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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)wvgazettemail.com.  

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Lady Mae Checks In On Noah | Greenleaf | Oprah Winfrey Network Noah's wedding to his fiance, Isabel, is just around the corner, but Grace's return to Memphis has Noah confused and Grace's mother anxious. For her part, Lady ..., From YouTubeVideos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 10, 2020
Megachurch Mess Megachurches, with 20,000 members or more, are the most successful face of Christianity. But many scandals show they can be cesspools - and a TV series confirms it.
Feed the people, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 26, 2019
Feeding 7.7 Billion The human population of Planet Earth has quadrupled, just in my lifetime. Climate change is ruining some cropland. Can agriculture continue feeding the manswarm?
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Religion-Tinged Politics White evangelicals are the heart of the Republican Party, and wield great control over America. But their numbers are fading fast, and their power soon may end.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 28, 2020
deadly labor struggles In the bad old days, employers exploited workers brutally - causing the union movement to battle for decency. It reached a peak in the "smokestack era" when factories needed armies of blue-collar workers. But the modern "information age" is more specialized, and unions have less power.
Dreamland, From FlickrPhotos
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 1, 2020
The Dreams that Stuff is Made Of Science reveals that reality is baffling and astounding - far more mysterious than the magical claims of religion.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, February 29, 2020
Coal Mine Wars Hardly anyone knows that America's worst armed uprising since the Civil War was a struggle by Appalachian coal miners in the early 1900s.
Carl Sagan Planetary Society.JPG, From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Sagan: Brilliant Skeptic Carl Sagan was perhaps the most famous scientist of the late 20th century - and he also crusaded against all types of supernaturalism.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Skeptics Are Smarter Higher I.Q. means less belief in supernatural religion dogmas, according to sociological studies. And average I.Q. is rising three points per decade.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 17, 2020
Logic Disproves All-Merciful God Why do children die horrible deaths while their parents pray desperately? Why doesn't God save them? Is he heartless? No - the answer is simple: He doesn't exist.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Breaking the Last Taboo Nearly all the great thinkers, reformers, scientists, writers, philosophers and other outstanding people through history have been religious doubters.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 6, 2020
Francisco Ferrer: Secular Martyr Few people today remember a crusading reformer, Francisco Ferrer, who was railroaded and executed by Spain's right-wing church-and-government complex. He founded secular "modern schools" that still operate worldwide.
Albert Einstein photo 1920., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, February 15, 2020
The Code of the Universe Nature itself contains a profound set of laws governing matter, energy, radiation and everything else that exists. It's awesome.
All-religions, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, December 25, 2019
The Biggest News of the 21st Century Haught essay on the rapid decline of religion in western democracies - a major cultural shift
Tales serial., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, December 24, 2019
Best and Worst The immortal novel, A Tale of Two Cities, begins: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness...I think this yin-and-yang contradiction exists right now, today and probably existed at every moment since the beginning of recorded history
god, From FlickrPhotos
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 9, 2020
Does God Exist? The vast power within atoms, and of gravity, and in life-producing DNA, is very real. Does it constitute God? Who knows?
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, December 29, 2019
The Enlightenment Still Wins In the three centuries since the Enlightenment, progressive reformers constantly have defeated conservatives to bring human rights, democracy and safe modern life.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 17, 2020
Is It Blasphemy or Honesty? Around the world, blasphemy is portrayed as evil. But it simply means to question supernatural, magical, miraculous clams of religion. That's almost a duty for intelligent, educated people.
Coal miners in Hazleton PA 1900., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 9, 2020
Nine-Tenths of Coal Miners are Gone Coal mining relentlessly vanished in England, and it's fading in America - leaving misery behind.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, February 22, 2020
Epic Love Story Created Black Town Slavery left its mark on much of America. In my region, a plantation owner fell permanently in love with one of his slaves, had 13 children by her, and was murdered by white neighbors - but she and the children inherited his land, which became the state's largest black town.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 12, 2020
Ingersoll, Freethought Battler After the Civil War, America experienced a "golden age of freethought", when many thinkers denounced supernatural religion. Best known was Robert Ingersoll, a dynamic lecturer on the Lyceum circuit.
Megachurch, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, December 30, 2019
Zealots in High Office Religion is shrinking rapidly in America - yet President Trump has filled his cabinet with white fundamentalists who are the heart of the GOP base.
Nikos Kazantzakis A documentary on Nikos Kazantakis' life and work, in English. No subtitles are available. I am a great admirer of his work. Here is my tribute to him, a book (in ..., From YouTubeVideos
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 7, 2020
Nikos Kazantzakis: Brilliant Skeptic Nikos Kazantzakis - who barely missed the Nobel Prize in literature - was a profound thinker about "the perplexity of mankind."
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Clash of Civilizations Today's western struggle against Muslim terrorism can be viewed as a continuation of 14 centuries of conflict between Christianity and Islam.
