January 30, 2014

Jesus: The Harold Camping of His Time

In a recent post suggesting that the Jesus character described in the Christian bible was not about charity as liberal Christians commonly claim, Staks Rosch (Dangerous Talk) wrote a sentence that made me laugh out loud and then stop and think for a bit.
Those who attempt to portray Jesus as this humanistic, liberal, hippy are taking those statements out of context. If you look at the context of Jesus’s ministry in the Bible, it is pretty clear that didn’t think people should give to the poor for any moralistic reason; he was preaching about the end times. Jesus stated that a generation shall not pass before the end of days. According to the Gospels, Jesus believed that the end was near. He was basically the Harold Camping of his day.
I've italicized the sentence to which I am referring. The Jesus character does appear to a great deal in common with Harold Camping and the tens of thousands (or more) of failed prophets who came before him.

January 28, 2014

Solutions Needed to Our 'Age of Ignorance'

Tony Perkins and James Dobson in 2007 in Washi...
Tony Perkins and James Dobson in 2007 in Washington, DC at the Values Voters conference (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Before we get too far into 2014, I want to take a look back at a topic that has come up with increasingly regularity for at least a few years now. One of the best summaries of this particular topic I have found was written in 2012 by Charles Simic in an article titled Age of Ignorance. As you can guess from the title of Simic's article, the topic I want to raise here is the glorification of ignorance we in the U.S. have been seeing for some time.

I raise this subject because I believe it is one of the most important challenges facing those of us who value freethought, secularism, reality-based education, and skepticism. Raising this subject usually involves criticizing political conservatives, and Simic's article does do that too; however, I am not convinced that such a partisan slant is absolutely necessary even if I tend to agree with much of it.

When I read Simic's article, I find myself asking the following questions:
  1. If he's right about an increase in "widespread ignorance bordering on idiocy," and I believe he is, why is this happening?
  2. How did we reach this sorry state of affairs?
  3. As we begin to understand the nature of the problem, what can we possibly do to fix it?

January 27, 2014

Using Tumblr for Blog Promotion: Some Initial Data

I mentioned here recently that I have been using Tumblr more consistently for the past couple months. What I meant by that is that I have been posting daily or almost daily during the time of day when Tumblr is supposed to be most active.

In spite of the many recommendations I have seen for Tumblr as a means of promoting a stand-alone blog like this one, I've always been skeptical. I have been using Tumblr since 2011 and seen very little benefit in the form of increased traffic here. But before drawing any conclusions, I felt like I needed to do a more thorough test. My early use of Tumblr was spotty. If I really wanted to evaluate whether it was worthwhile for blog promotion, I'd need to use it more consistently. Now that I have been using it much more consistently for awhile, it is time to report my findings.

January 23, 2014

Diverse Voices in the Atheist Community

Diversity
Diversity (Photo credit: OregonDOT)
If I had to pick the one thing I most like about the online atheist community, it would have to be the diversity of voices present and how incredibly stimulating I find them. This may seem like a surprising thing to highlight about the online atheist community. After all, we have been told repeatedly that the secular movement, with which many members of the atheist community align themselves, is hostile to women. We have also seen evidence that some members of the atheist community have in fact been hostile to women who do not share their preferred political ideology. Some have complained about the more accommodationist-oriented strands within the atheist community, about how White the community seems, and about how nice it would be to hear from someone besides the large number of ex-Christians who provide most of the discourse. Some have struggled over how to behave toward those who have very different socio-political orientations from their own, going so far as to question whether the community should include this much diversity.

It is undeniable that our diversity has sometimes fueled conflict or that the atheist community has been afflicted with infighting at times. And yet, there are plenty of reasons for encouragement, one of which is the presence of the many voices one finds in our community today.

January 21, 2014

Reader Questions About Agnosticism and Atheism

Part of Image:Planetary society.jpg Original c...
Carl Sagan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I receive more correspondence via email than I can answer. While some of it is hate mail from enraged Christians, Muslims, or other atheists, some of it is the sort of thing I wish I had more time to answer. With that in mind, I'd like to provide brief responses to two questions I received from a reader via email. I figured if I was going to take the time to do so, I might as well turn it into a brief post.

