Our Biggest Mistake: We Did As We Were Told

Those of us who broke up with Jesus (he wouldn’t return our calls) are accustomed to having our motives and our sincerity questioned by those still happy with their faith. We get it all the time. We hear that we weren’t authentic enough, or we weren’t fully surrendered to the will of God, or we had some [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. [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 [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 [Read More…]

Interview: Ten Questions for Atheists About Christianity

My friend and Patheos colleague, Amber Barnhill, was approached by a student from a local Bible college for an interview. She had a list of questions to ask her for a project she is working on, and Amber decided to pass them along for the rest of us to chew on. The interviewer explained: “It’s all aimed at [Read More…]

When Your Christian Friends Give You Reconversion Homework

I have several well-meaning believers in my life. These people, for good or for ill, often come to me with requests: “Will you come to church with me?” “Will you read the book of John for me?” “Will you listen to this song for me?” So far, I’ve only said no to one of these [Read More…]

What Lies Beneath the Suit of Armor

Several months ago I was asked to contribute a few paragraphs for the new Atheos app, a mobile app to help skeptics deconstruct the arguments of religious believers in order to nudge them toward a more consistent rationality. People who know me know that I’m not much for prolonged debate, even if I do succumb to an [Read More…]

I’m Tired of Prayer

Our world is wracked with tragedy. Much of it could be avoided, much of it is the result of cruel chance. Whatever the tragedy, my friends, family, and acquaintances often have the same response: #PrayFor________ I’m sick of it. Those who know me personally know that I’m a tender-hearted cinnamon roll who cries at basically everything. I [Read More…]

FAQ: Advice About “Coming Out” Atheist to My Spouse?

From time to time I receive emails from fellow skeptics who are going through that often gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking experience of being “unequally yoked” with a spouse who occupies a significantly different place on the belief spectrum. “Mixed faith” marriages can be stress-inducing, and there are no easy answers or formulaic steps for successfully navigating that [Read More…]

FAQ: What Do You Make of “Progressive Revelation?”

I spend a good deal of my time unpacking (and helping friends unpack) the ideas we all learned growing up in church. Many of these ideas are directly damaging (e.g. You’re wicked and deserve to be tortured), while others are indirectly harmful in the way that they confound attempts at critical thinking (e.g. You’re not supposed to [Read More…]