Ask Richard: Anticipating a Religious Funeral for a Gay Secular Humanist

Last week, an old college friend of mine died. He was only 32 years old. When I met him, he was a Christian and over the course of our friendship, he became a Secular Humanist. He also came out of the closet as a gay man. His family is still really religious and I have [Read More…]

Ask Richard: Mother Gets Unwelcome Religious Advice About Her Shy Son

Dear Richard, I recently shared concerns I have with my SIL about how my 10-year old son is having a terrible time trying to interact with the kids in our neighborhood. We just moved here so he doesn’t know anybody, and he literally runs away if approached. (We’re seeking professional help.) She was very supportive, [Read More…]

Ask Richard: Teen Troubled by Mother’s Anxiety About His Atheism

Note: Letter writers’ names are changed to protect their privacy. I recently came out to my parents (I am 17). My father handled it well enough and we had a good discussion on the matter. My mother, on the other hand, not so much. When we talked she told me about what she was like [Read More…]

Ask Richard: Update from European Ex-Muslim Feeling Trapped by Family Ties

Note to readers: “Faithful Reader,” who wrote last week’s letter wants to respond to your comments, which were wonderfully caring, encouraging, and full of helpful practical suggestions. Here she offers an update on her situation, and answers a question about the way I had used the term “Muslima.” She also asks another question about protecting [Read More…]

Ask Richard: Atheist Muslima in Europe Feels Trapped by Family Ties

Note to readers: I usually don’t publish letters that are this long, but this letter is so poignant, so articulate, and so thorough that I couldn’t bring myself to shorten or paraphrase it. It depicts dilemmas similar to those that young atheists from devout families face in the U.S, but the main difference is the [Read More…]