Well, here’s an announcement!
My first-ever original article for Salon has just been published, “Rise of the new atheists: Should non-believers make an alliance with religious progressives?” In it, I discuss the meteoric growth of nonbelief in America, why the so-called New Atheists think it’s a legitimate and useful tactic to criticize all religion equally, and whether and how we should make alliances with religious progressives to advance political goals we have in common. If you’re a regular reader of Daylight Atheism, most of these arguments will probably be familiar to you, but I’m glad of the opportunity to share them with a new audience. Read the teaser below, then click through to see the rest:
This emerging movement has been dubbed the “New Atheism,” although there’s nothing genuinely new about it, either in tone or in content. The Western world has long had outspoken skeptics and critics of orthodoxy; it’s just that in past eras, they were often persecuted or silenced by mob rule or force of law. The only thing that’s new about the New Atheism is its growing influence and success, which are accompanied by increased confidence and assertiveness. In a country where the Christian right wields such a huge megaphone, all progressives should view this as a hopeful development. The rise of the New Atheism as a political force has the potential to roll back the religious right’s influence across the board, and to be a positive force on issues like secularism in government, choice and reproductive rights, gay rights, teaching science and evidence-based sex ed in schools, Middle East policy, even environmental policy.
Nevertheless, some religious progressives have greeted the New Atheism with less than open arms…