Hieronymous Bosch, Hell, after 1490; Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice (3), From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 12, 2020
The Beast in Shadows Behind Religion Worldwide, it's assumed that religion makes believers kind and brotherly - but reality reveals many horrors from faith.
Old lamp, From FlickrPhotos
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 6, 2020
Where on Earth are we Headed? Few people today can imagine what it was like to live without electricity. Snowballing technology keeps transforming and re-transforming human life.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 28, 2020
Snowballing Technology Destroys, Creates Since the 1950s, technology change has transformed newspaper printing - and most other American jobs. The process is ruthless and hurtful, but inescapable and unstoppable.
Santeria Macumba, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Everyone is a Skeptic Beliefs of other religions - such as praying over models of Shiva's penis - seem absurd to those who follow different religions.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, March 28, 2020
Endless Absurdities Hundreds of religious beliefs are so ridiculous they're laughable. Yet billions of people thinks we should respect the "great truths" of all faiths.
chair, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 21, 2020
Existentialism for Secular Humanists During the 1950s, millions of educated western people were gripped by existentialism, a philosophy that focuses on the ultimate absurdity and pointlessness of life.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 17, 2020
Fundamentalist Holy War White evangelicals opposed to modern, multicultural school textbooks wreaked havoc in West Virginia almost a half-century ago.
P&G logo., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 15, 2020
The Great Satanic Panic Two decades ago, America suffered satanism hysteria that caused some day-care operators to be imprisoned. The whole panic was imaginary
Knowlton Church ruins, From FlickrPhotos
(11 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 24, 2020
Personal Freedoms Kill Religion Religion is collapsing in all Western democracies - most rapidly in the United States. A new book cites many causes for this remarkable sociological change.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 6, 2020
'Deathwind' is Part of Our History In Appalachia, hero status is bestowed on a pathological killer who hunted Indians like prey. Lewis "Deathwind" Wetzel is honored in history. His story reveals the gory danger of frontier life.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Religious Holidays Without Religion Old holy days - Easter, Christmas, Jewish holidays, etc. - slowly lose their miraculous, supernatural components and become just times for human enjoyment.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 21, 2020
Purpose-Driven Lives Finding ultimate purpose is impossible - but honest people can give meaning to their lives by following scientific honesty.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 18, 2020
A Freethinker's Testimony Appalachia's "Bible Belt" is a hub of whoop-and-shout born-again culture - but many residents are educated, science-minded skeptics, as this testimony shows.
Man and woman undergoing public exposure for adultery in Japan-J. M. W. Silver., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 6, 2020
Religion and Sexual Shame Sex is normal, wholesome, healthy and wonderful - yet western religion has spent centuries tainting it with shame and guilt.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 4, 2020
It's All About Honesty An honest person doesn't claim to know supernatural things that nobody can know. Preachers are the most dishonest because they endlessly make supernatural assertions.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 16, 2020
Evangelicals Vote, 'Nones' Falter Millions of younger Americans have quit church and say their religion is "none." These "nones" generally hold liberal, compassionate, tolerant political values - but they rarely vote. If they can be mobilized, America will become a more humane place.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 20, 2020
Right and Wrong: A Daily Dilemma In the 1950s, was it right for gays to be thrown in prison - but not today? A century ago, was it right to forbid women to vote - but not today? Morality evolves.
%D7%A7%D7%9C%D7%A3%2C %D7%A0%D7%95%D7%A6%D7%94 %D7%95%D7%93%D7%99%D7%95., From WikimediaPhotos
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, July 4, 2020
Exquisite Writing Leaves an Impression Millions of words flow every minute across the world's media and the Internet - yet a few special writings grip one's soul, locking into the memory. They are a treasure.
Opening to The Mothman Prophecies 2002 VHS [Columbia/TriStar] Here is the opening to the 2002 VHS of .The Mothman Prophecies.. 1. Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment logo (2001-2004)/ 'Coming Soon to Theaters' 2., From YouTubeVideos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 1, 2020
The Goofier the Tale, the More it's Swallowed Many nutty beliefs are held by otherwise intelligent people. They're hilarious.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 2, 2020
Human Decency Moves Civilization Forward Human decency - the better angels of our nature - spurs civilization to grow constantly more humane and livable.
Jesus Saves, From FlickrPhotos
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 9, 2020
White Evangelicals Oppose Jesus Jesus stood with underdogs and urged help for little people - similar to the public "safety net" advocated by Democrats. But white evangelicals back Republicans who want to slash the safety net
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, June 16, 2020
The Marvelous Mystery of Music Music is merely sound waves in the air - steady tones in various patterns. Why, then, do some melodies reduce listeners to tears. while others seem tedious or boring? It's impossible to explain.
