Real pulpits for real atheists

December 27, 2006 | By | 7 Replies More

I recommend that we give this atheist (Ebonmuse, at Daylight Atheism) a chance to give sermons church pulpits across the country.  Just be sure not to tell the congregations that he’s an atheist.  Instead, let them soak up his words.  He’ll have them weeping with inspiration.  He’ll rev them up to go out and actually do something to make the world a better place to live.  He inspired me.  Here’s a small sampling from his recent post, “A Freethinkers’ Yule Sermon“:

Even on this day, there are people suffering and in need. Let us not silently write them off, and let us not hide our faces in shame. Rather, let us reach out to them – not just on this day, but on all days. Let us make contact with a fellow human being, bridging the shallow divides of language, creed and culture to perceive the deep similarities we all have in common, and let us use that connection to shine our light into their lives and make them part of what we take joy in. Let us do what good we can for others and offer them what help we can, no matter how small and insufficient it may seem at times. For people in dire straits, even the smallest aid can mean a great deal.

The irony of it all is that congregations would assume that Ebonmuse was a Believer, as long as they were not told otherwise.  After hearing words like these, many Believers would walk out of their churches thinking “That preacher was terrific.  Now if only we could convert all of those immoral atheists.” 

The above “sermon” is entirely consistent with the full name of the site: Daylight Atheism: Nighttime is for Dreaming.  Daylight is for Action. 


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Category: American Culture, Good and Evil, Meaning of Life, Religion

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (7)

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  1. Ebonmuse says:

    Thank you, my friend. It's not easy to stir people into action with only words, alas, but I did my best. I think that the admonition to help others, because it is given so frequently this season, risks becoming trite and meaningless. I tried to break through that and make the necessity of the command feel more immediate; I hope I succeeded.

  2. hogiemo says:

    Erich, atheists are not per se "immoral" or nihilists. I think you protest too much. Happy New Year! Help somebody, it's good for you.

  3. Ben says:

    Looks like things are heating up at "DayLightAtheism". Today he gets linked and complimented by PZ at Pharyngula! Not to mention the many awesome observations. Ebonmuse says…

    "Does this make me a "fundamentalist"? Some will doubtless say so. And there is one sense in which I will accept this charge: I am a truth fundamentalist. I believe that the truth is superior to error, that the truth should be pursued above all things, and that we should uncompromisingly defend the truth once we have discovered it (and it can be discovered, though not everyone who thinks they have done so is correct). I am unapologetic about this position. This places me in contrast to people who apparently feel that other values, such as not hurting people's feelings, take precedence over the truth. I am proud not to be among those people."

  4. Ben says:

    "More evidence that PZ is a blowhard and a jerk"

    "(a scienceblogger) apparently has had it up to here with Myers's brand of anti-faith rhetoric, and started one of those neverending comment wars on his blog yesterday — except that he did end it by removing the post. Fortunately, I saved a copy first because the exchange really does get to the heart of the question. "…?

    "When I wanted my little city council to stop including prayer in their monthly meetings, I didn't write a letter noting that "Whereas prayer is a product of people who are ignorant, deluded, wicked, foolish, or oppressed victims of obsolete mythologies…." Instead I wrote about the First Amendment's Establishment clause and noted that a comparable town ended up paying $55,000 in legal fees when they lost their attempt to hold onto prayer during their council meetings. It seems to have worked, as city council meetings in Saluda, NC, no longer begin (or end) with a prayer."

  5. Dan Klarmann says:

    Nice post, Ben. I'm with the atheist moderates: Let the delusional enjoy their beliefs, as long as public policy is not based on them. Meanwhile, try to shed gentle light on the obvious fallacies to attempt to lead the deluded toward functional rationality.

    But it takes extremists to allow moderates to claim to be moderate. Every bell curve needs its flanges.

  6. Ben says:

    "There is a deep divide in America that centers on religion. Here is why I believe that atheism is no more valid than religion."

    Atheism, at its core, has the belief that there is no god or gods. Now, atheists assert that this is not a belief system, as such, and certainly it is not a belief system in the way that religions have a belief system, but it is a belief and not a provable fact. While it is true that there is no evidence for a god or gods, there is also no evidence to the contrary. This argument rages where the religious argue against the atheists that there is no evidence contradicting the existence of god or gods and the atheists shouting back that you can not prove a negative. This is a pointless exercise and does neither side any good. I believe, that it is fair to say that neither side is sure and we have to leave it at that.

    In their own way, some atheists are as vicious as their antithesis, the religious. They ridicule and laugh at the religious in that smug self assured way of theirs and demand that the religious "grow up"…

  7. Dan Klarmann says:

    I am an atheist. I believe that there are no Gods outside of manifestations in the mind. I further believe that this is a personal faith that I hold. Faith does not imply religion.

    I am an agnostic. I cannot prove (using reason and evidence) either that there is or that there is not any God.

    I believe in macro-scale causality: That the statistical integration of quantum phenomena always represent measurable and predictable effects from a measurable cause. (Yes, I believe in quanta, mesons, neutrinos, atoms, photons, and other "things" that are only "seen" by their effects and are predicted by mathematical models.)

    I believe in the scientific process, that the result of carefully measured, reasoned, recorded and verified experience is, will continue to lead to, the best possible understanding of the physical universe. That is, what it is, how it was, came to be, and will become.

    I ultimately believe that the majority of the world population would rather give up their lives than their invisible friends, especially if so inspired by religious leaders.

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