The Wall of Silence Around Michael Shermer

Earlier this month, I wrote about the serious allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault made against skeptic "thought leader" Michael Shermer by three women, who agreed to be named in an article published by Buzzfeed. That article, as you'd expect, has provoked an enormous amount of controversy and outrage.But what I find more surprising is who isn't discussing it. Some prominent individuals in the atheist and skeptical community are either minimizing this story, treating the … [Read more...]

Speaking at Sunday Assembly NYC

SunAssembly

I'm very pleased to announce that next Sunday, October 5, I'll be speaking at Sunday Assembly NYC! This month's topic is mythology: why we create it, what purpose it serves, and what (if anything) it's good for. Do humans still need mythology? If so, how does it fit in the modern world; and if not, what can we put in its place?The Sunday Assembly, as I've written previously, is a global humanist congregation focused on doing good and living a better life without supernatural beliefs. Its New … [Read more...]

Weekday Coffee: September 25

Coffee

I've been taking a breather this week, but never fear, my Atlas Shrugged series will resume tomorrow. In the meantime, some quick links:• Help atheist blogger and ex-Quiverfuller Vyckie Garrison save her house! She's in financial trouble caused largely by her divorce from an abusive husband, which in turn happened because she lost her faith. She needs to raise $23,000 to save it. If you need more incentive, here's her outstanding speech from the 2014 American Atheists national … [Read more...]

Richard Dawkins’ Reasonable and Proportionate Response to Criticism

EvilOverlord

As I've mentioned previously, Jerry Coyne of Why Evolution Is True wrote a post this weekend in which he let it be known that he was very upset with me and my article in the Guardian on Richard Dawkins. Well, you'll never guess who showed up to post this unbelievable comment:Thank you, Jerry.I long ago declared that I would not wish to go on living if I found myself in a world dominated by people who no longer care about what's true and express open contempt for factual evidence. … [Read more...]

Dawkins Needs Better Defenders

This week, I published a column in the Guardian arguing that Richard Dawkins' sexism is overshadowing his contributions to the atheist movement. It got, shall we say, a large reaction. But not all negative, I hasten to add! I was very pleased with the amount of praise and compliments it attracted - I heard from a lot of people who told me that I said exactly what they've been thinking (including this piece by Allegra Ringo in Vice, published the same day as mine).As it turns out, the man … [Read more...]

Friday Night Music: Quiet Company

Over the summer, Chris Stedman published a list of his 20 best atheist or agnostic anthems. I've been listening to his choices and found a few artists that I like quite a lot.One of the groups that was new to me is Quiet Company, a formerly Christian band from Austin, Texas. Their 2011 album We Are All Where We Belong is explicitly atheist; the lead singer, Taylor Muse, described it as "a break up record, only the romance that's ending was between myself and religion."Check it out (and … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: September 6

Coffee

• This week, Bob McDonnell, a.k.a Virginia's former "Governor Ultrasound", was convicted by a jury on multiple counts of corruption. The schadenfreude-y part is that McDonnell ran for office as a religious-right, pro-marriage, Christian-family-values candidate, whereas his defense at trial basically consisted of arguing that his own marriage was a shambles and that everything he said on the campaign trail was a lie.• In weird and cool biology news: two unclassifiable animal species … [Read more...]

New on the Guardian: Real Religious Persecution

Big news today! I'm very pleased to announce that I've published my first original column for the Guardian, the venerable progressive newspaper, in their Comment is Free opinion section.The column is titled "'Help, help, I'm being repressed!': How conservatives make a mockery of the oppression of religious minorities. It concerns those American Christian conservatives who shriek that their religious liberty is being cruelly denied, while steadfastly ignoring those who experience genuine … [Read more...]

Photo Sunday: #NMOS14

Last Thursday, my wife and I attended one of the National Moment of Silence rallies that were held across the country to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and all other deaths from police brutality and overreach. This one was at Union Square in Manhattan. There was an immense, diverse crowd; the tone was angry and grieving, but peaceful.Though I had been half-expecting the NYPD to show up in force, there was no show of strength by the police at the scene. (There was a … [Read more...]

Answering an 11-Year-Old Christian

Last week, this comment was left on an older post. I wouldn't normally approve proselytizing like this, but since the author identifies himself as an 11-year-old homeschooler, I decided to give it a pass and write him a reply. We may be familiar with these arguments, but it's likely that he's never encountered a real live atheist before, and this may be the first chance he has to hear them. I'll post the full text of the comment first.If there is no God, there cannot be any sort of … [Read more...]


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