November 10, 2019

Why They Go to Church

church window

During a recent Sunday, I saw a few people on Twitter asking why Christians bother with church. It was more of a rhetorical question than anything, and I don't think they were really seeking answers. It was more about wanting to point out how those attending church are wasting their time. I certainly felt that church was a waste of my time, but I recognize that many churchgoing Christians do not feel this way.

I am not going to claim to know why all Christians go to church. I suspect that different Christians would give different reasons for why they attend church. In this post, I thought I'd mention some of the reasons I have heard from Christians over the years. I am sure that this list is far from exhaustive, but these are a few of the reasons I've heard repeatedly.

November 8, 2019

All They Want Are Memes

moody cat

I'm working on a new "theory" about atheist social media that doesn't really deserve to be called a theory. Here it is:

Given sufficient time, any unmoderated social media platform aimed at atheists will devolve into little more than the sharing of memes.
It doesn't matter if it is one of the older and more established platforms like Twitter or Facebook or if it is one of the newer ones like Minds or MeWe. Unless someone imposes moderation of some sort, everyone will eventually be drowning in memes.

November 6, 2019

Is There Any Hope for Mississippi?

Southern mansion

I voted in Mississippi's statewide election yesterday. I've noticed in previous elections in Mississippi that the Democratic Party does not always bother to run candidates for various positions, but this was far worse on yesterday's ballot than anything I remember before. While they did manage to find Democratic candidates to run for most of the statewide races, this was far from true for the other races. The ballot was at least 4 pages long, and it seemed like the last 2 pages were filled with uncontested Republicans.

At first, I found myself feeling angry about this. My anger quickly dissipated and was replaced by a sense of hopelessness. What was the point? Democrats do not win elections here. The vast majority of my neighbors would never consider voting for someone who didn't have "Republican" next to their name. And why would they? Many of them were raised to view Democrats as traitors (or worse). It doesn't matter that the state is failing in more ways than I can count; they are going to keep electing members of the party who have been presiding over the failure. And they'll keep doing that because they have grown up believing that the other party is far worse and that Jesus was a Republican.

November 3, 2019

The Democrats' Religion Problem

Jesus fish

Here's a quick take on Mark Silk's recent post at Religion News Service, Do the Democrats have a religion problem? Yes, the Democratic Party does have a religion problem. Specifically, they have been far too slow to maintain their tradition of religious pandering in the face of declining religious affiliation. It remains to be seen whether this will cost them in terms of votes, but it is unfortunate either way.

In the minds of many younger voters, religiosity has become associated with bigotry. I do not mean to suggest that most young voters think that all religious believers are bigots. That is not the case. What I am suggesting is that religiosity in the sense of frequency of church attendance, the degree to which religion is a central part of one's life, and other common indicators are beginning to be associated with bigotry. Here's another way to think about it: when younger voters hear someone described as "a devout Christian," the connotations are less positive than they used to be.

November 2, 2019

Coming Out Atheist: Is Losing Your Relationship Worth It?

couple holding hands

You are in an intimate relationship, and you'd just as soon remain that way. The problem is, s/he is religious while you have come to doubt your faith. After some deep reflection, you have come to the conclusion that you just don't believe all this god stuff anymore. But you are worried that telling your partner about this may irreparably damage your relationship.

What do you do? If you keep your thoughts to yourself, will that make you feel like you are living a lie or that your partner might love who they think you are rather than who you are? What would it be like to stay in a relationship where you can't be yourself? I can't decide what is right for you in such a case, but I will offer some thoughts on the matter for you to consider.

I'll start by saying that I think the situation I have described, difficult as it is, tends to be easier than a similar scenario involving one's family. After all, most people will have more intimate partners during the course of their lives than they will have families. I realize this is not a pleasant notion because you'd prefer to maintain this relationship.