New poll: Attitudes toward religion sour with advanced education

WIN Gallup International - Religion

A new poll out today from WIN/Gallup International addresses the question of whether or not religion plays a positive role in society. The results are mixed and tend to confirm what we have generally come to expect. Overall, 59% of respondents said that religion plays a positive role in society while only 22% say it plays a negative role, for net positive* of 37%. Taken as a whole, the world is still very religious and most see this as a positive thing. As soon as you drill down a bit … [Read more...]

ANNOUNCING: Dogma Debate Southern California Tour


I'm very excited to announce that I'll be spending four days with David Smalley, host of Dogma Debate, touring five locations, screening and discussing My Week in Atheism, doing live Dogma Debate shows and interacting with audiences from Atheists United to the Zion Hill Baptist Church of Los Angeles. If you live in or near Los Angeles, San Diego, Riverside or Orange County please come out and join us for one or more of these events next month. See the flyer below for more information. … [Read more...]

On my way to Salt-a Lake a-City


My Year Without God is about to get very exciting! Since early January when I first learned of the American Atheists National Convention, I have been hoping to attend. After meeting David Silverman (president, American Atheists) at my friend Steve Hill's house, I got the personal invitation. How could I say no? So, starting Thursday afternoon I'm making the 10-hour drive from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. The line up of speakers looks fantastic. I've corresponded with folks like Matt … [Read more...]

Noah: Blood-thirsty god or human hubris?


Warning: spoilers ahead. I took my girls to see Noah (written and directed by Darren Aronofsky) on Saturday night, mostly because we'd been cooped up all day and needed to get out. It looked like a fun, big screen action film and naturally I am very familiar with the biblical story. I wanted to know what all the hullabaloo was about, but honestly, I just wanted to see a good movie and I had heard it was entertaining from a few credible sources. What follows are my own personal, incomplete … [Read more...]

Giving up


We all know the pain of losing someone we love. It threatens to swallow us alive. Like a black hole from which no light can escape, this existential pain sucks all joy and hope into it's dark heart. In that moment nothing can escape its grip. This morning my daughter was playing some music in our apartment and the song, "Say Something," by A Great Big World, came on. It's been a sort of theme song for me this year, but I've kept this embarrassing news to myself. It's impossibly sentimental … [Read more...]

Anticipating my journey: a page from my journal

journal_may 14 2013

I was going through some old photos in my iPhoto today and ran across this, dated May 14, 2013, which I sent to my best friend shortly after I wrote it. I guess I was anticipating this journey much earlier than I remembered. … [Read more...]

Is belief intellectual surrender?

living with a wild god

Yesterday I purchased Barbara Ehrenreich's new book, Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever's Search for the Truth About Everything, after it came to my attention on one of my news feeds. This morning a friend pointed me to an interview that Ehrenreich did with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. I highly recommend it. Two quick observations from this interview that deserve more consideration as I'm dashing off to work. 1. Terry Gross suggests the existence of a world—a … [Read more...]

The moral importance of being wrong


I have spent the better part of the last year or so discovering, or at least deeply suspecting, how wrong I've been. It's a terrible feeling. We all want to be right. Whether we're having an argument with our spouse or significant other, or standing in our bosses office, or writing a witty comeback on a blog (not this blog, of course), we want to be right because, as Kathryn Shuulz says in this incredible TED talk, "getting something wrong means there's something wrong with us." And, she says, … [Read more...]

Book club: Between positivism and existentialism — 2

This is the second in an 11-part series, commenting section-by-section through Critique of Religion and Philosophy, by Walter Kaufmann. Previous posts can be found under the "Book Club" category. Stay tuned each Friday for the next installment. This second chapter is a helpful and concise summary of Western philosophy seen through the lens of the rationalism/empiricism divide, or the Continential/Analytic divide in philosophy. Kaufmann is attempting to introduce the reader to these concepts … [Read more...]

Born again! A former pastor, one year on.


I struggle these days when people ask for my bio. I'm a former pastor, former professor. It's all about what I used to do. When I say I'm a blogger, this sounds, well…like something someone who lives in LA would say. ("Dude, I'm a writer.") But for now, this is what I do and I love it, but still, the most poignant and perhaps relevant part of my bio is that I am a former pastor. This past Sunday marked one year since I resigned my position at the Hollywood Adventist Church at the insistence … [Read more...]