Welcome, friends and longtime readers! Welcome, strangers and friends I haven’t met yet!
This is a brand-new place, and I’m still settling in. It’s familiar and unfamiliar at the same time, like entering a new home on move-in day and seeing all your worldly possessions in a strange room.
And it feels good! I find myself filled with optimism — the sense of a fresh start, of unbounded possibility and promise. It’s like a new regeneration.
For those who don’t know me, introductions are in order. I’m Adam Lee, an atheist and author from New York City. I’m 39, happily married for eleven years as of 2021, and I have a son who turns six this year. Here’s me:
I’ve published books like Daylight Atheism and, with Andrew Murtagh, Meta: On God, the Big Questions, and the Just City. I’ve published fiction including the Caliel Cycle, an epic fantasy series about waging war on the gods, and most recently, Commonwealth: A Novel of Utopia, a hopepunk manifesto set in a near-future hyper-capitalist dystopia.
I’ve written columns for AlterNet, Salon, The Guardian, Political Research Associates, and NBC News, among other places. I’ve won or placed in writing contests like 3 Quarks Daily and Bright 21st. Richard Dawkins favorably cited me in The God Delusion (but we don’t talk about that anymore). You might also know me for my marathon review of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
I founded my blog, Daylight Atheism, as an independent website in 2006. Big Think, a New York media company, scooped it up in 2011, and I wrote for them until we parted ways in 2013. That’s when I joined Patheos, which became my writer’s residence until 2021, when they decided to neuter their atheist channel. (I may say more about that later, or in the comments.)
Thankfully, just as Patheos cut us loose, a lifeboat came along.
Shawn Hardin, an atheist entrepreneur and filmmaker, had noticed an unfilled niche in the media landscape. While religious media abounds, the nonreligious — despite now numbering in the tens of millions in the U.S. alone — didn’t have a voice of our own. He decided to launch a new venture that would fill this gap. That venture is this site, OnlySky: a media outlet by, and for, the rising secular movement.
The world has changed since I created Daylight Atheism. The contours of the culture war have shifted, old controversies have faded and new ones have arisen. But I still believe that a vigorous, unapologetic secular movement is very much needed. The fevers of fundamentalism and irrationality still endanger humanity, and a dose of reason is just the medicine the world needs.
But I want to broaden my focus as well. I’m going to keep commenting on current events and debunking the vicious absurdities of faith (there’s no lack of those!), but I also want to supplant them with a positive perspective of my own. Those grotesque idols leering at humanity, in whose name so much blood has been spilled, deserve to be demolished. But once they’ve been toppled, the next step is to plant a garden among the ruins.
I plan to write about humanist life philosophy, raising children as an atheist, storytelling, ethics and morality, uplifting dreams and fictions, meaning and purpose, the awe and wonder of nature, things that make the world better, and reasons to be hopeful. After the last several years, my optimism is battered, but intact. In any case, I’ve always believed that the only way to create that better future starts with picturing it and believing it to be possible.
I value a thriving community of readers and commenters, and I welcome feedback, positive and critical. You can reach me here in the comments, or on social media. I like to think of my blog not as a pulpit where I lecture from on high, but a dinner party on the patio, where the conversation is good and the ideas flow freely.
Just some housekeeping notes: My archives from previous sites are all here on OnlySky. Regrettably, the comments couldn’t be transferred, because this site uses a new commenting system, Viafoura, that’s incompatible with Disqus. But they’re still accessible on Patheos and will be indefinitely as far as I know.
And now, with the introductions complete, let’s proceed to business. In my next post, I’ll say more about OnlySky, its origins and its purpose, and how its mission resonates with my own.