January 4, 2019

“If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should of all mankind be the most to be pitied!” (1 Cor. 15:19) This startling admission has been rolling around inside my head since I first read it nearly three decades ago, made all the more remarkable by the fact that it came straight from the horse’s mouth—from the apostle Paul himself. Of course, most Christians would insist that Jesus was the true founder of the Christian faith, but… Read more

January 2, 2019

Last year was a very. long. year. Remember Yanny vs. Laurel? That was in mid-May. I reminded my children of that and they were completely incredulous. I’m old enough to remember when newsworthy events only happened once a week, or even once a month. In 2018 it seems the news cycle completely respawned every 48 hours or so, making a week feel more like a month, and a month feel more like an entire year. It feels like we all aged… Read more

December 25, 2018

Over the past couple of months, my six-year-old son has become more and more interested in parsing out fact from fiction. With the Christmas holidays approaching, the subject of Santa’s existence starting cropping up a lot. He began asking me questions like, “How does Santa get into Daddy’s house if Daddy doesn’t have a chimney?” or “How do the elves make toys like video games?” Like a good skeptic, I kept turning it back to him to come up with… Read more

December 11, 2018

Few things are more central to human nature than hypocrisy. In a way, our whole existence is a lifelong attempt to “fake it till you make it.” We learn by imitation, which means we are always pretending to be something which we have not yet become…right up until the moment that we’re no longer faking it. That’s why imposter syndrome is such a common struggle. But in time we become what we mimic; as historian Will Durant reminds us in paraphrasing… Read more

December 4, 2018

Last night CBS Religion & Culture aired a short documentary (26:55) about the ongoing struggles of people who were raised in evangelical Christian churches but later left them for any one of dozens of possible reasons. Followers of this blog know that’s very much in my wheelhouse, and some may even remember CBS Sunday Morning including me in one of their previous treatments of this subject as a part of their coverage of the Openly Secular campaign. They interviewed half… Read more

December 3, 2018

I recently wrote about a revelation of sorts that I feel I need to unpack a bit more. I attended a large Baptist church in an affluent community not too far from where I live and witnessed first-hand how sincerely some white evangelicals are struggling to understand why all their valiant efforts at winning the culture wars in America haven’t actually made anything better. In fact, things seems to be getting progressively worse every day. To be sure, they’ve won… Read more

November 29, 2018

From time to time I get commenters who accuse me of hating Christians and, no matter how sincerely I implore them to show me where in my writings I demonstrate hatred for them, they always seem to just keep repeating the assertion without offering anything specific. This both fascinates me and annoys me. Granted, this accusation tends to come from people who haven’t read much at all of what I’ve written. In fact, I usually get the sense that commenters like… Read more

November 22, 2018

While I’ve considered myself an atheist for nearly a decade now, sometimes I go back to church again just to remind myself of why I left it all behind in the first place. The experience rarely disappoints. The past two free weekends I decided to visit a church I had never been to before—even though I did go to kindergarten there when I was little. Or rather I went there when it was still in its old location, back before… Read more

November 18, 2018

An old friend from my church days pulled me aside one day to ask me a few questions about why I left the faith. I appreciated her willingness to talk to me, especially given that her husband, with whom I had been closer, hadn’t spoken a word to me since he first heard the news. After grilling me about a handful of topics, she quipped that she didn’t see any horns sprouting out of my head. I didn’t at all… Read more

November 4, 2018

I interact almost daily with friends who no longer buy the Christian story but whose families still do, and you wouldn’t believe the things they hear about themselves from their loved ones. Or maybe you would. If you’ve ever been the only skeptic in a sea of devout believers, it’s quite possible that nothing will surprise you. One friend who kept her atheism from her evangelical Christian husband for years finally told him the truth just a few weeks ago,… Read more

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