Why I Won’t Teach My Children That Religion Is Nonsense

I was raised an evangelical Christian. I went through a time of questioning while in college and I ultimately found myself an atheist. The hardest part of my deconversion was the way my parents treated me as a result. My parents could not say “We disagree with you and think you are wrong, but you are entitled to your own beliefs and we respect that.” Instead, my entire relationship with my parents imploded over their belief that their beliefs and their beliefs alone were acceptable. In other wor … [Read more...]


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“God” and the Borders of Belonging

Several weeks ago, five-year-old Sally spent a great deal of time making something for her teacher and then left it at home on accident. When I noticed she had left it, I took it to the school to give it to her. The busses had only just dropped the children off, and when I reached Sally's classroom students were still coming in, putting their lunch containers on the shelf and taking off their jackets. As I left the school after giving Sally the gift she had made, the school's intercom came on … [Read more...]


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Atheism and Me

An atheist friend of mine recently said that any time I blog about atheism, it is to badtalk it. I laughed and pointed out that I myself am an atheist, and he reminded me that being female does not guarantee one is not sexist. This is true. But in this case, I think what's going on is a bit more complicated.When I say I am an atheist I mean that I do not believe in God. We often talk about the "atheist movement," or online atheism, or New Atheists, but it's important to remember that most at … [Read more...]


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When Your Atheism Is Really about Attacking Minorities

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is home to at tens of thousands of Somali immigrants, the largest concentration of Somali immigrants in the country. The community was largely formed by the result of refugees from Somalia's civil wars. Relatively new immigrants with few preexisting networks, some 82% of Somalis in Minnesota live near or below the poverty level. They frequently have low levels of education, and have faced challenges integrating into American society made worse by the surge of Islamophobia … [Read more...]


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Estrogen Vibe: The Musical Satire

A reader just sent me a musical satire called "Estrogen Vibe." You can listen here:After the lyrics, I'll offer some context. If you take issue with this satire, read that context, my previous posts on Harris, the author's note that goes along with this satire, and my comment policy before commenting. Lyrics: (The atheist variable doesn’t obviously contain the estrogen vibe.)Estrogen vibe, estrogen vibe. (Estrogen vibe.) Estrogen vibe, estrogen vibe. (It’s more attractive to guys. … [Read more...]


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Obedience, Empathy, and the Laundry Hamper

I was chatting with a friend about the results of a recent pew survey when she asked a question I found very, very interesting. I mean, if you teach a kid empathy, tolerance, and responsibility---do they need to be obedient? Or will they just do the things that are in the best interests of everyone? Like, "Hey, could you do the dishes?" "Sure." Because they realize they should help out with the house.  This is an excellent point.Let me offer an example: I would like my daughter Sally to pu … [Read more...]


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On Sam Harris, Pregnancy, and Sacrifices

Last week an article in the Washington Post quoted prominent atheist author and speaker Sam Harris's explanation for why his audience is primarily male---women, he said, have an "estrogen vibe" that makes them less interested in the "critical posture" he takes in his writing. When female atheists responded critically to his comments, Harris wrote a post explaining what he'd meant---and digging his hole deeper. I addressed Harris's comment in a recent post, "Is Same Harris Sexist?"Yesterday … [Read more...]


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