December 26, 2018

By James A. Haught Easter came on April Fool’s Day in 2018. No wisecracks, please. Across America, many communities hosted festive children’s Easter egg hunts with all sorts of games, treats, bunnies and hoopla. It’s wholesome family fun. But one aspect was absent: any mention of supernatural gods rising from the dead. Part of the reason for the omission is that local governments cannot endorse religion, under America’s separation of church and state. But another factor is the secularization process:… Read more

December 24, 2018

Sometimes the smallest choices present the hardest dilemmas. I’ve been facing one such this year, which is the question of what, as an atheist parent, I should tell my son about Santa Claus. It sounds silly, but this was one of my biggest parenting dilemmas so far. It was certainly a harder decision than, say, vaccination, which presented no difficulty at all. I’m not usually bothered by peer pressure, but this is a special case. It seems cruel, in a… Read more

December 21, 2018

The value of protecting the past. Read more

December 19, 2018

By James A. Haught When I came of age in the 1950s, and slowly began to think about life, I developed a strange feeling that the world is senseless, irrational, chaotic. Forty million people had just been killed in World War II, and everyone said how noble and heroic it was. But the “Big One” was only the latest of thousands of gory wars stretching back before the earliest written records began. The number of wars is impossible to count…. Read more

December 17, 2018

Even as white evangelical Christians bask in short-term victories, the future is slipping away from them a lot faster than they think. Read more

December 14, 2018

Increasing the freedom of some people might mean decreasing the freedom of others. Read more

December 12, 2018

Rick Warren is absurd to claim that purpose only comes from gods and devils, heavens and hells, miracles and messiahs. Read more

December 10, 2018

It’s going to be a gloomy Christmas for a lot of Trump supporters, and not just because the Democrats took back the House in the midterms. It’s also because that making-America-great-again stuff isn’t working out for them like they had hoped: Times are tough all across rural America. Nationwide numbers paint a rosy picture of accelerating growth and near-full employment. Swaths of the countryside tell a different story, its protagonists barely scraping by as their jobs drain away in the… Read more

December 7, 2018

An easily abused power, but there are times when it’s an essential tool in the state’s arsenal. Read more

December 5, 2018

By James A. Haught [Note: I picked this column to run today for a reason. Pat Green, one of my Patheos Nonreligious colleagues and a former pastor himself, is in the midst of a serious personal and financial crisis caused partly by difficulty finding adequate employment since leaving his clerical job. If you’re willing and able to donate to the GoFundMe campaign started on his behalf, please consider it. —Adam] One indicator of religious decline in America is the significant… Read more

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