Getting the Story from Standing Rock

I think it was in August when I read something online saying "Did you know that the largest Native American demonstration in history is going on right now, and no one is reporting on it?" So I read on to find out about the Dakota Access Pipe Line. At that time, I think someone shared it in my usual atheist feeds as some group of "prayer warriors" trying to defend supposedly sacred lands against further exploitation by Big Business. I could have stopped there and scoffed at the futility of all of … [Read more...]

No one to thank for what I’m thankful for.

I actually celebrate Thanksgiving, though not in the traditional way of course. I've heard too many horror stories about how this tradition came about. For one thing, Thanksgiving is the Christian version of the pagan Halloween. They're both harvest festivals. It's just that one of them was bastardized and the other erected as a replacement of the old practice but with a new name, now being devoted to prayer.I don't pray. There is no God to thank for anything. Let's be realistic. God is not … [Read more...]

Atheist Debate at a Muslim Convention in Texas

I've been asked to do another public debate with a live audience. On Christmas Eve, I will debate "Is Darwinian Evolution a Fact" at the Texas Dawah Convention in Houston. My opponent is Subboor Ahmed of the iERA (Islamic Education and Research Academy) He and I have had this conversation before, but he wants to repeat the lesson.I'm happy to have this debate inside a Muslim convention. I won't be preaching to the choir this time! That's important to me. There are … [Read more...]

Thanks for Giving to Recovering from Religion

Please donate to Recovering from Religion this weekend during their Thanks for Giving charity telethon. … [Read more...]

Scooby does denial

Someone pointed me to a video where an apologist was criticizing skeptics for being apologists in denial. Of course there can be no examples of this in reality, so he took his from cartoons. He was talking about Fred from a Scooby Doo cartoon where they visit an island populated by ghosts and zombies which turn out to be real.I often say that apologists try to project their own faults onto those who will not share them. This video was a demonstration of that. The apologist warned about … [Read more...]

Rest in oblivion, Jack Chick

Back in 1970, someone applying for the job of babysitting the eight year-old version of myself left one of Jack Chick's hateful religious tracts on my mother's sofa. They were tiny comic books using bewilderingly inane and deplorably bad arguments in an attempt to convince ignorant bigots to adopt his form of mindless reactionary religious extremism. I read that comic and found it repugnant, illogical, idiotic, and beneath my intellect even at that young age. I have since read many of his … [Read more...]

Hope for the environment?

Yesterday I was once again hanging with Dan Arel, author The Secular Activist. This time we were at the State Capitol in Sacramento California lobbying on behalf of the Secular Coalition. Of the few conversations I could comment on, the one that stood out for me was someone who agreed with me. Christian Burkkin is a Communications Director for Assemblymember Susan Talamantes Eggman. Dr Eggman is very supportive of secular policies on the issues we care about. So Burkkin and I didn't talk much … [Read more...]

Which is worse? Lying to children? Or being truthful with them?

In this Skeptrack panel, Someone told me I was a big meanie for making a little girl cry at the Reason Rally.I told a story about a little girl at the Reason Rally who was passing out CDs about Jesus. She handed me one and I handed it back, saying "I only accept truth". She said, "This is truth", and I explained, "If you can't show that it's true, then you shouldn't call it truth." I wasn't mean to her. I spoke very softly and kindly. But I did tell her a solemn truth in conflict … [Read more...]

El Paso Atheists

Atheist Alliance of America is establishing network connections with El Paso Atheists: seen here at their usual gathering place, a Unitarian Universalist Church on Byron Street. It's a charming location, but it still seems paradoxical for me to give anti-sermons in any sort of church setting.I'm interested in uniting unbelievers wherever I go, if I can, and El Paso is way away from everyone else in our community. So I want to give them a shout out. … [Read more...]

How many atheists are there in the US, really?

After being elected president of Atheist Alliance of America, the first thing I wanted to do was to find out just how many allies we really have.According to a Pew poll in 2014, only 3.1% of Americans identified as atheists while another 4% identified as agnostic. Agnostic is a word that means "atheist in denial". If you think agnostic means that you don't know, then you don't know that you're an atheist.Yes it’s impossible for anyone to actually know anything about the supernatural, b … [Read more...]