It’s the end of the year and the end of a decade! Before we enter the 2020s, let’s take one last look back at the common threads of the year that was.
In 2019, I published my first feature article for Political Research Associates. It takes a hard look at how some atheists have – whether intentionally or unintentionally – given aid and comfort to racists and xenophobes.
We also got some comedy from the pratfalls of smug creeps. David Silverman was rehired by Atheist Alliance International, whose board sneered at the complaints against him, and then – in a late-breaking update – he was fired again after yet another complaint surfaced. Richard Carrier also lost his SLAPP lawsuit for the second and final time.
Racism and White Supremacy
The racist cabal in the White House continues to stain our nation with their evil. I wrote about their attempts to break the law to keep immigrants out, their vile belief that only white people are real Americans, and the white-genocide fantasia of the president’s chief speechwriter and policy adviser.
The Non-Religious Are Booming
Despite the missteps of atheists, more and more people are turning away from organized religion. In April, a poll showed us in a statistical tie for first place. Americans attend church less often than ever and trust churches less than ever. In Europe, the change is even more dramatic.
What’s driving this dramatic shift? In my first column on NBC News, I proposed an answer: government favoritism, both the established churches of Europe and the American religious right’s push for special privileges. (And see also.)
In 2019, I finished my marathon review of Ayn Rand’s lesser-known novel, The Fountainhead. Some of my favorite entries were on the sadism of Randian romance, the contradictions in Rand’s philosophy between this book and Atlas Shrugged, and why humanity’s destiny is in the cities.
Reasons for Optimism
Despite the bad news this year, there are reasons to be hopeful about the future. I wrote about why parenting is inherently optimistic, reviewed the evidence for human progress in Factfulness, and did a year-end roundup of overlooked good news.
Last but not least: This year, I began publishing my novel Commonwealth. It’s a tale of utopia, concealed in a hyper-capitalist dystopian future out of an Ayn Rand nightmare. It’s a warning of where we’re headed if we don’t change course, and a message of how much greater we could be.
You can read the three prelude posts: on late-stage capitalism, climate despair, and hopepunk dreams. Then check the table of contents to read what’s been published so far, and if you like it, consider subscribing on Patreon!