Let’s celebrate another growth spurt


The 2018 GSS was just released and there’s some big news. Those of “no religion” (23.1%) are statistically the same size as evangelicals (22.8%). There was also a small resurgence of mainline Protestants, while Catholics are down 3% in the last four years.

I’ve been quiet-er lately because of a few things going on in my world. But I have been meaning to post this video as well. It’s from the Atheist Experience, a TV call-in show that I occasionally watch.

In this episode, a man’s sons get their dad to call in. The kids are fans of the show, and their dad has been growing away from his dogmatic past thanks to reading different books with different perspectives.

There’s a part where the dad sits down with one of his sons and admits he was wrong on so many aspects of faith. And like many people who grow up and out of faith, he’s now teetering on the idea that all faiths have merit. I remember being taught how evil that was, but it’s merely a stepping stone to the giant, not so giant leap to acknowledging that not believing in the Judeo-Christian God is as simple as not believing in any other god.

It’s a good episode.

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Embrace the journey …


When I started this blog in 2010, I was riding a hell-bent train to discuss a certain level of self awareness that I was emboldened by — and insecure with — the label “atheist.” What ensued was a few years of what I felt was addressing a high level of antagonism against the church and my early education and my disappointment toward it for not being capable of an honest discussion of questions I asked of it.

We’ll call that time the anger years. Like attracted like, and this blog was a café for a lot of vocal non-theists, which also attracted some theists attempting to proselytize the so-called lost. Continue reading “Embrace the journey …”

moral corruption and ineptitude in politics


In light of this week’s events surrounding Brett Kavanaugh and the Republicans aiming to jam him through to the Supreme Court, I offer the following reminders.

The moral superiority of the right is well established now as the most moral in all the land. And anyone who is confused about how one can act, how men can act, in public or in private with women, need only to address the public record.

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Donald Trump, republican president of the United States quote: “I moved on her like a bitch. But I couldn’t get there. And she was married. You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful – I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” Continue reading “moral corruption and ineptitude in politics”

I’m an armchair Lollapalooza lover


I haven’t been to Lollapalooza in years. Last time I was there, I photographed it for TimeOut magazine. That was 2012.

That year, there were often way too many photographers in the pits (the space between the crowd and the stage), so the powers that be cut the numbers by 80% or more the following year.

I wasn’t upset, though. I loved the experience, but the pay was shit. The music industry is leading a sort of modern day slavery for artists. They figured out earlier than most that if you swing a cat, you’ll hit a “photographer.” So paying them became obsolete. While my pay covered my transportation, food and drinks for the day, I doubt most photographers were compensated at all.

If you’re a photographer, and you want to shoot music, get in and get back out. It’s a great way to learn camera settings quickly and to figure out how to nail focus. But you will get taken advantage of.  Continue reading “I’m an armchair Lollapalooza lover”

On my to-do list: re-listen to Terry Gross’ interview with Paul Schrader and Ethan Hawke about “First Reformed”


Probably a month ago, I heard bits and pieces of the NPR show Fresh Air. It was an interview with Filmmaker Paul Schrader and actor Ethan Hawke about a movie Schrader wrote and directed called “First Reformed.” You can listen to it here.

You’d know Schrader from the movies he wrote: “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.” He also wrote the script for “The Last Temptation of Christ,” one of my favorite books and movies.

Schrader has reached 70 years and decided that after a long career of purposefully staying away from the topic of religion, it was time to maybe pursue it.

Apparently Schrader and I share some similarities. He grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, deep in the heart of the Dutch Reformed Church. My dad is a Dutchman, immigrated to Grand Rapids as a teen and comes from the reformed tradition. My mom grew up in Grand Rapids as well.

We all had very religious upbringings.  Continue reading “On my to-do list: re-listen to Terry Gross’ interview with Paul Schrader and Ethan Hawke about “First Reformed””

They say your media diet says a lot about you … Well … damn.


This past week has been dedicated to photo editing. Between a 50mp camera and a 40mp camera, save times can range from 3 to 8 minutes, and my computer is not slow. It gives me time to blaze through different websites for stories.

Keeping up with all the fake news in the world can become a time suck. Here are just a handful of stories that have had my attention over the past few days.