Why Was The Reason Rally An Atheist Rally, Instead of Just a Secularist One?

Many of us movement atheists fear Christian supremacism and theocratic intentions when right wing Christians mix their political rallies with professions of their religious beliefs and affirmdations of their religious identities. So, to make sure we are not hypocrites, in this post I explore the question of whether it was a good idea for us to have The Reason Rally be so much an atheism rally, rather than a broadly secularist rally. Should we have focused on our identities as atheists and our non-beliefs as much as we did on our politics? I explore the challenge that we should have just kept our political agitation separate from our private cultural and philosophical beliefs if we didn’t want to imply we wanted to impose our private philosophical views about religion on everyone through political means. I also talk about why it was important to have an atheists only rally and not just an “interfaith/no-faith” secularist rally. [Read more...]

“It’s amazing what some people will justify through their religion, isn’t it?”

Why should it be amazing that people who adhere to their religions sincerely actually adopt the regressive or militaristic values often explicitly attributed to their god or gods in their sacred writings themselves? Isn’t that what you would expect? That they would believe in and adopt the values of their sacred texts? Let’s stop equating religion with goodness just because religions say they are the arbiters of morality and its best promoters. [Read more...]

Jesse Galef and the Obnoxious CNN Interview Questions

So Jesse Galef of the Secular Student Alliance (on whose behalf I am awake in the wee hours of the morning blogging as part of a 24 hour blogathon) appeared on CNN today and the questions he got (nor the tone of voice he got them in) could not have been any more smarmy, indignantly [Read More...]

The Pros and Cons of Hiring A Republican to Represent Secularists

The Secular Coalition for America was created to lobby lawmakers on behalf of all Americans who believe in secularism. This week they hired a longtime Republican operative, Edwina Rogers, to be their executive director. In this post, I am going to explore the pros and cons of hiring a Republican in general to run this [Read More...]

Contra de Botton: Religions Are NOT To Credit With Universalistic Humanistic Values

Alain de Botton’s chapter on community in his book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion is filled with half-baked thinking. After one-sidedly disparaging modern social life from numerous selective (and sometimes specious) angles, he goes on to model really effectively how not to try to learn from religion (Kindle Location 189): [Read more...]

Why I Bother Writing About the Boring Question of Whether Religious Beliefs Are True

Alain de Botton has caused a stir in the atheist blogosphere, and particularly here at Freethought Blogs, with his new book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer’s Guide to the Uses of Religion. More specifically he caused waves with his article on CNN , which is heavy on selections from the book, and which begins as [Read More...]

Sex and "Spirituality"

Casey: Sigh, Pat. It seems like there is nowhere in this culture we can escape the pernicious influence of religion. Pat: What are you thinking of in particular? Casey: I’m thinking of the way that even some of the most “sex-positive”, taboo-breaking, kink-celebrating, sexually liberated people I know still cannot enjoy the pure physicality of sex [Read More...]

Religious Privilege and Grievance-Based Catholic Identity Politics on Full Display

In a column last week, Melinda Henneberger criticized the Obama administration’s refusal to exempt the Catholic Church from requirements it provide for its employees health insurance which would cover birth control at organizations it runs which have secular functions. The column is an extraordinary exemplification of religious entitlement, identity politics, and anti-secular, anti-democratic demands for [Read More...]

"Should Catholic Employers Be Exempted From Paying For Health Insurance Covering Contraception?"

If you were reading Camels With Hammers regularly before we made the move to Freethought Blogs, you would have frequently been treated to the long, insightful, and vigorously argued comments of my friend Mary. Mary is a Roman Catholic and is politically liberal in many (but not all) respects. We met when I was a [Read More...]


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