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James A. Haught

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James A. Haught is editor emeritus of West Virginia's largest newspaper, The Charleston Gazette-Mail.  Mr. Haught has won two dozen national news writing awards. He has written 12 books and hundreds of magazine essays and blog posts. Around 450 of his essays are online. He is a senior editor of Free Inquiry magazine, a weekly blogger at Daylight Atheism, and was writer-in-residence at the United Coalition of Reason. He is in Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Contemporary Authors and 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century. He will be 88 years old on Feb. 20, 2020.  Many of his articles are republished from chapters in his 1996 book, 2000 Years of Disbelief: Famous People With the Courage to Doubt, published by Prometheus Books, all rights reserved. He can be reached by phone at 304-348-5199 or by email: haught(at)  

OpEd News Member for 197 week(s) and 1 day(s)

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SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Secular Surge Religion is dying in Western democracies - but not in in poor southern lands or Muslim countries. This report outlines the retreat of supernaturalism.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 1, 2021
Nine Decades of Secular Humanism Humanism means helping people, and secular means doing it without supernatural religion. Together, secular humanism is the life-force of western civilization. Liberals keep defeating conservatives to make it advance. .
Glendalough Tower & Ruins, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 29, 2021
Church Fadeout Religion is dying in the United States faster than any otherplace around the world. A sorry example is Episcopalians, who dropped by half since the 1960s, while the U.S. population nearly doubled.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, September 14, 2021
The Birth of Liberalism Three centuries ago, rebel thinkers of The Enlightenment challenged the divine right of kings and tyrannies of the church. Their crusading laid the foundation for democracy and modern human rights.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, September 6, 2021
Sept. 11 - Day of Warning The horror of Sept. 11, 2001, showed that just a handful of religious fanatics can commit a huge atrocity. 9/11 should be remembered as a global day of warning - as the British observe Guy Faukes Day to recall a Catholic plot to kill Protestants.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 1, 2021
An Early 'Occupy' Episode The 'Occupy Wall Street' protest of recent years wasn't the first of its kind. In the 1890s, 'Coxey's Army' waged the same struggle - with the same meager results.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, August 28, 2021
Only Religious War Remains In this 21st century, war has nearly ceased - except for religious combat. The Taliban seizure of Afghanistan is the latest horror. Someday, the cruel Boko Haram holy war may capture Nigeria. Stay tuned.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Hurrah for Liberals: Deadly Labor Struggles Working people spent centuries trying to gain control of their circumstances - while business owners tried to keep them subjugated. This struggle turned violent in West Virginia's mine wars, the biggest insurrection since the Civil War
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Hurrah for Liberals: Clear Differences Nobody knows where beliefs come from - why some people are politically liberal and others conservative, for example. But it's obvious that liberals work more to help others like the poor, minorities and underdogs, rather than themselves.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, August 3, 2021
Religion is Silly Fairy Tales Religious doctrines are magical claims that lack any evidence. Millions of bright young people in western democracies no longer swallow them. The Secular Age is snowballing in the west - but not in low-income tropical places. .
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Human Progress Three hundred years ago, The Enlightenment propelled western civilization toward human rights, democracy, equality and many other gains. Ever since, crusading liberals have defeated conservatives to increase the betterment.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, July 18, 2021
Handmaid Danger Fading The Handmaid's Tale was a horror story about a fundamentalist seizure of America. It was stunning when published in 1985 because the "religious right" - white evangelicals allied with the GOP - was at the peak of its power. But that segment fell from 23 percent of the populace to merely 14 percent. The danger is fading.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 10, 2021
Christianity is Collapsing White evangelicals - the "religious right" that tries to revoke women's right to choose and elect GOP politicians - fell to just 14 percent of the U.S. populace last year. Hurrah. .
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, July 8, 2021
It's a Crime to Trust God Mississippi put "In God We Trust" on license plates, triggering a federal lawsuit. Actually, it's a crime to trust God: Parents who reject medical care for sick children, trusting only prayer - causing death - are prosecuted. .
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, June 23, 2021
The Majesty of the Mountains Geologic time is so vast - hundreds of millions of years - that it's almost beyond human comprehension. It boggles the brain to realize that America's Appalachia was created in the remote past when North America crushed against Europe and Africa.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 21, 2021
Licensed Astrologers Astronomy - especially astrophysics - is a profoundly important branch of science. But astrology is silly nonsense, little different from palm-reading or Tarot card predictions.
Jefferson Bible, From CreativeCommonsPhoto
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, May 18, 2021
Science Future Glorious; Religion - Why Bother? In the two centuries since Thomas Jefferson, science has transformed American life utterly. Presumably coming decades will bring more astounding changes.
Auburn IL - Church for Sale,, From CreativeCommonsPhoto
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 23, 2021
I.Q. Up, Religion Down Religion has faded so much in America that fewer than half of adults belong to a church - down from 70 percent a couple of decades ago. Why this sudden transformation? Here are four possible reasons.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 23, 2021
Life's Random Cruelty A few children die of horrible diseases, while parents and church congregations pray fervently for God to save them. Doesn't the Deity help? This dilemma is called the problem of evil - and attempts to answer it are called theodicy.
Why Do These Televangelists Need Expensive Jets? They also fly in private jets. It's impossible to know exactly how much money these ministries take in each year because they are not required to make financial ..., From YouTubeVideos
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 12, 2021
For-Profit Faith Big-money evangelists peddle religious fairy tales and live like kings on money from gullible believers. What a travesty.

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