Atheism and the Need for ‘Sacred Spaces’ for Ritual: Are They in Conflict?

Suzanne Moore at The Guardian writes about the thought process that went into holding some kind of celebratory ceremony for the birth of her third child (congratulations, by the way!). In doing so, however, she found that her desire for some form of ritual to mark the event conflicted with her desire to be “a good atheist.”

Here’s how she explains the problem: She worries that “New Atheism,” whatever you believe that to be, “fixates on ethics, ignoring aesthetics at its peril,” and that “ultra-orthodox atheism has come to resemble a rigid and patriarchal faith itself.” [Read more...]

This is Why Atheists *Should Not* Teach Their Kids About Santa Claus

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, explains reasons atheists should not teach their kids about Santa:

What’s that? You think atheist parents *should* teach their kids about Santa Claus? Well, there’s a video for that, too!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

[Read more...]

This is Why Atheists *Should* Teach Their Kids About Santa Claus

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, explains reasons atheists should teach their kids about Santa:

What’s that? You think atheist parents should *not* teach their kids about Santa Claus? Well, there’s a video for that, too!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

[Read more...]

When I Wanted to Adopt Kids, the Agency Asked About My Religious Beliefs. What Would You Have Done?

Last week’s post by Veronica Chenik Gilmore, about her adopted children, held special significance for me.

My daughters (see below), now 11 and 9, are adopted too.

My wife and I worked through an international adoption agency, Gladney, that is at least nominally Christian, having been founded by a Methodist minister more than a hundred years ago. I wasn’t aware of this at the start, but wouldn’t have cared one way or the other. All that mattered to me was that the agency was staffed with experienced, caring, competent, and fair people. And it was. I have nothing but abundant praise for our case workers and everyone else up and down Gladney’s chain of command.

Throughout the years-long process, there was just one hiccup that had to do with religion.

[Read more...]

My Atheist Husband and I Have Seven Kids, Four of Whom Were Adopted, and We’re Raising Them As Happy Freethinkers

This is a guest post by Veronica Chenik Gilmore.

“You are so blessed”

“You’re an angel”

“Are you Catholic?”

“Are they all yours?”

“God Bless you”

These statements are just a sampling of what people say to my husband and me when they find out we have seven children.

We have a blended family — three biological children and four who came to us from Tennessee through an interstate adoption program. Strangers and casual acquaintances step into our circle to celebrate our “good deed” as if we’re doing something to please God. These well-intentioned people have no clue that we are hiding something very important from them: our identity as atheists.

Most people assume it was our faith that led us to adopt. But after hearing all sorts of mischaracterizations and faulty conclusions about who we are, it’s time for me to speak up. We’re not religious and we’re adoptive parents.

[Read more...]


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