In Which I Explain Easter to Sally

We saw my family over the Easter holiday, and in preparation I wanted to make sure Sally knew the Easter story. She already knew pieces, and as I helped pull it together I was trying to figure out how to bridge fact and fiction, or at least what scholars think happen historically and what exists in the grey area beyond that."These stories were all written down a very long time ago," I told her. "Sometimes with things written a long time ago it can be had to tell what part happened and what … [Read more...]


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Jesus, Zeus, Persephone—and Fairies

"Mommy, what god to you believe in?" Sally asked me recently."I don't believe in any god, honey," I told her."But mom, you're supposed to believe in a god!" Sally responded."Uh, no, actually, people can choose what they want to believe," I said. "Who told you that you're supposed to believe in a god?" I asked."No one," she said. "I just knewed it.""Well okay, what god do you believe in?" I asked."Lots of them," she told me. "I believe in Jesus, and Zeus, and … [Read more...]


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Unhelpful Things (Some) Atheists Say

Yesterday, Ed Brayton wrote a post titled Atheists, Please Stop Saying These Things. I thoroughly enjoyed it and agreed with what he had to say. Below are summaries of his points (in his post he offers lengthy explanation under each). 1. Please stop saying that “we’re all born atheists.”2. Please stop trotting out simplistic reasons why people believe. 3. Please stop explaining the creation of religion in equally simplistic ways.4. Please stop conflating fundamentalism or Biblical li … [Read more...]


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Someone, Please Save Me From Hell

A relative recently posted this image on facebook, along with a call for all of those "who haven't repented" to take note. There are a lot of Christians today who either do not believe in hell or downplay the idea of hell. Unfortunately, this is not true of my relatives. For them, hell is as real as you or me, and is the rate of anyone who has not repented and prayed the sinner's prayer.Sadly, I cannot simply be theoretical about this. This is because I know from experience that a belief in … [Read more...]


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God’s Not Dead (Painful Stereotypes Edition)

My evangelical parents and siblings recently went and saw God's Not Dead. This made me profoundly uncomfortable. I haven't seen the movie, but I have seen the trailer, and that's enough to tell me that the movie's representation of what it is to be an atheist bears absolutely no resemblance to me.Beyond its depiction of atheists, the movie's entire premise is so unrealistic as to be ludicrous. Wikipedia describes the movie's plot as follows: Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), a naive freshman … [Read more...]


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The Totally Unoriginal Atheist Case against Abortion

The Friendly Atheist created quite the brouhaha lately by publishing a guest post by Kristine Kruszelnicki, president of Pro-Life Humanists. This post was titled "Yes, There Are Pro-Life Atheists Out There. Here's Why I'm One of Them." My response? Thank you, Captain Obvious.No seriously. Are there really people who think that atheists can't be against abortion?  I do not understand this reasoning. Is there supposed to be a litmus test, that if you're an atheist you're automatic and by d … [Read more...]


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Guest Post: Alix on Civility and Confrontation

Reader Alix and I disagreed last week in a comment thread about the role of things like personal attacks in argument with those with whom you disagree. As you may know, my comment policy makes certain requirements of those who comment here. This is my blog, and as such I set the rules. Alix and I still disagree on a few particulars, but I offered er the chance to write a guest post on the topic. Here it is. A Guest Post by AlixLet me tell you a story.Way back, years ago (before I had … [Read more...]


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