Repost: The Perils of Scriptural Morality

[I'm taking a break from the blog to bond with and care for my new son. Please enjoy this classic post! I'll check in periodically to answer comments.]I was cheered by a story I saw last week about about heroic activist groups working to end the barbaric custom of female "circumcision", aka female genital mutilation, that's practiced in parts of Africa, Asia and the Middle East. FGM isn't unique to Christianity or to Islam, but is found across a range of traditional societies that fetishize … [Read more...]

Repost: Why Atheism Is a Force for Good

[I'm taking a break from the blog to bond with and care for my new son. Please enjoy this classic post! I'll check in periodically to answer comments.]If you've followed my writing these past few years, you know that I've often taken up arms against prominent atheists who've made clueless, sexist comments or worse. I've also insisted that the atheist movement as a whole needs to pay more attention to social justice, an area where it's historically been deficient. In all these things, I … [Read more...]

Does Religious Diversity Undermine Religion?

There's bound to be more than one reason why religion is on the decline. I've written about the spread of the internet and about churches obstinately clinging to bigotry that turns off younger generations. Now, from FiveThirtyEight, there's another answer: it's because of increasing religious diversity.The practical effect of rising religious diversity is to expose Americans to ideas and views that could challenge their religious beliefs. A recent survey found that 77 percent of Americans … [Read more...]

Christian Apologists React to the Rise of Atheism

The collapse of the white Christian voting bloc hasn't gone unnoticed by the religious right. It's the latest sign that they don't dominate American politics the way they once did. From same-sex marriage nationwide to Antonin Scalia's death to theocrat candidates flaming out and crashing, they've had one reminder after another that their era is passing.And it's immensely entertaing to see the fundamentalists and religious conservatives realize it. From denying the problem, to promising … [Read more...]

The Collapse of the Christian Vote

Earlier this month, I wrote about the rise of the atheist voting bloc and what it means for the future of American politics. Here's a perspective on that same trend from the other side: Robert P. Jones, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, has a new book out titled "The End of White Christian America".As Jones says in an interview, the decline of Christianity in America is generational. Young adults are rejecting organized religion at startling rates, resulting in the collapse of … [Read more...]

No Place for Racism in the Atheist Community

I wish I didn't have to write posts like this, but they're still sadly necessary.Recently, my Patheos colleague Martin Hughes at Barrier Breaker had an interaction with an unpleasant fellow who calls himself "The Amazing Atheist". TAA is the archetype of the smugly arrogant white-guy atheist who thinks that because he's seen through this whole religion thing, he doesn't ever need to learn anything else.His perspective reflects all the toxic ignorance and casual cruelty you'd expect from … [Read more...]

The 2016 Reason Rally

This weekend was the second Reason Rally in Washington, D.C., sequel to the original 2012 event. I was in attendance for most of the day, so here's my report.In 2012, it was cold and foggy with drizzling rain all day. This year, it was swelteringly hot and muggy on the National Mall, and a threatened thunderstorm never arrived. If you had enough water and a spot in the shade, it was bearable, although I'll bet a lot of attendees came away nursing sunburns. The crowding and heat under the … [Read more...]

A More Diverse Humanism Is a Stronger Humanism

If you, like me, are tired of that obnoxious slogan "I'm not a feminist, I'm a humanist", there's good news: now you don't have to choose!To strengthen the humanist presence in social justice movements, today the American Humanist Association launched the Black Humanist Alliance, an adjunct organization that will promote racial justice and solidarity between the Black and humanist communities. In conjunction with the launch, the American Humanist Association is also relaunching its women's … [Read more...]

Who Died and Made You King of Atheism?

This video sums up everything that's wrong with the way the atheist movement presents itself:Bill Maher spilled the beans about a concept for a movie called The Kings of Atheism that Maher says he is creating with Michael Moore.... The Kings of Atheism movie will feature Maher and other famous atheists on a tour throughout the Bible belt.Bill Maher and Michael Moore, on Maher's show, announced their plan to collaborate on a comedy tour-slash-documentary that involves them and some … [Read more...]

There Won’t Be Any New Earth

One of the Bible's repeated assertions is that, after the apocalypse and the destruction of the world, God will create a new, perfect earth where believers will live in harmony forever:"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away... And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat … [Read more...]


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