Here were the questions:
  1. What's the difference between atheism and agnosticism?
  2. Also, why atheism? Why not deism or romanticism or pantheism...? You know, why this belief over somewhat (kinda, sorta) similar ones?

January 19, 2014

New Report on Scope of Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church

emblem of the Papacy: Triple tiara and keys Fr...
emblem of the Papacy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The mainstream news media in the United States has been fawning over Pope Francis for some time. Even as some of us have questioned how much of a change he represents and whether he will be willing to do something meaningful about clergy abuse, there is little question about his popularity. I cannot help wondering if we might see that change soon.

Timed to coincide with the scathing UN condemnation of the Vatican for their failure to protect children from clergy abuse, the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) has released a preliminary report documenting the scope of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and efforts by the Vatican to conceal it. It seems like "damning" would be a fair word to use in describing what the report says about the office of the Pope and the institution he represents.

January 17, 2014

Superstition and the NFL Playoffs

Seahawks vs. Cardinals Pregame
Seahawks vs. Cardinals Pregame (Photo credit: bran.dan)
Even though I am no fan of superstition, I am of the opinion that there is a meaningful difference between the sort of superstitious rituals in which an athlete might engage before a big game and those in which fans watching the game on television miles away might participate. Perhaps the athlete who believes that wearing his "lucky" item of clothing makes him play better really does play better because of it. Of course, this reflects the power of belief and not anything magical. If the item helps, it does so because the athlete's belief in it affects him psychologically. Perhaps he plays with more confidence because he was convinced of the item's power, and improves his performance. On the football field, for example, the belief that one is invulnerable due to wearing one's "lucky" item just might lead one to hit harder, run faster, and the like. One's performance could be affected by one's superstitious beliefs, but this certainly isn't magic.

What is far stranger and far more difficult to justify is the behavior of the fans miles away who engage in their own superstitious rituals because they think they can affect the performance of individual athletes or even the outcome of the competition. As Cathy Lynn Grossman recently reminded us in an article at Religion News Service, some Americans will pray and perform other superstitious rituals on Sunday before the NFL playoff games.

January 16, 2014

Equivalence of the Gods

Zeus, the king of the gods, and controller of ...
Zeus, the king of the gods, and controller of thunder and the sky. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Humans have worshiped so many gods through the ages that many books have been written merely attempting to catalog them (see The Book of Gods & Goddesses: A Visual Directory of Ancient and Modern Deities, Guide to the Gods, and Dictionary of Gods and Goddesses, Second Edition just to name three). Despite their great diversity, these gods all have something important in common besides that fact that humans have worshiped them: none has more evidence to support its existence than any other. When it comes to evidence supporting their existence, these gods are equivalent.

I suppose it would be fair to say that this equivalence is one of the reasons I generally refer to god(s) in somewhat of a generic sense unless I am writing about a particular conception of a god. In cases where I am focusing on a specific god, I'm inclined to identify it as something like "the Christian god." I see little reason to cater to monotheistic privilege by assuming there is only one god or to Christian privilege by imagining that "God" is a sufficiently specific label for the Christian god.

January 15, 2014

Atheism is Not Enough

Identity: Who are you?
Identity: Who are you? (Photo credit: philozopher)
My thoughts on the subject of atheist identity have changed over the years, but one constant is that I continue to believe that atheism is secondary to reason, skepticism, and critical thinking. I am an atheist because of these things and not the other way around. While atheism is an important part of my identity, I agree with those who suggest that it is not nearly enough. We atheists are virtually never content to define ourselves as just atheists. We are more than that.

Atheist Identity

Whenever I spend a week or more offline (i.e., not blogging, reading other atheist blogs, or perusing assorted atheist or secular activist social media content), something always seems to happen to me. I discover that I rarely think about atheism until something happens that forces me to do so. And the type of thing that pushes me to do so always seems to be an overreach by a Christian extremist seeking to impose his or her beliefs on others (i.e., a threat to separation of church and state) or an expression of religiously-motivated bigotry. Without these things, I suspect that I'd think about atheism or secularism rarely if at all.

