If you have been following my blog for the past few months, then you know that one of my favorite YouTubers is Progressive Christian Brenda Marie Davies. I feel like I’m talking about how great her channel is in every other post. So you can imagine that when she posted a podcast episode this week all about astrology—interviewing full-time “astrologer” Aliza Kelly—that I was frustrated because belief in the pseudoscience of astrology is my #1 pet peeve.Read more
If you’re reading this blog, then chances are that you have a pretty good grasp on what Christianity is. But did you know that Christianity as we know it almost didn’t succeed in early centuries? You may have heard whispers of various ancient sects of barely recognizable Christian beliefs, and it turns out that the rumors are true. The ancient Christians that we know—whether we love them or hate them—had to struggle against their competitors known as the gnostics, better known to history as heretics.
For centuries, historians have known about the gnostic Christians and their texts only through the writings of their enemies, the orthodox or catholic Christians (which gave rise to the many denominations of Christianity existing today). You can imagine how hard it was to understand the gnostic point of view with their only documentation being from those who despised them. So it was immensely exciting for historians when the gnostic gospels themselves were discovered near Nag Hammadi in Egypt in 1946. The discovery was an exercise in patience, though; it would be thirty years until an English translation of the full library would be published in 1977. Elaine Pagels must have gotten to work quickly, then, as her book The Gnostic Gospels was published in 1979.Read more
This is the first time that I have ever reviewed a memoir. I’ve joked with my husband about it: how do you critique a book recounting someone’s life story? “Good job having a life, it was really interesting”? However, there is a lot to reflect on in On Her Knees. Before I get into it, as a graphic designer, I have to applaud this book’s incredible cover art. I love to pick apart designs and think of how they could be improved, but as for On Her Knees‘ final cover, I came up empty. It’s perfect.Read more
As someone who is hoping for a brighter and fairer future for my country, I found hope and reassurance in watching the inauguration of our new President and Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But as someone who is not religious, and who knows all too well the harms of Christian nationalism, I also found division and exclusionary language.Read more
When a person leaves religion or loses their faith, I’ve found that they tend to go one of two ways. Some people lose interest in religion altogether and want to get as far away from it as possible. In a way, I think this is a shame, because I’m one of the people that goes the other way; I decided that I wanted to give religion a closer look. I turned back around after walking away to scrutinize the history of Christianity and determine which parts of it, if any, are really true. And what have I found?Read more
I’d like to start this post off by asking that you read it in its entirety before commenting or passing judgment.
Now that that’s out of the way: This post is not going to be about the morality of actually getting an abortion. I personally believe in a woman’s right to choose what is best for her, her body, and her family. I’ve written a post before that only broke the ice on why I am pro-choice, and my sources there go into way more depth. That’s why I will just refer you to those (here, here, and here) instead of repeating their points either in this post or my last.Read more
I wish that I could rejoice in the fact that today, I write my first ever blog post reviewing a book by a woman, but the fact is, after reading it, it feels as though there is little to be joyful for. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that it would be greatly beneficial for the future of America and of our global society if everyone read The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, but at the same time, I hated it.Read more
Once upon a time, I read books to learn the arguments for and against the existence of god and for religion in general. It only took so long for me to feel fully comfortable on the side of atheism. Now my reading has expanded more into things I’m curious about (it’s almost as if I named this blog that on purpose) like paleoanthropology and early Christianity. Relaxing with a good book has been one of my very favorite pastimes for a while. But I knew that my atheist reading repertoire wouldn’t be complete until I had finished Sam Harris’s The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Unfortunately, it was anything but relaxing. In fact, I’d say that reading this was exhausting.Read more
Have you ever been going along throughout your day, minding your own business, when suddenly you were bombarded with an absolute fossil of a buried memory? Or rather, you get bits and pieces of a memory of an old book, movie, or TV show? When this happens, it can be next to impossible to think about anything else until you remember exactly what it is that your brain is reminding you of.Read more
I am so excited to finally be writing the post we have all been waiting for since January. This week I finished Rick Warren’s evangelical Christian bestseller The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For? I can’t wait to put it back on the shelf and let it gather dust, as it should. That way, it can’t hurt anybody.
“Here we go,” some people might be thinking. “What is it this time in this uplifting Christian book about finding your purpose that made this atheist so upset?”
I will tell you what.Read more