Faith and Democracy

Jaime: I am tired of all these theocrats who want to base our laws on their religious beliefs. Robin: It’s a free country; people can vote however they want and for whatever reasons they want and then majority rules. That’s how things work in a democracy. If people want to vote on their religious beliefs, then that’s [Read More...]

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...]

10 Reasons To Scrutinize A Candidate’s Faith (or not)

Religiously explicit political candidates cannot have it both ways. They cannot promise an elevated influence of religious faith on public life and not have the nature and meaning of their religious beliefs go unexamined. They cannot say that the most important source of values and beliefs they have is their faith and then dismiss inquiries into the contents of their faith as irrelevant personal trivialities. [Read more...]

Edwina Rogers vs. Michael J. Fox

Most of us at Freethought Blogs are wary that the Secular Coalition for America has hired as their executive director Edwina Rogers, a career long Republican aid, lobbyist, and lawyer. The SCA was formed as the lobby which would specifically focus on advocating for secular lawmaking against the influence of theocratically minded legislators who want [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...]

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...]

"What Are The Limits of Church Authority In the Public Sphere?"

This is part 2 of a debate with Roman Catholic theology graduate student named Mary. In part 1, we introduced and began to debate the topic of whether or not universities, hospitals, and social agencies run by the Catholic Church should be exempted from laws requiring employers to provide their employees health insurance that covers [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...]

The Author of The Cranston High School Prayer Outraged

This week, Jessica Ahlquist and the ACLU won their court case against Cranston High School West in Rhode Island. The school was ordered to immediately remove a banner containing an official school prayer addressed to “Our Heavenly Father” and ending in “Amen”, which hung over the school gymnasium as an unambiguous endorsement of the Christian [Read More...]

The Dangers of Religion Itself

Salvaging Religion In this post I am going to explore the dangers of religion. For some context, I have written often that I think that there are good things that go by the name religion that atheists should try to salvage from authoritarians, irrationalists and bigots. I am generally optimistic about the idea that we [Read More...]