January 14, 2014

Revolutionary Atheist on Tumblr

Tumblr Icon
Tumblr Icon (Photo credit: chadarizona)
There are too many social networks out there for me to possibly keep up with, and this is why I've been focusing my efforts on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. I just don't have the time to keep up with much more than that. I use Facebook and Google+ primarily as ways to give people additional ways to follow and interact with content. That means that what I post here will end up on my Facebook and Google+ pages, and not much else finds its way there. That system seems to work reasonably well.

Twitter is a different sort of animal. While I do tweet my blog posts, I also use Twitter to interact with others and promote others' work I find interesting. For example, when I run across something interesting that I think others might enjoy, I might retweet it. This means that I tend to be more active on Twitter than I am on Facebook or Google+.

Lately, I've decided to throw one more platform into the mix: Tumblr. I've been using Tumblr sporadically since 2011, but I've recently started to use it more consistently. Revolutionary Atheist, my Tumblr blog, has been much more active in the last couple of months, and I hope to continue this. Unlike Facebook and Google+, I have not been using Tumblr primarily to share posts from here. I do some of that, but mostly I use it to share links, photos, and videos that do not necessarily warrant being turned into full posts here. Going forward, I'm planning to write some more exclusive content for it. I'll likely keep whatever I write there brief by design, sticking with Atheist Revolution for the longer material.

You can find Revolutionary Atheist here.

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January 12, 2014

Researchers Seeking Atheist Participants For Online Survey

I am sharing this information by request from researchers seeking to recruit atheists living in the United States who are at least 18 years old for participation in an online survey.

Here is how the researchers described the aims of their study:
The survey looks at the perceptions and attitudes of both affiliated and unaffiliated nonbelievers, concerning the functions and activities of secular, freethought, humanist, and atheist organizations, and also the conduct of individuals and groups in the broader atheist movement/community in general.

It is our goal with this project to generate a portrait of both member and nonmember nonbelievers in America; specifically, we want to understand the following:
  1. What nonbelievers think secular groups should offer in terms of activities and functions (What do they think secular groups should be doing?)
  2. What do secular affiliates think are the reasons that nonaffiliates do not join such groups?
  3. What reasons do nonaffiliates themselves give for not joining secular groups that exist for them?
  4. What general approach should secular individuals and groups take towards religion, religious beliefs, and religious people?
They request that we distribute the link to the survey to any atheists we know who are living in the United States and who are at least 18 years of age.

The survey can be found at https://iastatepsychhci.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_aV05npFsGBmK2hL.

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Atheists Promoting Rationality

Shadbolt House - a mix of modernist rationalit...
Shadbolt House - a mix of modernist rationality and constructivist theatricality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I trust that you have seen Jeffrey Tayler's excellent article on Salon.com by now, 15 ways atheists can stand up for rationality. It is a good read, and I have two comments about it I'd like to make here. One concerns the notion that atheists can promote rationality, and the other involves the willingness to speak up on matters of religion.

First and most important, the idea that we atheists can (and should) stand up for rationality is something with which I readily agree. If we really aim to contribute to the erosion of superstition, magical thinking, sectarian conflict, and the like, reason is our friend. But what does this mean? I think it means that we need to make a concerted effort to be reasonable, rationale, and skeptical. I don't think this point can be emphasized often enough, as it has important implications for how we interact with religious believers and one another.

January 11, 2014

Mark Driscoll: If You Are Not a Christian, You Are Going to Hell

As far as evangelical fundamentalist pastors go, Mark Driscoll is kind of a big deal. Aside from being in the news lately following accusations of plagiarism, he's the founding pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, the author of more than 15 Christian books, and he's been featured on CNN, ABC, and Fox, to name a few. According to his bio from Mars Hill Church, Driscoll is "one of the most popular preachers in the world today."
In 2010, Preaching magazine named him one of the 25 most influential pastors of the past 25 years. His sermon podcast regularly occupies the top spot in iTunes’s Religion & Spirituality category, and his online audience accesses about 15 million of his sermons each year.
That's impressive. Driscoll certainly sounds like an interesting guy. Given his popularity and status within the evangelical community, I have to assume that he might provide a reasonable approximation of the sort of things many evangelical fundamentalist Christians believe. That said, I'd like to call your attention to something Driscoll tweeted on January 10:

Mark Driscoll
I'm certainly not claiming that all evangelical fundamentalist Christians share Driscoll's apparent conviction that anyone who is not a Christian like him is destined for the hell he imagines his god has in store for them. And yet, when someone of Driscoll's stature in evangelical fundamentalist circles speaks with such conviction, I have a difficult time believing that his views are not shared by more than a few of his supporters.

