CJ Werleman’s The New Atheist Threat: A Caricature of a Cause

I suspect there are few experiences as potentially awkward as publicly reviewing the creative work of someone you know.

In his most recent book, The New Atheist Threat: The Dangerous Rise of Secular Extremists, CJ Werleman lists me (as well as Nathan Phelps and a few others) as a friend… and apparently an exemption to the charge that New Atheism is essentially a hate cult.

CJ and I have crossed paths over the years, and our exchanges — even spirited disagreements — have been universally pleasant. Amicable. Friendly. We’ve spoken at conferences, on the phone, on the radio, and over brunch. He opened for me at a 2014 tour event in San Diego. I advised him when he was navigating his start-up podcast. Conversation came easily, if infrequently, and normally, I’d welcome the description of “friend.” But with CJ’s inflammatory new book, to be named in any capacity is not something I’m comfortable with.

Publicity-wise, there’s lot of flash and mud flying about in relation to The New Atheist Threat, and of course, it would be easy to intercept any of the hundreds of Twitter volleys tossed about in its promotion/detraction and build an analysis on hype alone. The responsible move, however, is to actually read the book. So, finally, I did.



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Hanover County (VA) Board of Supervisors Adopted Resolution Urging Citizens to Pray at Thanksgiving

The Hanover County Board of Supervisors in Virginia, led by chairman Wayne Hazzard, made a special plea to the community at this week’s meeting. After a short speech by Hazzard about the importance of giving thanks to God, the Supervisors passed a resolution to “urge and encourage the citizens of the Hanover County, Virginia to include prayer in their Thanksgiving celebration.”

Because the people who want small government don’t mind when that government is telling you how to pray to the Christian God.



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Kenyan Atheist Files Lawsuit After Government Declares Pope’s Visit a “National Holiday”

Harrison Mumia, President of Atheists in Kenya, wasn’t surprised by all the attention Pope Francis received yesterday when he visited the country. But he couldn’t believe that his government, one that also has the separation of church and state built into its Constitution, declared it a “public holiday.” That was a step too far, he writes at CNN, causing him to file a lawsuit in court to have the holiday nullified:



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Got Questions? Ask Away and I’ll Answer. (Maybe)

For the next Friendly Atheist Podcast coming out this Sunday, I’d like to try something different.

Consider it an Ask Me (Almost) Anything. What would you like to know? What would you like me to comment on?



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Catholic Writer Thinks “We’d All Be Catholic if We Really Thought About It”

Writing for the Catholic World Report, Thomas M. Doran argues that “we’d all be Catholic if we really thought about it.”

As someone who’s thought about it… no thank you. I can do much, much better than that.

But what evidence does Doran offer for why Catholicism totally makes sense?

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