January 2, 2018

Call me obsessive, but after researching this topic for several years I now tend to sense the heavy presence of Christian assumptions in virtually every sphere of American life. Lately, it was an overt government word-ban initiative related to official funding-request documents. The pertinent words “to be avoided” are: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based. Each term can be seen to represent a purported biblical ideal to be protected or a long-familiar marching order of the Christian Right (read:… Read more

December 29, 2017

In running across some old statements by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week, I was reminded that he—and the entire Trump administration—continue to disingenuously assert the spurious trope that the United States is fundamentally a “Christian nation.” As America’s top law-enforcement official, what Sessions says matters. Their respect for the office and whoever fills it causes people far too often to indiscriminately accept at face value … Read more

December 28, 2017

Originally published December 18, 2017, as a guest post on Hemant Mehta’s popular The Friendly Atheist blog on Patheos hub’s “Nonreligious” channel.  The cover story for the December 2017 National Geographic reveals one of the major conundrums in discussing religious ideas rationally in America. “The Real Jesus: What Archaeology Reveals About His Life,” the cover reads. To a casual, indiscriminate reader, this unambiguously implies that there was a “real” Jesus. In fact, the deified Christian prophet’s existence is largely historical speculation, based almost wholly on… Read more

December 26, 2017

When wrestling with the social issues of the day, too many of us instinctively look upward toward a divine template for explanations and direction when, in fact, the answers to all our questions—if they are to be found at all—are right here in the real world. The latest conflagration to ignite in the zeitgeist, the always-evolving spirit of the country, is the #metoo movement mainly fueled by women (but also many men) against … Read more

December 24, 2017

In many ways, medieval superstition is still alive and well in the United States. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times brought that reality into sharp focus as it discussed how despite groundbreaking advances in science throughout 2017 willful ignorance remains rampant in our majority-Christian and predominantly faith-based land. In April, hundreds of thousands of worried scientists streamed into American streets across the country to warn of the existential dangers posed by our aggressively truth- and science-averse new president… Read more

December 18, 2017

A newly released Icelandic study starkly indicates that this increasingly irreligious, democratic island southeast of Greenland in the Atlantic may likely become mostly atheist in the not-too-distant future. Is it a religious unbelief harbinger for the United States, whose religiosity has been precipitously sliding for decades? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But the writing does seem to be on the wall. The study by polling firm Maskína for The Icelandic Ethical … Read more

December 14, 2017

The persistent unbridling of religious unbelief in the United States is reflected in a 2017 Pew Research Center survey showing that more than half of our citizens couldn’t care less whether people say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” The idea that political correctness is killing our nation’s Christmas traditions, the survey reveals, is a flimsy invention by a president who exaggerates imagined cultural divisions to energize his shrinking base. Ninety percent of Americans still celebrate Christmas in some fashion, but… Read more

December 13, 2017

Despite being ultimately slammed for fatal flaws in some of his theories, psychoanalytical pioneer Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) offered other concepts of mind— such as why people harbor religious illusions—that have better stood the test of time. Some of these concepts are discussed in an excellent article in the December 2017 edition of Skeptic magazine by Raymond Barglow, Ph.D., a former instructor at University of California, Berkeley. Read more

December 6, 2017

As the U.S. Supreme Court mulls the national debate over whether anti-homosexual (read: fundamentalist Christian) bakers can be involuntarily compelled to create gay wedding cakes, we tend to lose site of the dispute’s real genesis. For a good overview of the issue, read conservative op-ed writer David Brooks column, “How Not to Advance Gay Marriage,” this week in The New York Times. … Read more

November 30, 2017

An excellent article in the Washington Post by a Portland, Oregon college professor disturbingly explains how critical thinking is often subverted today in American higher education. In the piece, Lucía Martínez Valdivia, an assistant professor of English and Humanities at Reed College, points out that hysterical, self-reinforcing thinking and physical intimidation tend to drown out reason in the process of squelching unpopular views. Read more

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