Scene from Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 28, 2020
Problems with Bible Classes Several Republican-controlled states require public schools to teach Bible classes. But that opens the door to stormy problems over Bible commands to kill gays, kill non-virgin brides, kill Sabbath workers, approve slavery, etc.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, June 17, 2020
If Thine Enemy Offend Thee, Rub Him Out Endlessly, news headlines from around the world tell of religious fanatics who kill rival believers or "infidels" who question faith. It contradicts the universal belief that religion makes believers good.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 6, 2020
GOP Albatross White evangelicals are the heart of the GOP base - but they're fading as religion dies in America. The future of the Republican Party is uncertain.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 31, 2020
Assault Guns for Jesus Crackpot right-wing "militias" seem comical - but they're armed to kill, which isn't funny.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 28, 2020
Religion is Dying - No Conspiracy Needed Some church advocates claim that America's educated elite push secular human values to undercut religion. But, in reality, faith is dying in all western democracies, without any such opposition.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 25, 2020
Conservatives Lose - and Lose - and Lose Although conservatives win elections, they gradually lose the deep culture war that sets humane values for America.
Ataturk, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Ataturk Triumphed Over Religion Will modern secular democracy ever develop in Muslim countries? It happened once - in the 1920s and '30s when reformer Ataturk revised life in Turkey. However, today's leaders are pulling Turkey back toward rigid theocracy.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, March 12, 2020
Holy Horrors Billions of people think religion makes believers kind and brotherly - but the evidence of history shows an ugly pattern of persecution, massacres, pogroms, inquisitions and wars caused by faith.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 9, 2020
Truth and Beauty There is deep beauty in knowledge that science reveals for humans. A West Virginia university hall is labeled: "Science is truth. Truth is beauty."
Tibetan Tangka Painting, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 23, 2020
Many, Many, Many Gods Around the world, over the centuries, people have worshiped a zoo of thousands of gods - all of them imaginary, as far as any honest researcher can determine.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 20, 2020
The God Biz - part 2 This is a continuation of a long Penthouse magazine report on Bible Belt gospel frauds and swindles - by an investigative reporter who specialized in the field.
before winter comes., From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 17, 2020
Where Do Beliefs Come From? What causes some people to be liberals or conservatives, believers or skeptics, Puritans or fun-lovers, "hawks" or "doves"? It's baffling.
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, June 28, 2020
Mass Murder for God The worst terror attack in U.S. history - the suicide massacre of Sept. 11, 2001 - was committed by volunteer "martyrs" who thought they were serving God. How can fanatics think that God wants murder?
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 17, 2020
Revelations, Visitations and All That Miraculous events are reported frequently - and believed by a certain number of religious adherents, although the supernatural happenings are absurd.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 29, 2020
The Birth of Freethought Ancient Greece was the first known place where thinkers sought natural explanations for phenomena, not supernatural ones - launching the war between religion and science.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, March 1, 2020
Joy on the Water Gliding a small sailboat across a rippling lake is spiritual and gratifying - a joy of living with nature.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 11, 2020
Agog Over Gog and Magog As he prepared to invade Iraq in 2003, then-President George W. Bush told France's leader that the war was needed to thwart Gog and Magog. No kidding. It happened.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, December 31, 2019
Humanism - Helping People Humanism is a never-ending struggle to improve life for people. Secular humanism is doing it without supernatural religion.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, December 29, 2019
The Ultimate Human Idiocy Why on Earth do Muslim suicide bombers sacrifice their own lives to kill defenseless strangers who did them no harm? It's baffling.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 23, 2020
Moral Progress Although TV news makes the world seem horrible, life actually grows constantly less violent and more humane. The improvement began two centuries ago with The Enlightenment.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, March 8, 2020
James Baldwin: Brilliant Skeptic Most people remember James Baldwin as America's greatest black writer - but few know he was a teen-age fundamentalist preacher who later renounced religion.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, March 18, 2020
The Borgias: Holy Murderers In medieval times, the papacy sometimes suffered corruption and dishonor. The Borgias were the worst.
Evolution, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, March 7, 2020
Evolution Debate is about Honesty Evolution is the basic premise of biology. Nearly all the world's top scientists are convinced that advanced animals evolved from earlier, primitive ones. Yet some religious zealots refuse to accept science.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, March 15, 2020
Hail the Rising Secular Age Many call America a Christian nation, but that's untrue. The ratio of U.S. churchgoers has fallen dramatically since 1990. Now, the biggest segment is Americans who say their faith is "none."
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, December 27, 2019
Prod 'Nones' to Vote While white evangelicals are the heart of the Republican Party, young Americans who say their religion is "none" generally hold progressive values - so the Democratic Party should mobilize them as voters.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 15, 2020
Russell Fought for Scientific Honesty Bertrand Russell was a 20th- century hero - a crusader for intelligent honesty against supernatural mumbo-jumbo. More thinking people should remember him.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 3, 2020
The Trillion-Dollar Fraud Billions of people embrace supernatural religions of various sorts - but they're all untrue. Magical systems of gods, devils, heavens, hells, miracles, prophecies and the like are just fantasies, having no reality.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 24, 2020
Religious Evils Amid many minor religious scandals, two major evils dominate this 21st century: suicide-bombing massacres by Islamic "martyrs" and never-ending sex offenses by Catholic priests (plus some fundamentalist preachers).
