Ta-Nehisi Coates is undeniably one of the strongest and most influential voices on racial inequality today. He also is one of the most polarizing. For those who have followed the career of The Atlantic‘s Coates — or, indeed, this blog — it’s far from a revelation that he is an atheist. This isn’t news. He’s written at length on his position, both as standalone pieces and social media posts. With the publication of his new book Between the World and Me, though, this element of his identity has once more come to the forefront in a manner worth interrogating.