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There are a few days left in 2021, but with my time here drawing to a close, let’s take a look back at the year’s biggest stories:

The Capitol Insurrection

Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, despite his attempts to steal and subvert it. His defeat dismayed the many, many Christian preachers who prophesied that God had guaranteed him victory. In a final tantrum, the Christian right planned a so-called “Jericho March” on Washington, D.C., stubbornly insisting that Republican Jesus would do something, somehow.

We know how that ended up. God didn’t show up, but the world watched with horror as a mob of Trump cultists stormed the U.S. Capitol and forced Congress to evacuate. Although they failed to change the election outcome, January 6, 2021 will be another day that lives forever in infamy.

The Fusion of Christianity and White Nationalism

The American religious right has always been committed to upholding white supremacy, but the Trump years brought this belief into the open. In January, I wrote about how white evangelicals have dropped the pretense of valuing multicultural democracy, and observed that their hard right turn toward authoritarian rule is driven by the terror of losing power as their numbers shrink.

I reviewed Isabel Wilkerson’s book Caste, an insightful look at how racial hierarchy is America’s version of a caste system.

Evangelical Masculinity

Understanding how the religious right formed its self-image is vital to the roots of our current schisms. I know of no better guide than Kristin Du Mez’s must-read book Jesus and John Wayne.

I wrote about Christians taking a stand against empathy, and the “regardless of others” worldview which holds that individual salvation ought be a Christian’s sole concern, enabling them to ignore structural injustices.

The Pandemic Continues

COVID-19 is still a brushfire burning across the world, but 2021 bore witness to the rollout of a vaccine in record-shattering time. It’s a scientific miracle if ever there was one. Too bad the religious right has trained itself to reject science.

In March and then again in April, I reviewed survey evidence that white evangelicals and conservatives would turn down the vaccine. That prediction came to fatal fruition when the Delta variant swept across America and unvaccinated conservatives started dying en masse. I wrote about two of them, Phil Valentine and Pressley Stutts.

As the bodies piled up, rather than retreat their error, the religious right retreated deeper into delusion and conspiracy theories. I debunked some common anti-vaccine memes (one, two) and commented on their desperate embrace of ivermectin as a supposed miracle cure.

The Native Graves

In 2021, Native American tribes presented awful proof of mass graves of their children who were forced to attend Canada’s church-run residential schools. These brutal institutions were built with the intent of indoctrinating indigenous people into Christianity and stamping out their culture (and, yes, the United States had them too).

If there was ever a time for religious conservatives to cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes, this was it. Instead, appallingly, some of them cheered for this genocide. Days afterward, a person or persons unknown burned Canadian churches in an act of rage and revenge.

Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia

In 2021, I continued to serialize my book Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia. If you’d like to support my writing, you can subscribe on Patreon!

In the third and final part of Commonwealth, the advanced socialist society called the Pacific Republic launches a bold plan to save the world. But the plutocrats who have America in their grasp won’t go down without a fight…

Other / Miscellaneous

I wrote about the postmortem exposure of Ravi Zacharias as a remorseless sexual predator. I argued that libertarianism caused Texas’ massive winter blackout, and delivered the bad news that education alone won’t cure the conspiracy mindset.

On the brighter side, America has an unchurched majority for the first time. The spread of green energy renders many dystopian fantasies obsolete. And we got to see spectacular video of humanity’s newest emissary landing on Mars.

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DAYLIGHT ATHEISM Adam Lee is an atheist author and speaker from New York City. His previously published books include "Daylight Atheism," "Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City," and most...