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 30, 2020
The Forest is My Church Inner peace and personal serenity come from hiking shady trails in cathedral-like woodlands.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Low-Pay Writing In the past, authors earned solid income from a small array of writing markets. But now, the astounding Cyber Age publishes vastly more writing - at near zero pay.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 14, 2020
Jefferson - 'Howling Atheist' Most Americans revere Thomas Jefferson as the brilliant architect of democracy. But few know he hated clergymen and most of religion in his day.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Parable of Floundering Frogs The struggle to solve human problems may seem overwhelming - but an old Russian parable about drowning frogs tells everyone to keep on kicking.
The Supreme Court, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 27, 2020
States of Faith America's radical founders saw that the only way to avoid religious horrors was to keep church and state separate. But politicians endlessly pander for votes by approving government endorsement of religion.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, February 28, 2020
Living With Absurdity So much of daily life reeks of absurdity. President Trump's 17,000 countable lies make Washington a zoo of absurdity. But thinking people must cope, anyway.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 16, 2020
The Tide of History Flows Left In the two centuries since The Enlightenment, liberals constantly have defeated conservatives to bring democracy, human rights and safe modern life.
16 religionist symbols., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom Religious freedom means that neither the government nor anyone else can tell you what to believe. Centuries of struggle were required to win that right in western democracies.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, February 6, 2020
My God, How the Money Rolls In In every culture since prehistoric time, priests have reaped wealth and prestige by claiming to speak for supernatural spirits.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, February 1, 2020
Seekers, Not Finders Philosophy-club members endlessly ponder the deepest questions. They can't find answers - but the search is rewarding, anyway.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 12, 2020
The Mother of all Questions Many people are vague and unsure about whether God exists. They tend to ignore the question. However, it's actually the most important question for every human.
Jonestown entrance., From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, February 2, 2020
Cult Tragedies Most cults are one-man religions led by dynamic, charismatic weirdos. And they can produce horrors.
Science Fish, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 20, 2020
Science Always Defeats Religion In Ancient Greece, logical thinkers sought natural explanations, not supernatural ones. The war between science and religion hasn't stopped since.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 7, 2020
Gay Equality When I was young in the 1950s, gay sex was a felony. But America's culture evolved, and gays slowly were accepted as equal fellow humans. Bravo.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 26, 2020
Religious Madness in Ulster For decades, Catholic and Protestant hate gangs killed each other in Northern Ireland. It was "religious tribalism" in action.
Juvenile Stegosaurus dinosaur footprints in sandstone (Morrison Formation, Upper Jurassic; Quarry 5, Dinosaur Ridge, west of Denver, north-central Colorado, USA), From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, January 13, 2020
Baby Dinosaurs on Noah's Ark The First Amendment in the Bill of Rights forbids giving taxpayer money to religion - but conservative politicians often violate this law, for instance, by using "vouchers" that funnel public funds to church schools.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, May 16, 2020
John Adams - Bold Radical It's often claimed that all of America's founders were Christians and that this is a "Christian nation." However, brave radicals like John Adams mostly were Deists who rejected Christianity.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 19, 2020
The God Biz - part 1 As a newspaper investigative reporter, Haught covered many Bible Belt religious frauds. This is the first half of his long report in Penthouse magazine.
Counquest of Jeusalem, From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 10, 2020
More Harm than Good A disillusioned religion professor and theologian concludes that faith is more hurtful than beneficial. What's your view?
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 28, 2020
The Cristero War Few people today remember that Mexico was shattered in the 1920s by a bloody war between Catholic zealots and the secular government.
Mark Twain by AF Bradley., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 29, 2020
Freethinker Mark Twain Mark Twain was an American delight, a national treasure. But his scorn for religion was kept hidden during the era when only churchgoers were "respectable."
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, January 5, 2020
The Long, Long Journey to Female Equality Throughout history, women have been subjugated to lesser status. Finally, near-equality has been attained in western democracies, but not in many other parts of the world.
Dickens Gurney head., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Doubts of Dickens Charles Dickens was a "social justice warrior" as well as a superb novelist. He frequently battled against religion in England.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, March 16, 2020
Chandrasekhar: Brilliant Skeptic An Indian teen-ager calculated something that other world scientists failed to see: If a collapsing star is beyond a certain size, it will keep on collapsing. He discovered the first hint of pulsars and black holes.
Ethan Allen @ Montpelier, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 11, 2020
Ethan Allen, Maverick Ethan Allen is little-known in American history - but he was a fascinating maverick. Did you know that he wrote a book denouncing religion? Like most founding fathers, he scorned Christianity.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Why Would God Drown Children? Terrible disasters kill multitudes of people. Horrible diseases cause agonizing death. Nature is ruthless, with predators slaughtering prey. How can an all-loving, all-merciful God let it occur? That's a question no theologian can answer.
