Famous Freethinkers- Adams, Douglas Noel

AMERICAN ATHEISTS: Mr. Adams, you have been described as a “radical Atheist.” Is this accurate? DOUGLAS ADAMS: I think I use the term radical rather loosely, just for emphasis. If you describe yourself as “Atheist,” some people will say, “Don’t you mean ‘Agnostic’?” I have to reply that I really do mean Atheist.”…I really do mean Atheist. I really do not believe that there is a god – in fact I am convinced that there is not a god (a … Read on…

Truth in Free Will Advertising

The Ox folds his wings and in no known language admonishes Our Lord to behave like a role model. The universe resounds with Heavenly annoyance. The Eagle and the Lion are unperturbed. Intervention is out of the question. The Almighty can hardly expect men to act as though they were responsible for the consequences of their actions if He doesn’t accept the consequences of His. No Ex Machinations permitted. And He needn’t act as though the Committee has imposed a … Read on…

Dog day Resurrection

When did world and weather shift, that we walk friends about in fur? On scrabbled coast where Jeffers pined and Mission clay soaked native blood, I am on Easter Sunday in the back pew of Wayfarers’ church, simpled green and white. Hear Father Norm bless all, as my blonde dog stretches under hymnals and the plate, with eyes forgiving human egoists who say God needs no pets in heaven. Norm sermons that life-firsters of today would eagerly pluck Jesus off … Read on…

Faith and Evolution – The Eloquent Engineer

In June 2007 the AARP released the results of a survey where 1011 over-fifty Americans were asked about their beliefs regarding life after death, heaven and hell, religion and spirituality, spirits and ghosts, and other afterlife issues. Soon after, the AARP magazine published an article based on this survey claiming that 94% professed belief in God, 73% believed in the afterlife, 53% in the existence of spirits or ghosts, 86% in heaven and 70% in hell. These numbers surprise me. … Read on…

The “New Atheists”: Are They Saying Anything New?

From a presentation made by Marilyn Westfall at the Theatre of the Upper Arlington Library, Columbus, OH August 4, 2007. When I originally was asked to speak on this topic-”The New Atheists, Are They Saying Anything New?”-my memory went back to the time when I was a Catholic, which was at least nominally until about age 19. I recall how I wouldn’t dare to ask any priest or nun, “Are you saying anything new?” Such a question, if I were … Read on…

Global Warming – The Eloquent Engineer

In today’s politically charged environment, we are increasingly confronted with people supporting their particular agenda with misinformation and distortion. This form of dialog has reared its ugly head in our politics, in our schools, and even in the slightest interaction with strangers. Commentaries printed on the opinion pages of my local newspaper the last few weeks are prime examples of this rising epidemic of global hot air. The authors are not interested in reason, logic, or facts, just in pursuing … Read on…

Mormon Heaven Part 2 (of four)

The History of the LDS Church Let’s begin with a capsule history of the Church. The founder, Joseph Smith, was born on a farm in upstate New York in the early nineteenth century. That area later became known as The Burned-Over District, a nickname alluding to the many fire-and-brimstone preachers who roamed the area delivering jeremiads to the local residents in tent shows and so-called camp meetings, urging them to repent their sinful ways lest they burn eternally in Hell. … Read on…

Mission Dolores Part IV (of four)

At Mission Delores, San Francisco: Religious Romance & Genocide IV – Reflections & Models Prior to 1769 and the first missions, likely 350,000 to a million native peoples lived in what is now California.  Five-hundred independent tribes spoke as many as one hundred languages or dialects-by estimates of linguists and anthropologists. There was great diversity in customs, rituals, story-telling, clothing and adornment, basket-weaving, and trading. In a land of plenty, peace was the norm. By contrast, in1846 the diarist Titian … Read on…

Mission Dolores Part III (of four)

At Mission Delores, San Francisco: Religious Romance & Genocide III – The Cemetery, Graves & Roses At the entrance to the mission cemetery, I hear traffic flow on Dolores Street, which parallels the mission but is blocked from sight by a wall landscaped with trees and shrubs. Tires drone, now a tailpipe or muffler drags on the road and clatters. Rap music builds until I feel its tremor that soon diffuses to echo. An engine’s high-pitched whine goes silent. Immediately, … Read on…

Mission Dolores Part I (of four)

At Mission Delores, San Francisco: Religious Romance & Genocide I – The Chapel, An Odyssey The soured wood of the church doors flavors the air. Stone tile cools my knees. I unzip my forest green backpack and remove a notepad wedged between books and my rolled-up windbreaker. On the dusky burgundy squares, my pack is a lump disrupting the floor’s diamond pattern.            Until minutes ago, I was weighed down by that pack, searching for Dolores and Sixteenth streets-the location of … Read on…