Should We Reach Out to Conservative Atheists?

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Last month, American Atheists sought to rent a booth at this year's Conservative Political Action Conference. Surprisingly, CPAC accepted their money at first, only to change their mind at the last minute.That entirely foreseeable outcome would have been more than sufficient as free publicity, but American Atheists president Dave Silverman decided to attend as an individual. While he was there, he gave several interviews asserting that atheism should have a bigger place among conservatives. … [Read more...]

A Reply to James Croft

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My new Patheos colleague, James Croft, has written a post welcoming me to the site and inviting me to a rhetorical face-off. I'm never one to pass up an invitation to a cordial debate, so let's have at it!James' post concerns my speech at the 2012 SSA conference, where I laid out my strategy for effective atheist activism. He has responses to several of the points I made, which are under the headings below:The Importance of AngerI spoke about why anger is a valid and important … [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...]

Politics Is the Art of the Possible

After writing my previous post chastising the National Atheist Party, I thought (and hoped) that I'd be done writing about Reason Rally drama. Alas, it was not to be. Apparently, the organizers are now getting an earful of complaints about the speakers list: partially with reference to Bill Maher (who's supported deplorably irrational anti-vaccine kookery), but more specifically about Senator Tom Harkin, who'll be greeting the Rally in a brief videotaped message. The complaint is that Harkin … [Read more...]

A Blunder by the National Atheist Party

I'm getting excited for the Reason Rally next weekend in Washington, D.C., which promises to be the largest and most spectacular atheist gathering in recent history - possibly the largest ever. Given the numbers of people likely to show up and the corresponding amount of media coverage it could receive, it's to be expected that the rally would be targeted by Christians trying to exploit our efforts for their own publicity. We've already heard about proselytizers who intend to come and preach at … [Read more...]

Victory By Adversarial Overreaction

You may have heard that another atheist billboard campaign has been censored, this time in Ohio. The Mid-Ohio Atheists had spent several weeks coordinating with the billboard company, planning locations and designing graphics, with no hint of a problem. Then, just days before the first billboards were to go up, they received an unexpected e-mail from the company's senior managers canceling their contract. According to a subsequent explanation, the company felt that running the atheist ads would … [Read more...]

Moving the Overton Window

When I tell people that I'm an atheist, I'm often asked if I think that fiery rhetoric and sharp critiques of religion, like the kind found in the writing of trailblazers like Richard Dawkins, is harming the cause by offending believers who might otherwise have been sympathetic. The implication is that, if we focus our attacks only on the worst fundamentalists, we'll gain public support and approval, but if we criticize faith in general, we'll never get anywhere. I don't believe this is true, … [Read more...]

Adapt or Die

This is a guest post by Leah of Unequally Yoked.  Adam is on vacation.My previous two posts on mockery have drawn a lot of criticism, including charges that I am an accommodationist.  If that were the case, the definition of accommodationism had gotten way too broad.  Trying to treat people with respect is different from asserting that their beliefs are true, or, at a minimum, not actively harmful.  Accommodationists have no desire to deconvert Christians or other believers, but there's a lot … [Read more...]


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