Is survival of the fittest god's grace?, From FlickrPhotos
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Theology and Honesty Theology is the study of supernatural spirits - but how can anyone study purely imaginary beings?
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 25, 2020
The Story Behind Waco's Tragedy Older Americans remember the tragic Waco siege that killed many cultists - but few know that it began with the Millerite fiasco a century before.
Thomas Paine, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Thomas Paine, Offbeat Hero Thomas Paine, the fiery spirit of the American Revolution, also was a fiery opponent of organized religion. His freethinking tarnished his standing in American history.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 18, 2020
Lincoln Shunned Religion Abraham Lincoln almost destroyed his political career by writing an attack on supernatural religion. But friends burned his text and saved him from a church backlash.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 17, 2020
From High Prestige to Low A half-century ago, "tall-steeple" religion, with its educated clergy, was highly respected in America. But those upper-crust mainline churches have dwindled, leaving mostly shallow, lowbrow, emotional religion behind.
progress, From CreativeCommonsPhoto
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 23, 2021
Nine Decades of Progress During one lifetime, liberal-progressive advances have improved life for billions of people. It's a beneficial triumph that's barely noticed in daily life.
Galileo, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 25, 2020
Darwin's Breakthrough A huge battle in the war between science and religion erupted in the mid-1800s when Charles Darwin showed that humans and other complex animals evolved from simpler ones. The Bible's account of creation was reduced to fable.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 1, 2020
Burbank"s Crop of Doubt In Luther Burbank's era, agriculture remained the heart of America's economy. He transformed it - and also enraged church believers with his skepticism.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, June 9, 2020
Montaigne, Father of the Essay During the era when the church still killed doubters, Michel de Montaigne bravely wrote essays scoffing at supernaturalism. He was a hero of the growing Age of Reason.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, March 21, 2020
Y2K - Don't Yield to Kooks Humans count in multiples of tens because they have ten fingers. If they had eight, our number system would be different. So there was no magic when the world reached the year 2000.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 2, 2020
Let's Outgrow Fairy Tales All religion consists of supernatural fairy tales. Modern, educated, intelligent, science-minded people are beyond such childishness.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 22, 2020
Little-Known Side of Napoleon Like Alexander the Great, Napoleon conquered vast territory in many nations - yet his French empire came to nothing at the end. Less known is his contempt for religion.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, March 27, 2020
50,000 Religions? Each year, 40 to 50 new religious movements emerge in America alone, adding to thousands already practiced. They all have one thing in common: They're fantasies - untrue supernaturalism.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, June 6, 2020
Deep Wisdom of Omar Khayyam A millennium ago, a profound Persian poet spelled out the basis of agnosticism - the confusion of thinkers who cannot answer why life or the universe exist.
Ducati motorcycle, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, March 16, 2020
One Man's Road to Addiction The "male menopause" sends middle-aged men into odd adventures. Mine was a lovely small motorcycle cruising the curvy roads of Appalachia.
Wikileaks, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 21, 2020
Free Speech and Press The very heart of democracy is free speech and press - the right to express every possible belief, including unpopular ones. Many battles won this right.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Einstein: Brilliant Skeptic Nearly everyone knows that Albert Einstein saw that matter can convert into energy, making nuclear power possible. But few know the rest of his stupendous science career.
Ku Klux Klan members and a burning cross, From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 10, 2020
White Christian Bigotry White evangelicals - the heart of the GOP - display more racism than other white Americans who don't attend church. That's the finding of a new book by Robert Jones of the Public Religion Research Institute.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, April 18, 2020
How Democrats and Republicans Flip-Flopped Believe it or not, Republicans once were America's liberal party, while Democrats were conservative. That standoff prevailed at the time of Abraham Lincoln. But the two major parties reversed position, like Earth's magnetic poles flipping.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, June 22, 2020
Era of the Holy Human Bomb In this 21st century, civilization entered a new phase: the era of human suicide bombers. Thousands of volunteers sacrifice their lives to kill strangers they consider "infidels."
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Sinking into Bewilderment Conspiracy theories - such as those engulfing the JFK assassination and the 9/11 attack - are strongly persuasive. However, no conclusive proof leads to new prosecutions. Honest people remain baffled.