Sorry Jews, Muslims, and atheists - you are heading to Christian hell. It doesn't matter how you've lived your life or how much good you may accomplish. What a fine system of morality this is! Believe what I do or burn. Hell awaits!

H/T to Deep Thoughts

January 10, 2014

Popularity of Mein Kampf Surging

FrMeinKampf20050214
Mein Kampf (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
According to a recent article in The Toronto Star, Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf is now among the best-selling political books on Amazon and iTunes in the U.S. and Canada. I received a link to this article through one of the listservs I'm on for work, and it is quite clear that some people are very concerned about how well it is selling. But is this really cause for concern? I'm not so sure.

The article noted that both iTunes and Amazon now carry electronic versions of Hitler's book for $0.99. Sure enough, it was easy to locate a Kindle edition of the book for that price. The article also mentioned that the book is available for free at the Universal Library Project, where it is second from the top in terms of what people are downloading.

While Stephanie MacLellan, author of the Toronto Star article says that she does not know why the book has recently become so popular, she ventures a reasonable guess that it has something to do with the increased availability of inexpensive electronic versions.
But it likely has more to do with the medium than the message: ebooks let readers study Mein Kampf without the worry that someone will catch them with a copy.
That strikes me as being as sensible a guess as anything else I have heard. Were I to read the book again, I'd just as soon not be seen with it in public. I could imagine others feeling similarly.

Of course, those who say we should be very concerned by news of the book's popularity suggest that it signals a resurgence in fascism. They assume that people are reading the book because they support the ideology it contains. This was how the article came to my attention on the listserv. I certainly didn't read Mein Kampf because I agreed with its ideology, just as I don't read the Christian bible from time-to-time because I agree with its ideology. I'm sure there are people out there today who agree with some of what Hitler stood for, but I am unconvinced that their numbers are increasing sharply.

What do you think? Should we be concerned with the popularity of Mein Kampf or is this just fear-mongering?

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January 9, 2014

Big Question 6: Can Science and Religion be Reconciled?

English: Science icon from Nuvola icon theme f...
Science icon from Nuvola icon theme for KDE 3.x. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With this post, we have reached the last of the six big questions that divide atheists. Whew! Additional questions may be considered at some point in future posts, but aside from a final post containing links to all the posts in the series, this is the last I initially planned to write when I set out on this task.

The sixth question is a fairly old one but one that has managed to linger and divide over the years. At times, it has looked almost as if it has been settled (at least within the atheist community) and the matter can finally be laid to rest; however, I do not think that is the case. It continues to crop up, particularly when the subject of discussion turns to science, the importance of science to humanity, and how scientists should communicate with the public on matters of religion or human morality. Should the scientist make an effort to steer clear of religion altogether, or should he or she be completely unconstrained to address it as it becomes relevant?
How should we understand the relationship between science and religion (i.e., accommodationism)? Is there a common ground between religious believers and those of us who are scientific and methodological naturalists? Many atheists who take more of an accommodationist position see science and religion as being compatible. Others may not necessarily agree that science and religion are truly compatible but suggest that we should pretend that this is the case so as not to lose public support for science. They note that many religious believers accept science and that they should not be subjected to the same sort of criticism we might direct at creationists. They suggest that it is valuable for atheists to work alongside religious believers to pursue shared goals and that an individual's religious belief is irrelevant unless it becomes harmful to others. Those who oppose accommodationism (i.e., anti-accommodationists) see science and religion as fundamentally incompatible and are willing to say so publicly. They may seek to undermine religious belief because it is viewed as standing in opposition to science. They typically regard faith as irrational and may interpret efforts to work alongside believers as a form of enabling delusion.

