Dan Savage, Jeff Chu, and Why the Christian Church Is No Place for the LGBT Community

This weekend’s edition of the New York Times Book Review has a piece by Dan Savage, talking about Jeff Chu‘s new book Does Jesus Really Love Me?

In the book, Chu, a gay Christian, writes about how he and others like him are working to reconcile their sexuality with their faith — and how it doesn’t always work out. Along the way, he offers a “sympathetic portrait” of the Westboro Baptist Church, visits a gay-welcoming church, and profiles a man who is gay but refuses to have a boyfriend because he believes doing so would keep him out of heaven. (How’s that for depressing?)

While it’s a valiant endeavor to cover the church’s spectrum of views of homosexuality from the inside, Savage really gets irate at the way Chu often lets certain Christians off the hook:

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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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What Dale McGowan Learned When Writing Atheism for Dummies

Last month, the Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison held their second annual Freethought Festival. Videos of the event are now going up and they’re definitely worth your time to watch.

In the following video, author Dale McGowan talks about 20 things he learned when writing the book Atheism for Dummies:

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Learning and the Light of Reason: A Review of The Enlightenment Vision

The great thinkers of the Enlightenment had grandiose dreams for the progress of human civilization. They envisioned a world in which all men were created equal, reason triumphed over superstition, and human beings in all their natural variability were free to pursue their own pursuits.

Are we there yet?

That forms only part of the question astrophysicist and former NASA staff scientist Stuart Jordan seeks to answer in The Enlightenment Vision: Science, Reason, and the Promise of a Better Future (Prometheus Books, 2013).

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Bibles Be Trippin’

This is a real book by Jocelyn & Alayne Ingram and it’s offensive as hell (at least to anyone who finds things on the Internet offensive):

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