Why I Believed the Bible for As Long As I Did

If you can make people feel something strongly, changing the way they think becomes a piece of cake. Read more

Pig Bones and Public Education

Because I teach public high school in a state already determined to sabotage its own educational system in order to redirect our tax dollars to private and charter schools (see note at bottom), it matters a great deal to me personally that the president-elect chose Betsy DeVos to head up our nation’s Department of Education.  Her choice as Secretary of Education rightfully upsets a number of people, especially since she has never worked in education, nor was she herself a product of public… Read more

Songs of My Deconversion

For much of this past weekend I found myself cruising at 30,000 feet without a reliable internet connection to stream any current music. So I took a stroll down memory lane, clicking through some of the songs I’ve had stored on my phone since way back in the earlier days of my deconversion. I was amazed at how quickly and viscerally certain songs stirred up emotions that have lain dormant in the recesses of my memory, inextricably linked to significant moments… Read more

The God Who Performs Party Tricks

The God of the Bible is not above performing party tricks. I feel this needs to be pointed out because some I know seem to think they can have it both ways. They insist that the biblical God performed miracle after miracle in order to validate himself, at times upon very specific demand from the supplicant. But if I today suggest that I need some sort of clear validation in order to believe this deity is more than just a… Read more

The Bible’s Attitude Toward the Life of the Mind

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body. Here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.” –Ecclesiastes Secularists like me became legitimately concerned when we first learned that our new president-elect selected billionaire right-wing megadonor Betsy DeVos to be his Secretary of Education. It was bad enough discovering that the woman soon to take over the management of our nation’s education department has… Read more

The Real Roots of Our Beliefs

Do you find it frustrating to talk to religious people about their beliefs? Nonreligious people often have a hard time understanding their devout counterparts, so they engage them in the kinds of conversations that are meant to tease out the intellectual nuances in what they believe in order to better understand them. It doesn’t take long for the inconsistencies to surface (some streams of Christianity positively revel in their own incoherence). When those moments arise, the nonreligious often seize upon… Read more

Are We All Born Atheists?

During an interview last night for an upcoming documentary on atheism in America, I was asked to tell the story of my deconversion. I get that question a lot, so I’m pretty accustomed to explaining how I got here. Only this time there was a bit of a polemical twist to the wording of the question. The interviewer asked me: “Could you tell me story of your journey from being an atheist to becoming a Christian and then going back… Read more

Please Go See Arrival So I Can Talk About It

I’ve seen a lot of movies this year, and most of them promised far more than they delivered. Nowadays the trailers give away most of the key details, anyway, which makes the whole cinematic experience a bit of a disappointment. Not so with the movie Arrival. I did not know that I would love this movie. But it is easily the best film I’ve seen in at least a year, and I’m not sure I’ve enjoyed a movie this much… Read more

Why the Gospel Doesn’t Work on Deconverts

People like me are like flies in the ointment of evangelical theology. We did all the things they told us to do, we gave our hearts and our lives entirely over to Jesus, yet in the end we still found their belief system lacking. It’s not supposed to happen that way. Evangelists and defenders of the Christian faith like Tim Keller readily acknowledge that the belief system they are trying to sell us has gaps in it—places where the external… Read more

Deconstructing the End of the World

Back when I was in junior high I got invited to a weekend-long retreat that my church put on called Disciple Now! Given the evangelical church’s relentless obsession with branding (“Makin’ Jesus kewl since Century One!”), they’ve since changed the name of the retreat in a rather futile attempt to obfuscate the religiousness of the event. Now they call it Downtown 40 to signify forty straight hours of sparklingly-packaged indoctrination anchored around a centralized worship rally at the main facility… Read more