January 8, 2014

Biblical Peace

English: Peace button - Web 2.0 style
English: Peace button - Web 2.0 style (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pope Francis made news throughout 2013 as the mainstream news media in the United States and elsewhere seemed determined to highlight the differences between him and his predecessor in a way that cast him in a favorable light. Not surprisingly, public impressions of Francis have generally been positive. From what I have seen on many atheist blogs, it would be safe to say that more than a few atheists have also been impressed with what they have heard from him so far. While there has been some skepticism of whether he really means what he says and how much change he could actually accomplish even if he does mean it, early reviews have generally been favorable.

As December came to an end, Pope Francis mentioned atheists during an address in which he called on us to work with religious believers to work for global peace. I noted at the time that global peace seems like a worthwhile goal, and I invited Francis to work with atheists to end clergy abuse, which strikes me as another worthwhile goal. It did not occur to me at the time to question what he might have meant by "peace."

January 7, 2014

Victims of 'Satanic Panic' Released From Prison After 21 Years

Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko (Uroplatus phantasti...
Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko (Uroplatus phantasticus), Andasibe, Madagascar (Photo credit: Frank.Vassen)
I recognize that I have a fairly diverse readership here at Atheist Revolution, made up of people with quite a range of different life experiences. But I'd guess that it would be fairly safe of me to assume that most of my readers have not spent years of their lives in prison. There may be exceptions, but they are likely few in number. Spending years in prison is probably something most of us would have some trouble imagining. Thus, I suspect you will be able to relate when I say that the idea of spending 21 years of one's life in prison for a crime one never committed absolutely blows my mind.

In early December, The Guardian ran a story by Tom Dart about Dan and Fran Keller, a couple who was sent to prison in Texas back in 1991 for child sexual assault during the height of the "Satanic panic" in the U.S. They were released after serving 21 years of their original 48-year sentence because the district attorney's office finally admitted that the jury at their trial was likely influenced by flawed expert testimony. Imagine spending 21 years in prison for something you didn't do!

January 6, 2014

The Atheist Blogroll is Coming Back!

Black Atheist Symbol from OUT Campaign (The Sc...
Black Atheist Symbol from OUT Campaign (The Scarlet A) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Mojoey (Deep Thoughts) announced yesterday that he is restarting the Atheist Blogroll project. For those of you who haven't been active in the atheist blogosphere for awhile, the Atheist Blogroll is just what it sounds like - a collection of practically every active atheist blog on the Internet. It has not been updated since January 2012 due to some technological issues I won't pretend to understand, but Mojoey now believes that new tools (also beyond what my feeble brain can grasp) will allow him to bring it back.

Mojoey is now in the process of removing dead or inactive blogs from the Atheist Blogroll, and he could use some help with this task. After all, he's starting with a list of over 1,500 blogs. If you've got some time and interest in giving the online atheist community a boost, please let him know.

If you write an atheist blog and would like to join the Atheist Blogroll, here is what you need to know.

I have found the Atheist Blogroll to be an extremely helpful way of discovering newly created atheist blogs, and I would probably not be aware of some of my current favorites without it. I am thrilled to hear it is coming back, and I thank Mojoey for his tireless work on behalf of the atheist blogosphere.

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January 5, 2014

Is Atheism Only for the Comfortable?

English: Homeless man, Tokyo. Fran├žais : Un sa...
Homeless man, Tokyo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Paul Fidalgo has been doing a bang-up job over at Friendly Atheist lately. You've probably noticed that I have been linking to quite a few of his posts recently, and this is because I have really enjoyed his recent work. He is an excellent writer, and I find his work consistently thought-provoking. I'm going to link to his work again here, but I wanted to start things off just by thanking Paul for his outstanding contributions.

In the post I want to mention today, Paul responds to a recent article in The Guardian by Dr. Chris Arnade. Dr. Arnade is an atheist with a fascinating background who has recently been working with the homeless, a group he describes as "some of the strongest believers I have met, steeped in a combination of Bible, superstition, and folklore." He sees the religiosity as understandable because religion is a source of hope for many of the homeless. But the part that really grabbed Paul's attention and the attention of most of the other atheists who have addressed this article is the following:
They have their faith because what they believe in doesn’t judge them. Who am I to tell them that what they believe is irrational? Who am I to tell them the one thing that gives them hope and allows them to find some beauty in an awful world is inconsistent? I cannot tell them that there is nothing beyond this physical life. It would be cruel and pointless.

