Making Non-White Atheists Feel Welcome

I was reading this outstanding essay by Alom Shaha, an atheist and ex-Muslim of Bangladeshi descent, who describes what it's like to come out as a nonbeliever in a tightly-knit, intensely religious community. But as he makes clear, the social and cultural pressure on people in his situation isn't just a matter of happenstance; it formed as a defensive reaction against a wider society that was bitterly prejudiced:My family was one of a large wave of Bangladeshi families who emigrated to the … [Read more...]

This Holiday Season, Consider Atheism!

I was happy to read that this week that atheist groups are launching a new ad blitz, with ads extolling the virtues of atheism on billboards, buses, trains and print media. Significantly, atheist ads are also hitting the airwaves for the first time ever - thanks to a $150,000 donation from the Stiefel Freethought Foundation, which is underwriting a TV ad campaign by the American Humanist Association.And the very best part of the AHA campaign is that the ads aren't just saying that … [Read more...]

Snapshots from the 2010 FFRF Convention

Welcome to the convention!Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton addresses the convention on the first night.The FFRF also gave an Emperor Has No Clothes award to Rep. Pete Stark, the only openly nontheist U.S. congressperson, who accepted in a pretaped message.Linda Greenhouse discusses the Supreme Court.Dan Barker presents the Emperor Has No Clothes award to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who signed copies of her books after her acceptance … [Read more...]

Report from the 2010 FFRF Convention

Hey, folks - I'm typing this from the airport in Madison, Wisconsin, waiting for my flight home from the 33rd annual convention of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, which I attended this weekend. I've had a fantastic time, and I still feel happy, relaxed and full of energy. I need to go to these events more often!The convention was held at the Concourse Hotel in central Madison. We FFRFers descended on the hotel in a freethinking horde - other than the hotel staff, I don't think I saw a … [Read more...]

Thoughts on CfI and Paul Kurtz

The New York Times reported this month on a rift at the Center for Inquiry, whose founder Paul Kurtz claims he's been unjustly expelled by the board of directors and the president, Ronald Lindsay. Kurtz was also interviewed by my friend Erich Vieth at Dangerous Intersection.It's very unfortunate the way this turned out. It clearly wasn't handled well, and bad feelings and an embarrassing schism within the secular community were the result. It's especially unfortunate that this involves Paul … [Read more...]

Spotlighting Atheism in Greece

Since Greece was the birthplace of Western philosophy, as well as the home of some of history's first freethinkers, it seems only fitting that it should have a lively atheist movement. And what do you know, it does! (HT: EvanT of On the Way to Ithaca)This is a Greek version of the song "Godless and Free", written and performed by a member of the Atheist Union of Greece (they also have a forum and a blog, for native speakers). I'm told the lyrics can be translated as follows:You believe … [Read more...]

Reminder: Find Me at the FFRF Convention

As I mentioned previously, I'll be attending the 33rd annual convention of the Freedom from Religion Foundation in Madison, Wisconsin on the weekend of October 29-31. Yes, I know that's also the date of the Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert rallies; I made my hotel reservation and booked my flight long before those were scheduled. Their loss!If you're also planning to attend (or if you just live near Madison) and would like to meet up sometime over the weekend, please leave a comment or send me … [Read more...]

Switchers and Stickers

The Chaplain over at An Apostate's Chapel posted about the latest poll by the Barna Group, which found that 1 in every 8 Americans is an ex-Christian. Meanwhile, about 3% of Americans were raised non-Christian but later converted. The Barna Group's press release described their finding in these terms: "The study underscores that the spiritual allegiances of childhood are remarkably sustainable in our society... the most common faith journey that people take is to form spiritual commitments as … [Read more...]

Atheist Apps for Android

So, I've finally joined the 21st century by buying my first ever 3G smartphone, a Motorola Droid 2. I've been getting a lot of use out of it and I'm happy with the network coverage and connection speed so far. There's also the Android Market, which lists thousands of user-developed applications you can download, everything from games and news readers to compasses and metal detectors (no kidding).I do have one important complaint, though. There aren't nearly enough atheist-themed apps!The … [Read more...]

Weekly Link Roundup

• President Obama signs a law to fight British libel tourism by barring such judgments from being enforced in the U.S.• My esteemed guest author, Sarah Braasch, has an article in the latest issue of The Humanist on the French burqa ban.• After a scary brush with mortality, everyone's favorite squid-loving atheist professor is back in action. Visit his blog and leave some get-well-soon comments!• Did a Catholic priest carry out an IRA bombing? And if so, did the church … [Read more...]


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