Kent, a friend of mine and fellow blogger, emailed me the other day to ask how I’ve been. We hadn’t talked in a while, and you may have noticed that I haven’t posted in a while either. It was nice catching up, and his email also pushed me to write something here tonight.
First of all, I’m fine — nothing’s wrong. How are all of you? 🙂 In fact, things have actually been going pretty well, especially with my job. I’m a freelance web developer, and this year has been quite good for me so far. Lots of good work, but not so much that it’s drowning me. Just the perfect balance, really.
But I do have to admit that I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately, especially when it comes to writing. Since the election, I’ve been pretty numb. Well, initially I was horrified and depressed. I felt physically sick on election night. And even now, I find myself wondering almost daily how we wound up here. That’s not an exaggeration: while driving down the road, or looking in the mirror, or taking out the trash, I’ll suddenly say “How did he become President?”
It’s been hard to know what to write about it. I think what troubles me most is this tenuous grasp we seem to have on what’s true these days. Look, it’s to be expected that people will disagree on matters of opinion, but when the different sides start trafficking in their own “facts” what do you do about that? It’s obvious to me that this has been a strategy, not an accident. People like Steve Bannon have been working for years to undercut the reliability of traditional media so that people would begin to put major news organizations on the same level as Breitbart or social media memes. How do you combat falsehoods when trust in the news has been decimated? Thankfully, most news outlets seem to be trying harder in response. And some social media platforms, like Facebook, are trying to combat the lies where they can as well. Maybe they’ll have some success.
But I don’t want to talk about that stuff. What can I say about it that hasn’t already been said anyway?
So why not talk about religion? Sadly, I haven’t had much energy for that lately, either. Don’t get me wrong — I still think it’s an extremely important subject, and I’m still just as much an atheist as I was a few months ago. But when I post on the subject, I often find myself becoming dogmatic about some aspect of it: “No, the Bible is wrong about _______” or “Why would God do ________?” And really, all I want is for atheism to be more accepted and for religion to take up less space in our politics, schools, and government. I don’t want to fight with Christians — in fact, I think they can often be our allies in things like church and state separation.
UnkleE had an excellent post about this back in January. He asked the question “Atheists and Christians — does it have to be war?” And no, I don’t think it does. So that has added a bit to my writer’s block here.
Nevertheless, I’ve been thinking more about the blog lately, and I can feel the pressure slowly mounting to get some more content out here. I love this blog, and I have no intention of letting it fade out. So keep an eye out for some more posts coming your way soon. I’ve already started a draft on one, anyway. And I have some ideas on a series or two I can start up if the writer’s block begins to creep up on me again. Stay tuned. 🙂