Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American

The Founding Myth Book CoverWas America founded as a Christian nation? As we’ll see, the answer is so obvious and the argument so lopsided that it’s a wonder the counter-argument is ever made at all. But unfortunately, Christian nationalism, which should be a politically impotent fringe movement, is in fact a powerful force that not only got Donald Trump elected but that has, with surprising success, redefined what it means to be an American.

That something as specious as Christian nationalism has and continues to influence public policy is the reason The Founding Myth, written by constitutional attorney Andrew Seidel, is so important. Ten years in the making, this phenomenal and deftly argued book comes at the perfect time, laying to rest the claim that America is in any way founded on Christianity.

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Stephen Hawking on the Existence of God

Brief Answers to the Big QuestionsHere’s a question I’ve been hearing regarding Stephen Hawking’s new book, Brief Answers to the Big Questions: What business does a scientist have weighing in on the existence of God? This is asked as if someone who best understands the workings of the universe is utterly unqualified to make statements about its ultimate origins.

It’s surprising that people would resist wanting to hear what the foremost physicist of our times has to say about the origins of our universe. I think the answer is partly that they’re afraid of what he has to say, but that there is a also a deeper psychological explanation.

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In Reason We Trust: Why Morality Has Little to do with Religion

Mere Morality Dan BarkerIn his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis attempted to strip Christianity of all it’s superfluous elements to identify the “mere” minimum that can be shared by all Christians. In like respect, Dan Barker, a former evangelical Christian preacher turned atheist, has attempted to do the same with morality, in his latest book titled Mere Morality.

In doing so, Barker has demonstrated that not only does religion have nothing to do with morality, but that all of the “good” parts of religion are in essence humanist principles. To see how, we should first consider the definition of morality.

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What David Hume Can Still Teach Us About Skepticism

David Hume Enquiry Concerning Human UnderstandingThe upcoming movie Breakthrough tells the story of a teenager who, while playing with friends, fell through the ice and nearly drowned, resulting in a coma and subsequent “miraculous” recovery through divine intervention (for starters, if god did intervene, one might wonder why an all-powerful being didn’t do so before the boy fell in the ice, but we’ll get to that later).

These stories are not new; they crop up from time to time with the same inane storylines (remember Heaven is For Real, the one where the author admitted the whole story was fabricated?). It’s easy to just dismiss these stories outright, but I think it’s worthwhile to revisit the specifics of the faulty logic underlying these narratives.

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Why I Am Not an Agnostic: Russell’s Teapot and the Problem with Agnosticism

Why I Am Not a ChristianIn Why I Am Not a Christian, Bertrand Russell set out to explain why he does not believe in god or immortality and why he does not believe Jesus was the best and wisest of men. He demonstrates why the belief in god is circular and how religious “morality” is mostly based on fear.

But Russell could have also wrote an essay titled Why I am Not an Agnostic, as he presented a problem known as Russell’s teapot that is hard to reconcile with agnosticism, and is partly the reason I have changed my mind on the topic (and now consider “atheist” to be the more appropriate label for expressing nonbelief). Here’s how Russell described it:

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