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Posted inReligion

The decline of religion: the bad news

Reading Time: 3 minutes [Previous: The decline of religion: the good news] Religion is in decline throughout the Western world, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. From an atheist perspective, this is very good news. Now, here’s the bad news. Although religion is weaker, it’s far from dead. It still has millions of fervent members, and […]

Posted inAnalysis

The decline of religion: the good news

Reading Time: 4 minutes After holding almost total power for centuries, organized religion is losing ground throughout the Western world. It’s dwindling like the retreating tide. The signs are everywhere. As of 2021, for the first time ever, a majority of Americans don’t belong to any house of worship. Americans who say their religion is “none” are now as […]

Posted inScience

Science lets us tell better stories

Reading Time: 5 minutes [Previous: The power of telling your story] Do you know what amazes me? It’s that we know what wild plants and fungi are good to eat. Just imagine what it must have taken to figure this out. There must have been thousands of hungry people over the span of centuries who picked strange plants or […]

Posted inCulture

The power of telling your story

Reading Time: 4 minutes Civilization is a tapestry of stories. Whether you call them ideas, or myths, or memes – they fall on us like rain, and we soak them up. They become part of us, and they shape our thinking the way water carves channels in earth. All that we are springs, ultimately, from the stories we hear […]

Posted inGeneral

Welcome to OnlySky

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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 […]

Posted inGeneral

Threads of 2021

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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” […]

Posted inGeneral

The Southern Baptists Face Daylight

Reading Time: 5 minutes I’ve written about the Catholic church’s decades-long conspiracy to protect the sexual predators in the priesthood, and their belated and inadequate efforts to atone once the truth got out. It was evil on an industrial scale – but it wasn’t unique. This is a pattern in corrupt institutions of all kinds. Time and again, when […]

Posted inGeneral

Christians Against Empathy

Reading Time: 5 minutes The best piece of moral wisdom in the Bible is the Golden Rule: “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” —Luke 6:31 Of course, this principle isn’t unique to Christianity. It can be found across many religions and cultures. But where so many other moral ideas from […]