Three months into 2022 means my 2021 recap is that much overdue! It feels like I’ve been working and researching forever on the next books in The Complete Guide to Western Religion series — The Jehovah’s Witnesses and (working title) Sex & Violence in the Bible (and there are even more exciting developments coming; read on!)
So, what the hell have I been doing all this time?
Just like the apocryphal Chinese curse says, life during the global pandemic has been… interesting. In late 2019, Dana and I lost our house, priced out by the skyrocketing Bay Area real estate market, and on March 1st, 2020, after 30 years (to the day!) in our beloved San Francisco, we moved north with the help of wonderful friends and family to our new home in Eureka, CA, a sleepy little seaport town behind the Redwood Curtain—right in the heart of Bigfoot country.
Sasquatches aside, it really did feel like we were dropped right into a Stephen King novel: a big city couple and their tribe of 10 cats and a faithful dog moves into a spooky 130+ year-old Victorian house in a strange new small seaside town—and then the Zombacalypse strikes…
But despite the challenges of the move, making a living, and adjusting to the isolation of quarantine life in an unfamiliar world, we feel very lucky. We love this big spooky old house and are growing to love our funky new small town. Both of us found jobs at the local history museum (Dana as the Marketing and Events Coordinator, me as Concierge for the Eureka Visitor Center).
We’ve been through unexpected adversities; hardest of all, in August of last year, losing my Dad. On election morning 2016, he had suffered a massive stroke and was never the same again. I’ll always be grateful to my family and the caregivers who took such loving care of him for those last five hard years. Still, despite all that, we’ve been blessed with unexpected atheist miracles, too.
One of those came around New Year’s when I was beating myself up that the new Complete Heretic books were still not done. But then, during a podcast interview, when the host brought up everything that I had done in 2021, I felt a little less like a total slacker:
- Dana and I released TEMPUS FURY (!!!), the final book in our Time Shards sci-fi trilogy (More about that later—I’m so super proud of that series, and the critics love it too!).
- I wrapped up The Secret History of Mormonism series on Derek Lambert’s Mythvision Podcast, along with Naked Mormonism’s Bryce Blankenagel. We had originally thought it would be good for, I dunno, maybe 8, maybe 10 episodes—and then we finished up around episode 28 or so…
- I contributed the opening chapter (“Why Mythicism Matters”) to Robert M. Price & John Loftus’ newly-released anthology The Varieties of Mythicism. There I argue for the value of the ongoing Jesus mythicist/historicist debate for atheists (and Christians, for that matter!) no matter which side ultimately triumphs.
- I spoke to the fantastic students at the Humanist Alliance Philippines, International about Jesus – Mything in Action.
- At the Global Center for Religious Research’s International eConference on the Historical Jesus in July, I presented some surprising facts, not just about Jesus, but the founder figures of the other major world religions (and definitely stay tuned here for more info on that!).
- The next day I gave a presentation on the Evolution of Religion to Recovering From Religion Foundation (and stay tuned here for more info on that as well!).
- I was asked to become a book reviewer for the Journal of Higher Criticism; so far I’ve reviewed a terrific transcript of Bart Ehrman’s debate with Craig Evans (“Can We Trust the Bible on the Historical Jesus?”) – and a truly, truly horrible book on Paul by a midwestern philosophy professor grossly unqualified to write it. Look for sneak previews of these – and more(!) – on my Patreon page (see below).
- I launched a brand new podcast! The Myth of Jesus with David Fitzgerald is a monthly podcast talking about not just aspects of the Jesus historicity question, but all kinds of eye-opening topics of interest and featuring special guests. Joining me every episode are: Daniel Sanderson, author and founder/CEO of the science and philosophy media outlet planksip; and Scott Heftler, Ph.D. Philosopher at The University of Texas at Austin.
- As well as numerous appearances on various other podcasts throughout the year.
- And yes, still on track for Sex & Violence in the Bible to come out this year (fingers crossed!)
In case you missed it: I also now have a Patreon Page! If you’re chomping at the bit for news updates, sneak previews or postings of hard-to-find writings, and other special rewards – or if you appreciate what I do and just want to support my writing and activism, why not consider becoming a Patron? There’s no minimum, it’s a huge help, and you’ll get benefits, personal access, and incentives not available anywhere else! See here for more.
Latest News (March 2022): For now, here’s the biggest upcoming bombshell:
The twin topics of: a) the evolutionary stages of the major world religions and b) the dodgy origin stories of their founder figures have been brewing for several months now and I can’t wait to publish! The research will soon hit critical mass in the form of a book-length special report. I think you’ll find it as surprising and fascinating as I am…so again: stay tuned!
(Patrons, you can find out the whole story on the Patreon Page)
More to come very soon!