Eight Examples of How I Agree with Religious Fundamentalists

This is a guest post written by Herb Silverman.

For years I’ve been advocating for “big-tent” atheism, which includes agnostics, humanists, secular humanists, freethinkers, and more. It’s a tent where people can choose activities according to their circumstances and comfort levels, a tent where they can follow their passion while respecting and supporting those with a different emphasis…

My atheist tent is usually not big enough to include religious fundamentalists, but I’ll offer eight examples of such agreement:

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This Would Have Been a Great Article About Coming Out as an Atheist… a Couple of Decades Ago

Kansas City Star columnist Cindy Hoedel believes 2014 is the year society should start accepting atheists and that begins by giving society someone to accept:

I suspect a large number of the 33 million are in-the-closet atheists who don’t want to be the only person in their family, workplace or book club to use the “A”-word.

Let me go first: My name is Cindy, and I am an atheist.

I really want to like this article. I mean, she’s advocating for something I obviously support.

But I’m having a hard time. It starts with the line “Let me go first.” The admission is welcome, but Hoedel isn’t even close to being first. (Hell, she’s not even the first newspaper columnist to use her platform to come out. That link’s from a decade ago, but I’m sure it happened before then, too.)

Then there’s this line:

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It’s a Miracle! Catholic Nun Gives Birth!

A nun originally from El Salvador and working in Italy went to the hospital earlier this week complaining of stomach cramps, only to give birth to a child hours later:

I did not know I was pregnant. I only felt a stomach pain,” Italian news agency ANSA quoted her as saying.

It appears the child was conceived during a trip back home last year — cue a joke about “indulgences” — though the nun hasn’t admitted to any sin. But there’s a major upside to the birth:

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New Study Finds That Divorce Rates Are Higher in Counties with a Greater Concentration of Conservative Christians

Given that religious conservatives look down upon divorce and fight against LGBT rights in part to protect what they call the “sanctity of marriage,” you would think their rates of divorce would be pretty low.

But a new study scheduled to be published in an upcoming edition of the American Journal of Sociology suggests otherwise:

Demographers Jennifer Glass at the University of Texas and Philip Levchak at the University of Iowa looked at the entire map of the United States, going county by county, to examine where divorces occurred in 2000 and what the characteristics of those counties were. Their work confirms that one of the strongest factors predicting divorce rates (per 1000 married couples) is the concentration of conservative or evangelical Protestants in that county.



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Indonesian Province May Pass Law Requiring Residents to Participate in Islamic Prayers

Legislators in Bengkulu, a province of Indonesia, are in the process of drafting legislation that would make it mandatory to attend Islamic prayers every week:



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