Why Skeptics Fall For Misogynist Ideology

Since I've spent much time condemning religious sexism and misogyny, it's only fair to acknowledge that atheists aren't free of it either. Case in point: this article from the Daily Beast, which makes a case that Robert Fisher, a 31-year-old Republican state representative from New Hampshire and an out-of-the-closet atheist, is the creator of the popular "Red Pill" forum on Reddit where misogynists congregate.Based on evidence presented in the article, Fisher created the Red Pill forum in … [Read more...]

I’m Not Responsible For My Son’s Soul

If you browse relationships advice forums like Reddit's, you'll find many threads started by people asking how they can get out from under the thumb of fundamentalist families. Here's a recent one:This hurt more than anything else. "I love you, but". If there has been an overwhelming feeling I have received from all of my family members in the last year, it has been conditional love.I am so afraid that I will have to limit or cut off contact with my family, and I don't want to. I want … [Read more...]

Some Thoughts on Anti-Theism

We've been discussing anti-theism on Patheos, spurred by a post from Martin Hughes confessing that he no longer considers himself an anti-theist. His change of heart came about because he turned to a philosophical god-concept of his own making in a time of need:No, it wasn't the Christian God. More like Spinoza's God, if there is such a thing. This idea that there is a consciousness made up of the collection of everyone's experience. That God is everything connected thoroughly and … [Read more...]

Secular Community-Building Is Hard Work

Another of Christianity's big names has left the faith and joined us: Bart Campolo, son of the famous preacher Tony Campolo and a well-known evangelical pastor in his own right.As Mark Oppenheimer's article says, Campolo finally dropped his faith after surviving a serious bicycle accident in 2011, which persuaded him of the fleeting nature of life and the importance of making the most of it. But his beliefs had been weakening for some time. A lifetime of experience had eroded their … [Read more...]

The Ashes: A Humanist Sermon

For those of us who believe in liberality and human progress, 2016 has been a terrible year. Our hopes for positive change, which for a time blazed so brightly, have collapsed into cinders. Now we're faced with the prospect of a cold and dark season to come.This year was a painful reminder that there's no narrative to history, no inexorable trend toward redemption. History isn't a smooth arc, but a jagged sawtooth, with dramatic drops and plunges. Atheists, especially, ought to know that … [Read more...]

Will Atheists Stand in Solidarity With Muslims?

This election was an ugly demonstration of how many racists and bigots there still are in this country, even in liberal and cosmopolitan areas. And Donald Trump's victory has tremendously emboldened them, as we saw in an ugly story from New York City this week:Straphangers stood by and watched as three drunk white men repeatedly screamed "Donald Trump!" and hurled anti-Islam slurs Thursday at a Muslim Baruch College student before trying to rip her hijab off of her head on an East Side … [Read more...]

Repost: The Coming Secular Era

[I'm working on a new talk and another big project I hope to announce soon. Blogging may be intermittent for the next few days. In the meantime, enjoy this classic post.]The most important changes don't come in the form of attention-grabbing headlines, but subtle trends that quietly gather momentum until, by the time they finally burst into public view, they're unstoppable. Such is the case with the most important, and paradoxically most underappreciated, trend in American religion today: … [Read more...]

20 Things I’ll Teach My Son

Ever since my son was conceived, I've been thinking about what I want to teach him, about life and about the kind of person he should strive to be. It's going to be a while before he's old enough to absorb any kind of major life lessons, but that makes it more important to start coming up with ideas now, so I won't be unprepared when the time comes.I'm not going to list basic principles like the Golden Rule, because those go without saying. In this post, I'd like to collect the ideas that … [Read more...]

We’re All In This Together: A Humanist Sermon

Certain recent events in my life have made me think about how human beings depend on each other. However privileged or fortunate you are, you're all but certain to eventually face a challenge you can't overcome alone and need other people's help to pull you through. And I don't just mean in a disaster or a crisis, but for everyday, ordinary things, the kind of situations that most of us can expect to encounter in the course of life.Having children is the perfect example, because it's such a … [Read more...]

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...]