How Chris Stedman’s Faitheist is Helping Me Discover a More Effective and Compassionate Atheism

This is a guest post by Marcus Mann. Marcus is a graduate student in Religion at Duke University. He studies contemporary atheist and secular humanist social movements and has contributed to the blog NonProphet Status. You can follow him on Twitter at @mannmarcus.

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Near the end of his book Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious, Chris Stedman urges us, the readers, “to step boldly and defiantly across dividing lines of religious and nonreligious identity and share our experiences in hope that we might build understanding through relationships of commitment and cooperation.” Rather than write a review for this important and affective book or take part in the controversy that it has engendered, I want to take this cue from Stedman and share a bit of my own story and of how both atheism and religious pluralism became values central to my worldview. In doing so, I hope to contribute in some small way to the broader exercise of building the kind of understanding Stedman writes about.

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Turkish Creationist: Islam Encourages Scientific Progress… Wait, What?

This is Harun Yahya (a.k.a. Adnan Oktar) in the introduction to his book Atlas of Creation: Volume 1:

Some 150 years ago, the British naturalist Charles Darwin proposed a theory based on various observations made during his travels, but which could not be supported by any subsequent scientific findings. In essence, his theory of evolution consisted of various scenarios, assumptions and conjectures that Darwin dreamed up in his own imagination.

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The Christian View of Women Who Preach

Obviously, I’m over-generalizing in the headline, but it’s no surprise than many Christian men cannot handle women who display any sort of authority over them.

David Hayward, as he so often does, says that without words:

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Roger Ebert Would Have Given His Obit Cartoons Two Thumbs Down

Even though many cartoonists were quick to draw the non-religious Roger Ebert in heaven after his death, Matt Bors took the far more sensible route and mocked the whole idea of it:

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Liberty Counsel Leader: Atheists Are ‘Coming in to Finish the Job’ of Bringing Down the Twin Towers

A couple of weeks ago, a judge threw out American Atheists’ lawsuit against The National September 11 Memorial & Museum and its display of a 17-foot-tall steel beam cross. Judge Deborah Batts believed the giant cross was both “historical and secular” and not at all an endorsement of Christianity. (American Atheists didn’t see it that way and plans to appeal the ruling.)

In case it’s not clear — and it’s usually not in reports of this lawsuit — the atheists are just as patriotic as anyone else and supportive of the memorial overall. They just didn’t want one religion to be promoted, whatever the reason, when families who were not Christian weren’t given the same opportunity.

Earlier today, Mat Staver and Shawn Akers, both of the Christian legal group Liberty Counsel, were talking about the lawsuit on the “Faith and Freedom” radio program. Akers suggested that, while Muslim extremists brought down the Twin Towers, American Atheists is trying to “finish the job”:

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