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

Letters to My Daughters #1: “We’re Not Bad People”

Nothing in this world matters more to me than you, my precious girls.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I’d do anything for you girls.  You are a delight to me, and I am happiest when I am with you.  I’m so proud of the beautiful young women you are becoming, and I look forward to seeing what direction each of your lives takes as you grow up.  I also hope you will always feel comfortable and open towards… Read more

It’s All About the Cape

For all the things we gain from the wonders of the world wide web, we lose a few valuable things as well. In our search for a larger virtual community, many of us have surrounded ourselves with like-minded people so thoroughly that we find ourselves inside echo chambers, whether we realize it or not. In this day of heightened online rhetoric and routinely insulting dialogue with faceless strangers, we should probably forgive ourselves for wanting to limit the number of… Read more

Man of Steal

Superman was always my favorite superhero, so of course I could not pass up seeing the latest theatrical adaptation on the big screen.  The whole cinematic experience remains one of my favorite pastimes for many reasons, not least of which is the music.  A film score can make or break a movie (just try watching Star Wars without the trumpeted anthems of John Williams and you’ll see just how important the music can be) and I have to say I… Read more

Atheists Need Community

There comes a point in any movement when people begin to ask, “So what do we do now?” After the initial splash, after the resulting push back from the powers that be, after the 15 minutes of fame, and after some ground has finally been gained, those within a movement must begin to ask themselves, “What’s next?  After we make a place for ourselves in the world, what in the world are we for?”  We atheists in particular must ask ourselves… Read more

If the Shoe Fits

Wanna hear something funny?  Well, it’s funny to me, anyway… Last month when I was doing the Interview an Atheist at Church thing, at one point in the interview I said, “There are people out there who believe the stuff you do that’s good for the world is wasted unless it’s done in the right belief system.”  At that moment I was thinking about how many evangelical Christians criticize Humanists for trying to “do good” in the world because true… Read more

Evangelical Christianity and Low Self-Esteem

Like most swimmers, I try to get in some laps almost every day, but there is only one health club with a pool within decent driving distance from where I live. It doesn’t call itself a Christian gym, but it plays primarily Christian music overhead, holds prayer meetings and Bible studies, and incidentally it also leaves most of its hi-def televisions parked on the same 24-hour news network all the time (I’ll save that discussion for another time). Even though… Read more

Why Evangelicalism and Humanism Cannot Be Friends

I have very personal reasons for wanting to see Evangelicalism* and Humanism play well together.  You see, like an amphibian I straddle both worlds, with one foot in the former and another foot in the latter.  I am a Humanist (a more descriptive term than the more general “atheist,” which could mean a lot of things depending on context) but I live in a culture that is supersaturated with Evangelicalism.Living in the Bible Belt is like being in church every… Read more

You Were Never Really One of Us

The mind is an amazing thing.  With it, we are capable of solving such complex puzzles and real-world problems!  At the same time, we are capable of shutting out large chunks of data, selecting only those streams of information which fall in line with what we expected to find in the first place.  We call this “confirmation bias” and it can totally blind you to any information which contradicts your prior beliefs.  If used in a social situation, it can… Read more

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