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A Fond Farewell to Jeffery Jay Lowder

By James Still

On January 15, after five years of building the Secular Web from the ground up, Internet Infidels President Jeffery Jay Lowder will retire. Jeff has decided it is time to move on and is interested in going back to school to study philosophy. He also looks forward to finishing several papers and other projects. Beginning on January 15th, I will take over as president of the Internet Infidels.

While I'm excited that Jeff is finally going to have time in his life for more writing and study, I am also going to miss him around here. In the spring of 1995, Jeff teamed up with Brett Lemoine and together they coined the tongue-in-cheek phrase "Internet Infidels" and started the Secular Web when the web was still in its infancy. They had a bold vision: provide a comprehensive online library for agnostics, atheists, humanists and freethinkers that would contain the very best secular literature in the world. Way back in 1995, the web was a small wild west town, hardly settled but teeming with enormous potential. In those heady days there were even fewer web sites devoted to the philosophy of religion. Philosophy departments at major universities hadn't yet figured out what the web was all about and you had to look long and hard to find a theistic web site. But the Secular Web was a prominent presence right from the start, due mainly to Jeff's tireless efforts and his ability to see the potential in the web before anyone else had.

Jeff started and edited the Internet Infidel's newsletter and feedback forum. He also contributed dozens of feature articles over the years while managing to publish important papers and book reviews. Jeff's latest book review on Lee Strobel's The Case for Christ was published in the journal Philo. Over the last five years, Jeff led the site through the web expansion of the late nineties at a time when the web also experienced the exponential growth we have today. Today, the Secular Web is virtually alone among the hundreds and hundreds of well-financed and heavily-promoted theistic web sites. If not for the dedication of infidels like Jeff, there might not be prominent voices for nonbelief on the web. We all owe a debt to Jeff for sticking with his vision when a whole lot of others started, then abandoned, freethought websites.

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