What Would You Read at a Secular Wedding?


Photo by Andrew Morrell Photography

A good friend of mine has offered me the opportunity to present a reading at her wedding. She’s also given me the option of choosing the reading myself. I’d love to be able to come to her with some ideas, but I need some help!

What would you recommend I read at a secular wedding ceremony?

December 13, 2011  |  personal, questions  |  31 Comments

A Quickie Coming Out

Today’s reactions to me saying “I’m an atheist” to some members of my chorus:

“I’ve never met one before!”

“I’m Unitarian.”

“How can you… what??? *sharp, frustrated sigh of puzzlement* You know what, I won’t ask.”

You should try this. It’s a crap shoot!

December 11, 2011  |  personal, randomness, religion  |  8 Comments

Atheist Elitism

Laci Green, a young woman whom I’ve admired as a clear voice for skepticism and sex positivity, posted this video a few months ago. It touches on a subject that’s come up quite a bit recently in conversations: Why do some atheists come off as “elitists?” Why do non-believers “look down” on the religious as if they’re better? I rather like her answer:

Do you have your own insights to add? Do you disagree?

November 27, 2011  |  religion, skepticism and freethought, videos  |  50 Comments

Godless Girl’s 14 Tips for a Less Douchey Life


photo by Ken Fager

I’m sick of assholes. I’d be less colorful in my language, but I also don’t think being censored necessarily leads to a better life. Maybe I should add that to my list.

I’ve penned a few quick tips for how to stop being an idiot who makes life unpleasant for yourself and those around you. Most of this is specifically directed at the atheist/theist community. If it applies to you, you probably won’t think it does, but someone out there might be picturing your face or username right about now, so it pays to give a few of these a whirl just to say you tried. Heck, it might just help us become a better society, and wouldn’t that be just peachy?

Don’t be an asshole. Just in case specifics are too much for you, try this one as a catch-all.
Want someone to listen to your opinions? Start by listening to theirs.
Biting one-liners & zingers won’t change anyone’s views on gods or the supernatural. You need to get deeper.
When you’re being a dick on the net, the only people who are hearing you are those who already agree with you. Do better.
Don’t ever censor your ‘enemy.’ When we all have equal rights, the best argument should win.
If you can make arguments about religion without resorting to cliches, quotes, or insults, you’re one step in the right direction.
Yes, some beliefs are silly, but the people who believe them do so for serious reasons. Find out what those are, and you might discover the keys to reaching that person. You might also gain a friend.
He/she may be rude, ignorant, or just an enormous bag of dicks, but you don’t need to be one in return no matter how tempting it may be.
When you make a mistake, are caught in a fallacy, or otherwise fuck up, apologize and start over. It will go a long way to help communication and gain you some respect.
Assume the persons with whom you debate have something to teach you. Be open to it, and they may become open to learning something from you in return.
No small group or single person is representative of the whole. Making sweeping statements about others only degrades your position.
You never know who is watching or listening. A seemingly insignificant point, fact, or insight you offer might help someone else in a great way.
Stick to the facts. Scientific truths and reason are some of the most convincing tools for planting seeds of doubt in outsiders.
Be kind and gentle. You won’t regret it, and you’ll gain much.
I’d like to thank many of you who are my friends, confidants, and allies in this world. Without you, I’d be living a much douchier life. I might come off as a bit of a wanker sometimes, but just like many of you, I’m trying to be better. Thanks for helping!