January 2, 2014

One Less Demon in the World

English: Demon "Andras" in Dictionna...
English: Demon "Andras" in Dictionnaire Infernal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When I saw the title of the article Terry Firma posted at Friendly Atheist, "Ax-Wielding Father Vanquishes the Devil, Who is His Son," I was intrigued. Now that I've read it, I just feel relieved. We are all safer now that there is one less demon in the world, especially a demon that might have eaten people.

According to azcentral.com, 51 year-old Gary Sherrill has been charged with first-degree murder after he allegedly killed his 13 year-old son with an axe. According to police, Sherrill killed his son because he thought he was a demon. They told reporters that Sherrill confessed to the murder, noting "he was scared of his son and believed his son was a demon and was going to eat him."

The case against Sherrill sounds fairly solid, especially with the confession. There was no mention of it in the article, but I would not be surprised to learn that he might have some mental health issues. You know, because he acted on the sort of thing many Christians claim they believe.

When I hear about incidents like this, I naturally feel bad for the victim and their surviving friends and family. The boy's mother must be devastated. It is a tragedy to be sure. But I also find myself wondering, particularly on days when I have consumed more cold medicine than is healthy, how many of the Christians out there who claim to believe in demons might hear about something like this and conclude that Mr. Sherrill might have done the right thing. I mean, what if his son really had turned into a demon? My guess is that virtually none of the demon-believing Christians would conclude this. And that's what I find most fascinating.

How do they know Mr. Sherrill's son didn't really turn into a demon? What if he did? What then? And if these Christians agree that it sounds like Mr. Sherrill may have been psychologically impaired, do they realize how that makes them sound? Why, it almost makes them sound as if they don't really believe in demons after all!

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Big Question 5: What is the Role of Skepticism in the Atheist Community?

Bigfoot?
Bigfoot? (Photo credit: Ben Cumming)
I'm back to sharing my thoughts about the six big questions over which atheists have disagreed, and it is time to tackle the fifth question. This one asks about the role of skepticism in the atheist community, and it is an admittedly strange question for at least a few reasons. First, some assumed that I had Atheism+ in mind when I added this one and suggested that it should be combined with the previous question about how tolerant we should be of diverse opinions in our community. But I was not thinking of Atheism+ here; I was thinking of something fairly different that I will explain below. While I do agree that an argument could be made for combining this with the previous question, I am not sure the overlap is as great as I initially thought. Second, this seems like an odd question because it is commonly assumed that most atheists arrive at atheism through skepticism and would therefore be strong proponents of skepticism. I am now convinced that this common assumption is likely false and that there are many atheists who came to atheism through means other than skepticism, some of whom also have little understanding of or appreciation for skepticism. Third, this question may prove to be even more divisive than the previous one, which might lead some to avoid asking it. But I am convinced it is worth asking, and so it is to the question which I will now turn:
What is the role of skepticism in atheism? Is it sufficiently important that we should seek to be skeptical of our own ideas, or is it enough just to be skeptical of others' ideas? Some atheists believe that certain ideas (e.g., components of their preferred ideology) are beyond questioning; other atheists perceive this as hypocritical and argue that we ought to question all ideas to evaluate their merit.
For many atheists, including this one, skepticism is how we arrived at atheism. My skepticism was what brought me to atheism and not the other way around. I have met many atheists with a similar experience, but this is far from a universal experience among atheists. For some of us, skepticism was key; for others, it was irrelevant. If we are going to make any sense of this question, we need to acknowledge our diversity here at the outset. The role skepticism played in bringing people to atheism is widely variable across atheists.

January 1, 2014

Changes for 2014

2014 Calendar
Happy New Year (for those of you who celebrate such things)! Does 2014 feel any different yet? Yeah, I didn't think so. But just you wait! 2014 is going to be a good year for atheists.

At the beginning of 2013, I identified some changes I wanted to make with regard to this blog and how I spend my time online. As I noted recently, I was fairly successful with doing what was on the list. This was nice to see, but the important thing about the list is that there wasn't anything on it that I can cross off as being complete. It was a list of changes that require continued effort to sustain.

This raises the question of what else I'd like to accomplish in 2014 besides trying to stick with everything that was on the previous list from 2013. And yes, I have cope up with a few additions.

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