue does not have to do that because, while this discovery may be new for you, it is not new for me at all.  I haven’t been… Read more

Free Rein to Proselytize

Hemant Mehta over at Friendly Atheist has his eye on Mississippi because we’re such a poster child for religious privilege.  Few states push evangelical faith on their residents through official government institutions quite like we do (Oklahoma sometimes may be a close second), as evidenced by a new law that went into effect just a few days ago.  In effect this law says that schools must provide a public forum within which students can freely express their religious views at… Read more

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