The Daily Prophet, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 10, 2020
Adventures in the Bible Belt Whooping, howling, rattlesnake-handling and "speaking in tongues" are colorful aspects of "that old-time religion" in Appalachia's Bible Belt. It's a flamboyant subculture.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, January 21, 2020
One-Fourth of Christians 'Speak in Tongues" Glossalalia means the uncontrolled spouting of incoherent sounds. With the fading of mainline religion with seminary-educated clergy, less-educated "talking in tongues" groups have climbed to one-fourth of all Christians.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 20, 2020
'White Privilege' Makes Some Uncomfortable Most white Americans don't realize the many benefits that fall into their laps simply because of their skin color. The deck is stacked in their favor - and stacked against minorities.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Th Culture War America's history includes a never-ending struggle between progressives and the hidebound "religious right" and the privileged elite. Despite the dreadful election of Donald Trump, liberals gradually keep winning.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, March 22, 2020
Believers Kill Skeptics Ever since Ancient Greece, history has a clear pattern: religious believers attempt to execute or imprison doubters.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 14, 2020
America's Functional Atheism While conservative politicians endlessly call America a "Christian nation," the general public lives each day in a purely secular manner - as if gods, devils, heavens, hells, angels, demons, miracles, prophecies and the like don't really exist.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 4, 2020
The Problem With Teaching the Bible in Public Schools Conservative politicians often want the Bible taught in public schools - but doing so would open a dreadful can of worms.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, May 20, 2020
Voltaire, Liberal Warrior Voltaire was an early example of what today is dubbed a "social justice warrior." He fought famed battles against cruelties of aristocrats and archbishops.
(4 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 3, 2020
The Pandemic Disproves God Why did God send the pandemic to kill many people? If nature alone created the virus, why didn't God stop it? Was he powerless to save suffering victims - or did he simply not care about their agonized deaths? Logic proves that the merciful god declared by churches cannot exist.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 20, 2020
Modern Liberalism Born Modern Democracy is rooted in The Enlightenment, a breakthrough era that began three centuries ago. It wiped out the tyranny of kings and archbishops.
Elderly couple, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, March 14, 2020
Aging - Bring it On, the Longer the Better People in their 80s have limited lives - but they can feel a sense of purpose and still strive for goals.
Leo Tolstoy 1897, From WikimediaPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, June 4, 2020
Tolstoy's Struggle Leo Tolstoy was born to wealth and privilege - yet he became a "traitor to his class," siding with underdogs and common workers. The Russian Orthodox Church excommunicated him.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Abolition of Slavery Today, it's nearly impossible to believe that human slavery existed for centuries - endorsed by the Bible. Liberals battled many years to halt the evil practice.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, June 5, 2020
Crusading Margaret Sanger American couples gained the right to use birth control largely because Margaret Sanger fought for years against sex-hating opposition. She was jailed eight times - but won in the end.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, January 22, 2020
No Qualms I'm creeping toward 90, and my future is obvious. But I have no time for fairy tales about heavens or hells.
Visions de l'Au-del de Je'rme Bosch (Palazzo Grimani, Venise), From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, February 3, 2020
Nobody Dares Say It News reporters often expose church sex abuses, church money swindles, and the like - but it's taboo to write that supernatural religion itself is a global travesty.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, June 2, 2020
Freud Fought Faith Why do millions worship a father-god? Sigmund Freud said it's because tiny tots see a big father looming over them, loving them, punishing them - and this image becomes buried in the subconscious, later to emerge as a heavenly father.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, July 7, 2020
Far-Out Religious Right Comes from a Crazy Mold For a half-century, the Cold War was the chief cause of bloodshed around the world. But Soviet communism collapsed, and that menace faded. Now the worst gore comes from religious fanatics.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, January 25, 2020
The Taiping Rebellion Many bright, educated, knowledgeable people never heard of a horrific religious war that killed perhaps 20 million people.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 19, 2020
Clear Differences Cynics sometimes claim there's little difference between America's two major political parties. But that's untrue. Liberal Democrats strive to help "little people", while conservative Republicans favor the privileged.
Shakespeare., From WikimediaPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Shakespeare - Hidden Skeptic? In Shakespeare's era, church attendance was mandatory, and any expression of doubt could lead to blasphemy prosecution. Yet the great bard never voiced standard Christian conviction.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, April 4, 2020
Little-Known Quirk of Faith Did you know that many Muslims await a second coming of Jesus - to renounce Christianity and endorse Islam?
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 5, 2020
When Thinking is a Crime As civilizations developed, the priest class gained power and luxury, escaping toils of the working class. To ensure their privileges, they inflicted severe punishment on anyone to questioned their supernatural claims.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Long Shadows of Evening Near the end of life, as the years run out, it's natural to wish for a future in heaven. But that's a fantasy. There's no evidence that people survive death. So face it honestly.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 26, 2020
The Battle for Birth Control For centuries, women sought ways to prevent pregnancy - while religion tried to criminalize pregnancy-preventers. Finally, birth control has become a human right.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, April 12, 2020
Evolution Produced All Life, Including Skeptics It seems incredible that millions of living creatures, from bacteria to redwoods, were spawned by the DNA molecule that zips and unzips. But scientific-minded people must accept this explanation, because alleged supernatural causes are nonsense.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, January 24, 2020
The Search for Meaning Studying philosophy is a long trip to nowhere, because ultimate answers never can be found. But it's deeply rewarding, regardless.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 6, 2020
Recovering a Lost Treasure Amid all the gods, oracles and sacrifices of Ancient Greece, Epicurus voiced honest doubt. Later, in Rome, Lucretius wrote about Epicurus in a masterpiece, "The Nature of Things." But his manuscript was lost for 1,600 years until a monk found one dust-covered copy in a monastery.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, May 10, 2020
Leftward Ho Several demographic trends imply that liberal-progressive values will grow in America. White evangelicals, the heart of the Republican Party, are shrinking, while left-leaning churchless young people are rising.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, April 24, 2020
Free Public Schools A long crusade by progressive liberals finally brought free public education to America. Now it's a central facet of democracy.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, June 3, 2020
Einstein: Skeptic Genius Albert Einstein is a global symbol of science genius. Debate has raged over his religion. Despite his poetic sense of nature and the universe, he basically was an atheist.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 10, 2020
Watching Religion Die Although America often is called a "Christian nation," religion actually is fading rapidly and relentlessly. Loss of faith may undercut the GOP, which depends heavily on white evangelicals.
