What a Year: 2016 Highlights at Across Rivers Wide

What a Year: 2016 Highlights at Across Rivers Wide December 30, 2016

Image by JD Hancock via Foter.com (CC BY 2.0)

It’s almost over, folks.

Whatever your year has looked like, there has been a lot to talk about in 2016. That’s been no less true than on this blog, and because this is the first year of Across Rivers Wide (although technically the blog launched at the end of January), I thought I’d link to some of the highlights from the year, posts that I think are worth remembering or maybe even taking a second look at.

Personal Reflections

  1. Why Again Were You My Enemy?
    I remember what it’s like to face those underlying prejudices after deconverting.
  2. Love Across the Lines: A Valentine’s Meditation on Mixed-Belief Love
    On Valentine’s Day, I wrote about my own mixed-belief marriage and why it has not only lasted but actually gotten stronger since my deconversion.
  3. Left Religion for Emotional Reasons? Not a Problem
    It might be obvious from the title, but here’s my case for acknowledging — and accepting — the emotional component of deconversions.
  4. A View from the Middle
    I’ve always felt a little pulled between worlds.
  5. I Laughed At God’s Not Dead, But I’m Not Laughing At the Sequel
    By far my most-read piece of the year, on why I couldn’t even watch the second GND movie ironically.
  6. Heaven’s Not on Google Maps: Religion on the Spectrum
    For Autism Acceptance Month in April, I discussed the interesting way in which religion and the autism spectrum intersect with my own children.
  7. The Terror and the Satisfaction of Letting Go
    Why leaving teaching was harder for me than leaving religion.

Dialogue, Justice, and the Atheist Movement

  1. Finding Common Ground Means Using a Common Language
    When we want to reach consensus, we need the right lexicon for it.
  2. Your Ideological Opponents Aren’t Idiots
    What if we could engage our opponents without vilifying or demonizing them from the outset?
  3. The Gauntlet Is Down: Our Fight Over Illinois Marriage Law
    Did I mention that I challenged Illinois marriage law regarding secular celebrants in federal court this year?
  4. If Bridges Are Being Built, How Would We Even Know?
    Why it’s vital to support voices of reason and justice over the bigots and haters.
  5. How I Opted Out of the Atheist Movement — But Never Really Left
    I wrote a more popular post earlier in the year about “opting out” of the movement, but this piece walks back some of my anger to a place I’m more comfortable with.

Yes, The Ugly Politics

  1. Why President Obama’s Tears of Righteous Anger Matter
    When the president openly cries over our collective inability to act, that is significant. (Originally posted at the Secular Spectrum blog.)
  2. What’s Prologue Is Not Play: Bad Political Judgments, Redux
    A new look at an old argument about judging people by their past beliefs.
  3. Donald Trump Is a Walking System 1 Error, and That’s Why He’s Winning
    A piece that I desperately hate having written, even though I think I was correct in ways I often didn’t want to accept this year.
  4. For Better Change, Use Chisels, Not Sledgehammers
    An argument for a long game of small, hard-fought gains rather than the hope of sweeping reform.
  5. It Is Not Time For Building Bridges
    A case not for empathy for the victors but a resolve to protect the vulnerable.

Image by JD Hancock via Foter.com (CC BY 2.0)

Some Hard Truths

  1. We Are the Reason Our Public Discourse Is Terrible
    Don’t just blame the media. The real enemy is us.
  2. The World We Had Was Never There
    Our world didn’t change; it was simply revealed for what it really was.
  3. You Don’t Need to Be Thankful for 2016
    Don’t let anyone tell you to be grateful for this shitty year.

If you’ve been part of the conversation with me here this year, thank you. I do write selfishly sometimes, but I’m extremely grateful for those who have provided thoughtful and constructive comments here.

While I’m not necessarily looking forward to a ton of things about 2017, I’m looking forward to many more conversations with you. I can’t imagine that we’ll have any less to talk about.

If you enjoyed any of these posts or appreciate the work I do outside of blogging, I now have a Patreon. In addition to helping me keep doing all of this work (plus a project I’ve been interested in tackling), there are some great rewards you can get for becoming a patron. Thanks again for your support!


Images by JD Hancock via Foter.com (CC BY 2.0) and thp365 via Foter.com (CC BY-ND 2.0)


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