Death Without God

I found out that a friend of mine died today… she was young and a mother to a young daughter. Her unexpected death has left me a bit shook up, so I decided for this week’s post to adapt an old, archived guest post from three years ago that my friend Matt Turner allowed me to make on his Christian blog. My friend who passed today was a Christian, and I want to honor her and her beliefs even as I talk about my own way of dealing with death. I am planning on attending her funeral to pay my
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Don’t Get Stuck at Anger: The Seven Stages of Grief When Faith Dies

Faith is very personal. It’s something which people hold very closely – a fiber of their being. Have you ever lost something or someone dear to you? Loss is never easy, and it isn’t something that you usually just “get over”. In fact, I’m sure most people have heard of the seven stages of grief, which states that, when someone loses something or someone that they love, they go through a very specific set of phases: Shock and Denial Pain and Guilt Anger and Bargaining Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness Upward Turn Reconstruction and Working Through Acceptance and Hope For those
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What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me.)

Frequently, theists will claim that certain phenomena like love are evidence of the divine. However, as good skeptics, we understand that love, like all other human behaviors, has a neural correlate. As humans, we are social creatures, and so love serves a purpose. It bonds us within the parent-child relationship, the mate-mate relationship, and the in-group relationship. Studies such as this one demonstrate the biochemical nature of love and how that biochemistry effects behavior. Moreover, some people appear to be “wired” for deep connection with others (empaths and altruists), while other people lack this “wiring” (sociopaths). Love is explainable in
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School Year: Dress Codes v. Equality

It’s that time of year. We’re getting ready for school, and that means shopping. It also means double checking the school’s dress code, to keep your new student out of trouble. In doing so for my son, who’s starting high school, I came across a few notable lines. I challenged those lines directly with the assistant principal. Below, is a screen shot of the original dress code, my correspondence with the administrator, and the outcome. Hi Linda, My child is starting at [your school] this year, and in shopping for school clothes, we consulted the Dress Code located here. [link
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Questioning God

Christians may claim, when confronted with a non-believer who left the Christian faith, that the non-believer was never really a Christian in the first place, thus invalidating the non-believer’s experience in order to maintain the solidarity of the Christian group. Indeed, the Bible states in Luke 8:13, “And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.” In other words, if life’s ups and downs cause you to question the effectiveness of your faith to
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