Exit, Stage Right

Rick Perry’s the first to be leaving, conceiving
Of no way to puncture The Donald’s balloon
And who will be next to go under? We wonder
(The smart money says it will likely be soon!)
The polls would call many contenders pretenders
With numbers so low that they don’t stand a chance.
The hopeful respond, “someone’s trolling the polling—
I’m confident, still, I’ll be asked to the dance!” [Read more…]

“Meaningless Pieces Of Meat”

An atheist must be immoral–why quarrel?
Both logic and evidence show I am right!
Their claim to their “moral” conclusions? Illusions!
With no god to guide them, what’s “wrong” in their sight?
Imagine a fervent believer–his fever
For ultimate justice gives glory to God;
An atheist view of what matters just shatters–
No bedrock to build on, just fragile facade. [Read more…]

“God Bless You, Goddammit!”

To most of the godless, I’m guessing, God’s blessing
Is nothing but static–just meaningless noise
If noticed, it’s slightly annoying (so cloying!)
A sign that you’ll never be “one of the boys”
Ubiquitous mentions of Jesus don’t please us,
But mostly they’re yet one more thing to ignore
“God bless you!”, like God on our money, is funny–
An out-dated remnant of habits of yore [Read more…]

“The Churchless”: Not Just Atheists

If “twenty percent” leaves you troubled—it’s doubled!
The “churchless” are very near forty percent!
It’s all in the way things are measured—so, treasured
Assumptions of culture are apt to get bent!
A third claim they’re Christians! The label’s a fable,
Cos frankly, they say it from habit, or less
They don’t go to church, and their bible is liable
To sit there, unread, like it came off the press

The atheists make up a quarter—these sort are
The skeptical types, and they’re sharp as a tack!
Some 16 percent just stopped showing—quit going
To church at one point and then never came back
The rest of them, given their druthers, are “others”
Like Muslims or Jews, or some seeker in search;
Not “godless” but “churchless”, we see them as heathen
They’ll all go to hell if they’re not in our church.

There’s a new term, including more than mere atheists, more than just heathens, but which is an important addition to our vocabulary, because someone has a new book out.

If you’re dismayed 20 percent of Americans are “nones”—people who claim no particular religious identity—brace yourself.

Try 38 percent, the figure religion researcher David Kinnaman calculates when he adds “the unchurched, the never-churched and the skeptics” to the nones.

He calls his category “churchless”—the same title Kinnaman has given his new book. By his count, roughly four in 10 people living in the continental United States are actually “post-Christian” and “essentially secular in belief and practice.”

I must admit, I am a little bit confused, though. That 38% includes some strange bedfellows:

About a third (32 percent) still identify as Christian. They say they believe in God, but they’re wobbly on connections. Kinnaman calls them “Christianized but not very active.”
• 25 percent are self-identified atheist or agnostics. Kinnaman calls them “skeptics.” And their ranks have changed in the last two decades. The percentage of women is up to 43 percent from 16 percent since 1993. Highly educated and more mainstream than before, “this group is here to stay,” he said.

• 27 percent belong to other faith groups such as Jewish or Muslim or call themselves spiritual but not religious.

• 16 percent are Christians—people with a committed relationship with Christ, Kinnaman said—who don’t go to church anymore.

32 plus 25 plus 27 plus 16… ok, that’s everybody (of the 38%). They are not all atheists, though–somewhere between fewer-than-25% (many agnostics won’t identify as atheists) to over 50% (if we arbitrarily include the “accidental atheists” from the first category), and some are explicitly and admittedly “true Christians”–others (category 3) may be every bit as devout, but in a different religion. So… what is the common denominator? They are not going to church. Some are believers, the majority claim tribal identity with Christians… so why is the “churchless” category important?

The article doesn’t actually say–it simply describes the categories. And I am not nearly cynical enough to suggest that it comes down to the fact that it is much harder to put your money in when they pass the plate.


It’s time to determine what’s “Genius”—I mean, yes,
The talented people, deserving of grants
MacArthurs, of course—they give dollars to scholars
And artists, and authors, and folks who can dance;
Lawyers, musicians, mathematics, dramatics,
Inventors of this or the other device
Each year, I think “hey—sepielling? No telling!”
Each year, I conclude, “well, it would have been nice” [Read more…]

Spock, Kirk, Atheism, and Freethought Blogs

I’ve just met a straw-man called “Spocking”; it’s shocking,
But some might believe it’s how atheists act!
Where logic is king, not emotion—the notion
That every decision is based upon fact
These atheists put their reliance in science
Forgetting illusory “feelings” or “dreams”
Eschewing all base superstition; their mission
Is reason, perfected… or that’s how it seems.

What all people need, to be working, is “Kirking”,
Humanity’s hero—with all of his flaws
Kirk’s quirks are not bugs with space creatures—they’re features!
And Spock’s an affront to humanity’s cause!
It’s Kirkish to strive, boldly going—no knowing
The odds, cos what counts is emotion, not thought
The godless feel nothing, quite clearly (or nearly)
They’re cold, heartless bastards… except that they’re not. [Read more…]

Demon-Spotting In The 21st Century

In the depths of my skull there’s a demon that’s schemin’,
Controlling my thinking—or that’s what I’m told
It’s why I have such a reliance on science,
And gave up on demons at seven years old
At least, that’s the story I’ll tell you—but well you
Might wonder if demons are crafting my lies
And each silly thing that I’m saying, they’re playing
A practical joke in their demon disguise

Psychologists look to the brain, to explain, you
Are acting because of some structural flaw;
They laugh at demonic possession—a session
Of therapy, rather than prayer, as a law.
But really, it’s demons! I’m haunted! I’ve taunted
Religion too often; I’m paying the price!
I’ll trust my online diagnosis; “neurosis”
Is anti-religious—a demon’s device! [Read more…]

We’re Not Excluding You—We’re Just Not Including You

You haven’t quite heard what we’re saying—we’re praying
We’d let you, but atheists really don’t pray
We call on a spiritual being, but seeing
As atheists don’t, there is nothing to say
We see your complaint as illusion; ”exclusion”
Implies that you once had a chance to be heard
You didn’t. This can’t be excluding—quit brooding! —
An atheist prayer? Why, the thought is absurd!

Are hippos “excluded” from flying? I’m trying
To think of a way that this even makes sense!
An atheist prayer? Oxymoron! Implore on—
Your huffing and puffing is all a pretense!
You’d “pray” to the people who hear you? It’s clear, you
Have no real conception of praying at all!
You’re different from us, no denying—quit trying
To claim the protection of Jefferson’s “wall”! [Read more…]