Petition: Support Feminism and Diversity in the Secular Community

AtheismPlus

You may have heard that the video blogger "Thunderf00t"* recently published a video titled "Why 'Feminism' is poisoning Atheism", which he's been sending to the heads of atheist and skeptical organizations. In this video, he attacks named individuals who've been active in promoting diversity and fighting sexism and harassment in our movement, describing them as "whiners" and "ultra-PC professional victims" who are "dripp[ing] poison" into the secular community, and urges conference organizers to … [Read more...]

Building Justice

As you probably know by now, my friend Greta Christina was diagnosed with cancer last week, and she's having surgery today. In the grand scheme of things, it could have been much worse: she has health insurance, it was caught early, and there's an excellent chance that the operation will be a complete cure. Still, I admit I felt some purely selfish disappointment when I first heard the news. I'd been looking forward to seeing her at Skepticon next month, which won't be happening now. And … [Read more...]

What Cost Is Too High? On Justin Vacula and Secular Leadership

Last spring, I wrote about the Secular Coalition for America's new executive director, Edwina Rogers, a Republican lobbyist whose selection raised more than a few eyebrows. While I had (and still have) my doubts about Rogers, I have to admit the SCA has been doing some good work, including setting up state chapters all across the country. This is an excellent step, one that extends the reach and shows the increasing grassroots support for the secular movement, and they've signed up some … [Read more...]

The Calgary Secular Church

Editor's Note: Please welcome Korey Peters, who's written a guest post about an atheist organization he's founded that he's calling the Calgary Secular Church. In this post, he'll explain what motivated him to do it and what he's hoping to achieve. My name is Korey Peters, and I'm one of the founding members of the Calgary Secular Church (CSC). In this article, I'd like to do three things: 1. Describe why I think a secular church is important. 2. Describe what the CSC is about. 3. Present my … [Read more...]

Book Review: Nonbeliever Nation

Summary: A solid, informative history of the rise of the American secular movement. Books like Jennifer Michael Hecht's Doubt: A History or Susan Jacoby's Freethinkers show how brave nonbelievers have always existed, even in theocratic societies that were implacably hostile to their views. In most cases, persecution prevented those isolated sparks from joining together into a brighter light. But what happens when they do join together? In the past two decades, observers of American politics … [Read more...]

Growing the Secular Community

While attending the 2012 SSA convention, I had some thoughts about the future of the secular movement and what shape it will likely take in the coming years. As atheism expands and becomes organized, it's acquiring a political affiliation and a corona of associated beliefs - generally left-leaning, socially progressive, and increasingly identifying as pro-social justice and pro-feminist - and this is a development that we should definitely encourage. Some people assert that atheism means … [Read more...]

Can a Republican Lobbyist Represent Secular Americans?

The Secular Coalition for America has hired a new executive director, and their choice is going to raise some eyebrows: Edwina Rogers, a Republican lobbyist and attorney with a long history of supporting conservative causes. Among other things, she's worked as an advisor to George W. Bush's National Economic Council, served as a general counsel to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and donated to Rick Perry's presidential campaign. I'm not trying to be harsh here: I'm pretty sure I … [Read more...]

Why Do Atheists Gather?

In the first of my posts summing up the Reason Rally, there was a commenter who said that gathering on the National Mall was "sink[ing] to the level of the religious". At the time, I considered this too self-evidently absurd to merit refutation - but then I heard it again, in an NPR interview featuring Hemant Mehta and James Randi, where a caller charged that that we were "turning atheism into a religion" by gathering in this way. Since this confusion seems to be more widespread than I thought, … [Read more...]

Support African Americans for Humanism

As NPR recently reported, there's a high price to pay for being a black atheist in America. African Americans who come out of the closet as nonreligious may be cut off by their own families, may be labeled a "race traitor" or an "apostate", or accused of lacking morals or having "holes in their souls" - this despite the fact that atheism, humanism and freethought have a strong and lively tradition within the African-American community. That's why I was glad to hear about African Americans for … [Read more...]

On Skeptical Sexism and Comfort Levels

Earlier this week, Penn Jillette posted a link to this essay by Mallorie Nasrallah on his Twitter account, concerning her experience as a woman in the skeptical community. To sum it up, she's never felt mistreated because of her gender, and she doesn't see what all the fuss over sexism is about. So, let me say one thing right away: If she hasn't experienced sexism, that's great! We need more women who can say the same. And if she'd left it at that, I'd have no complaint. Unfortunately, she … [Read more...]


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