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.
Garden Grove Cathedral, From CreativeCommonsPhoto
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 27, 2020
Will the Religious Right Fizzle? Since the 1980s, white evangelicals have been a dynamo for the GOP, repeatedly swinging election victories for Republican presidents. But indicators imply that their power finally may be fading.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, July 13, 2020
One Ahead, Two Back Since the Enlightenment 300 years ago, western civilization has won many human rights, personal freedoms and living improvements. This leftward flow of history came from many, many liberal victories over conservatives.
etching, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Doubts of the Famous Most outstanding people through history have been religious skeptics, and were willing to say so. Here's part of my personal quote collection.
Thomas Edison National Historical Park, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, May 30, 2020
Edison the Iconoclast Most Americans know the inventive genius of Thomas Edison - but few know of his lifelong battle against religion. It was a hidden storm a century ago.
Trump Keeps Attacking Fellow GOP Members, From YouTubeVideos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 4, 2020
America's Ugly Flaw Donald Trump is the most obnoxious, insulting president in American history - so why do millions support him politically? It reveals a national flaw.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Fundamental Falsehoods The Lilly Endowment donated millions to spawn news reports favorable to religion. However, it's difficult to write favorably about supernatural systems that rest on falsehoods.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 23, 2020
An Early 'Occupy' Episode The 'Occupy Wall Street' movement focused national attention on the needs of ordinary Americans and the greed of the one-percent elite at the top. But few know that "Coxey's Army" was a similar "occupy" effort a century earlier.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, May 11, 2020
Progressive Insights For all progressives, this is a treasury of wise comments about benefits of liberal political actions. It's the final chapter of Haught's 2016 book: Hurrah for Liberals: How Progressives Defeated Conservatives to Create Democracy, Human Rights and Safe Modern Life.
LBJ, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, May 1, 2020
The Great Society Most people think of FDR's "New Deal" in the 1930s as a progressive golden age - but LBJ's "Great Society" in the 1960s scored more liberal victories and transformed America.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 31, 2020
Sex Still Repels Many Sex saturates America - yet many are ashamed about it. Even after the historic "sexual revolution," the taboo against extramarital sex remains strong.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, April 29, 2020
Racial Equality Today, few remember the era of Jim Crow segregation, when blacks were treated as third-class inferiors, denied many basic rights. Lynchings were common in America's South. Liberals slowly wiped out this cruelty.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, September 26, 2020
Cheating Women in Science Lucrative Nobel Prizes have been granted to many male scientists - but sometimes it was female researchers who deserved credit. This pattern was tragically unfair.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 7, 2020
'Closet Atheists' Abound in America Only a small fringe of offbeat Americans openly call themselves atheists - but a much-larger segment of the adult population is "functional atheists", people who live as if God doesn't exist.
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, July 31, 2020
Municipal Mendacity All the spires and steeples hovering over cities seem inspiring - until you realize they represent a system of lies. Supernatural claims of religion are being rejected by intelligent, educated, modern western people.
Stephen Hawking, From FlickrPhotos
(6 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 9, 2020
Trust Science Some findings by science are so bizarre they boggle your brain - but honest thinkers have no choice but to trust science as humanity's only reliable search for truth.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, December 17, 2020
Secular Power Changing America Oregon Democrats passed sensible sex education to prevent teen pregnancy, curb sexual disease, reduce "date rape," and the like. Outraged churches and Republicans forced a recall vote - but they lost solidly.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton house, Seneca Falls, New York, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, May 28, 2020
Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) Today, it's hard to remember the era when women in Europe and America had few rights, and lived mostly as possessions of men. Male supremacy finally was defeated, thanks to crusaders like Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, April 30, 2020
'Dislodge the Traitors' For a half-century, the Cold War between Soviet communism and western capitalism was the world's worst cause of bloodshed. Then it ceased unexpectedly as communism disintegrated.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, April 28, 2020
The New Deal America was transformed in the 1930s when the Democratic "New Deal" launched a "safety net" to protect working families from poverty and other cruelties.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, May 9, 2020
Progressive Future The American populace generally holds more progressive, compassionate values than the conservative minority that rules most of the nation. Demographic trends imply that liberal standards will prevail in coming generations.
SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, May 3, 2020
Backlash Liberal-progressive gains of the 1960s triggered a white evangelical "religious right" backlash in the 1970s. One violent example was West Virginia's 1974 war against "godless textbooks."
Proud deplorable, From FlickrPhotos
(5 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, November 7, 2020
Where Will the Deplorables Go Now? Hurrah! Thank heaven, voters chose to end the bizarre Trump era that has been rooted in appeals to racial and ethnic prejudice.
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 2, 2020
The UMW Cleanup A half-century ago, the United Mine Workers was plagued by corruption. President Tony Boyle sent killers to murder a rival - and eventually went to prison.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, December 2, 2020
'Nones' Elected Biden-Harris Americans who have no religion were decisive in tipping the 2020 election to the Biden-Harris Democratic ticket, according to a top socio-political researcher. Hurrah.
Freud Deconstructed, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Friday, September 18, 2020
Jekyll and Hyde Churches say God is all-loving, all-merciful - but the Bible reports many murders and massacres committed by God, along with other cruelties. Is the deity Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, August 31, 2020
If Thine Enemy Offends Thee, Rub Him Out Every religion espouses love, brotherhood and peace - yet religious tribalism causes horrible bloodshed around the world. It's a baffling paradox.
SHARE More Sharing        Saturday, October 31, 2020
Possible Election Headlines For four decades, white evangelicals have tipped American elections to Republicans. But religion is shrinking rapidly in America. Will white evangelicals finally flop in Tuesday's election?
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, September 3, 2020
The Oil Boom Days The author's grandfather was a pumper running mighty single-piston engines pumping wells on a ridge by the Ohio River - a remnant of the oil boom heyday.
Prepare, From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Friday, October 23, 2020
Fantasies Made of Words Since prehistoric time, every religion - from human-sacrifice groups to armed holy warriors - has followed a fantasy composed of words. Thank heaven, supernatural beliefs are fading among modern western people.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, February 2, 2021
Is Zen Enlightenment Real? Millions of Americans practice Eastern meditation to reach states of enlightenment. But this author wonders if it's a fantasy trip, and nobody really becomes enlightened.
(2 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, September 1, 2020
Observe Sept. 11 as a Day of Warning Sept. 11 will recur soon. It should be observed as a day of warning about horrors of religious fanaticism - the tragic 2001 suicide attack that killed 3,000 Americans.
SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, January 28, 2021
Fundamentalist Intolerance "Religious freedom" laws are touted by conservative politicians - but their only purpose is to let narrow-minded evangelicals express hate for gays. For the rest of Americans, such prejudice is illegal.
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, April 12, 2021
New Phase of Civilization Many, many phases and sub-phases of civilization have developed over the centuries. Now, the author asserts, we are entering the Secular Age when the gods, devils, heavens, hells, miracles, prophecies and other supernaturalism of religion fade to a fringe.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Whatever Happened to War? In the past, wars by the hundreds - thousands - were common. But in the 21st century, they've virtually vanished. Is it just coincidence that religion is vanishing at the same time?
(3 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Sunday, December 6, 2020
Monstrous Miracles Religion contradicts itself. We are told that God is pure love - yet the Bible says he massacred Egyptian children, and drowned nearly everyone in Noah's flood, and burned all the people in some cities, etc. Is he a Jekyll-Hyde deity?
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Thursday, November 19, 2020
How Democrats and Republicans Flip-Flopped Oddly, at the time of Abraham Lincoln, Republicans were the liberal party, and Democrats were conservative. Gradually,the two major parties reversed identity.
SHARE More Sharing        Monday, September 28, 2020
Babbling in 'Tongues' Incredibly, one-fourth of all the world's Christians now "speak in tongues" - a practice associated with 'holy rollers." President Trump's new Supreme Court nominee reportedly is among them.
Where are all the people?, From FlickrPhotos
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, October 19, 2020
Will 'Nones' Bring a Progressive Future? Millions of young Americans ignore religion - and most of them have humane progressive political values. People who say their religion is "none" have become the largest faith segment in the Democratic Party base.
SHARE More Sharing        Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Hunter Who Stopped Killing Gradually, hunting - killing wildlife for sport - has diminished in America. In this commentary, an Appalachian native recounts how he came to pity the creatures he shot.
(1 comments) SHARE More Sharing        Monday, November 30, 2020
Is 2020 a Watershed? Ever since 1980, white evangelicals have been strong enough to tip American elections to Republicans. But maybe this four-decade phase of U.S. history ended in 2020. The answer will become clear in the future.
The altar and apse in St Mary's Catholic Church. Work began in 1854. The church opened in 1872. All work was completed in 1937., From FlickrPhotos
SHARE More Sharing        Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Who Owes Me $10 Million? Catholic altar boys who were molested by priests got $10 million lawsuit settlements - while other young victims got nothing. How can America have "Equal Justice Under Law"?

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