Facing Up to Atheism’s MRA Problem

Thistle

We've known for a while that there's an ugly strain of aggressive anti-feminism within the larger atheist community. Now it appears that we know where they congregate: the "men's rights activist" subgroup on Reddit ran a survey of their members, which found that the vast majority (94%) identify as atheist or religiously indifferent. That came as a surprise to me, although the other numbers were more or less what I'd have expected. MRAs are overwhelmingly white (98%), between the ages of 17 … [Read more...]

Who Speaks for American Catholics?

BlackAndWhiteChurch

Last week during my interview on the Nick Givas Radio Show, the host, himself a conservative Catholic, asserted that the Obama administration has offended American Catholics by mandating that health insurance plans cover contraception, and now has a duty to placate them by making whatever legislative changes they demand. I only had time for a brief response to that, so I want to expand on it today. Now, I'll agree that the Catholic hierarchy - the Vatican, the U.S. bishops, the presidents of … [Read more...]

You Wouldn’t Believe How Fast Americans Are Losing Their Religion — But the Fundamentalists Have a Plan

Pulses

This article originally appeared on AlterNet. Sometime in 2012, the U.S.A. quietly passed a milestone that demographers had long been predicting: for the first time in its history, this country is no longer majority Protestant. Fewer than 50% of Americans now identify as Protestant Christians of any denomination. This change has come on surprisingly recently, and from a historical perspective, with breathtaking speed. As recently as 1993, almost two-thirds of Americans identified as … [Read more...]

Riding a Dinosaur Off Into the Sunset

Sue

It's conventional wisdom that when you've got to make an announcement but don't want people to pay too much attention, you release it on a Friday afternoon. And when you've got some news that you really want to bury, you release it on Christmas Day. That's just what the Republican party did last month, with this quiet announcement that the party establishment, in tandem with the Chamber of Commerce, is launching a $50 million political offensive - not against Democrats, but against other … [Read more...]

The Rising of the Sun

SolsticeEclipse

In most of the Western world, today is Christmas Day. We rationalists know that, despite the meandering of the calendar and all the religious mythology that's become encrusted on it, this date was first chosen for its astronomical significance. The winter solstice is an inflection point, after which ancient people knew dark days would brighten and long nights would dwindle as the sun returned. That's what we're really celebrating, and all the "Keep Christ in Christmas" signs in the world won't … [Read more...]

The Republicans Can’t Help Themselves

SoapBubble

Almost lost in the furor last week over the NSA spying story, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to ban all abortion after 20 weeks. The debate over the bill brought forth some ludicrous moments, such as when Rep. Michael Burgess defended it by arguing that male fetuses at that stage of development can masturbate. This led to one of the better Twitter jokes I've seen lately: Life begins at masturbation. #masturbatingfetus http://t.co/64SuFRbYtF— Julia Ioffe … [Read more...]

There Are Now As Many Nonreligious Americans As Evangelicals: 6 Ways Politicians Can Court Their Vote

StatueOfLiberty2

This article was originally published on AlterNet. In the aftermath of President Obama's electoral romp over Mitt Romney, the media and pundits have paid much attention to the demographics that propelled him to victory, especially women, Hispanics and young voters. But there's one more group which played an underappreciated yet crucial role in his reelection, and which only now is starting to get the recognition it deserves. A growing segment of American society - up to 20%, according to … [Read more...]

The Political Dominance of Fundamentalism

PurpleAndYellow

Last week, Alex Knapp and I got into a friendly debate on Twitter about whether it's fair to stereotype conservative and fundamentalist religion as representative of religion generally. I wanted to flesh out some of my arguments there with additional data. I wish it were true that the religious left and the religious right were equally influential. If they were, they'd usually balance each other out, and there would be little reason for atheists to worry about undue religious influence in … [Read more...]

Weekend Coffee: Snap Responses to Current Events

In the Times this week, Israel's ultra-Orthodox rabbis are enforcing gender apartheid by sending their own women and girls to flood the Wailing Wall plaza, so that women who actually want to pray there can't get in: “They’re trying to change the religion and politics in Israel — they should do that in the Knesset and not at the Kotel,” Ms. Beskin said, using the Hebrew terms for Israel’s Parliament and the Western Wall. “The rules should be, honestly, just respect the tradition … [Read more...]

Building Walls Against the World

BricksInWall

When I wrote last month about France enacting same-sex marriage, it wasn't even on my radar that two more U.S. states were about to do the same. But now, Rhode Island (which previously had civil unions) has graduated to full marriage equality, becoming the tenth state to do so, and Delaware followed right after. With this passage, every New England state now stands united in recognizing the humanity of same-sex couples. What makes this especially heartening is that Rhode Island is the … [Read more...]


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