A portrait of the place where Evangelical politics and climate change meet

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The climate talks in Paris are in their second week, and it's sometimes difficult on such a global stage to appreciate the small and local ways that climate change affects us. Consider the Hampton Roads region in Virginia, a collection of seven coastal cities including Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Writing for Scalawag, the Durham-based magazine covering Southern politics, Michael Schulson sets the scene (full disclosure: Schulson and the Scalawag team are good friends of mine): Global sea level i … [Read more...]

On Engaging Atheists on College Campuses – An Interview with a Sikh/Hindu Interfaith Activist

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Meet Tahil Sharma.Although Tahil and I have worked together on the North American Interfaith Network for over a year now, we had yet to meet in person until last month, when we attended the Parliament of World Religions conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. As we sat down for langar each day, I came to learn of his inspiring interfaith work on his university campus, as well as his perspective on working across the religious/non-religious divide. And thus we have arrived here on Non Prophet … [Read more...]

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Indeed, There Is Still a Gaping, Atheist-Shaped Hole in the Interfaith Movement

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A few years ago, I read an article by Rory Fenton, and adamantly disagreed with his assessment that atheists were missing from the interfaith movement.  After all, I was a living example of the contrary. At the time, I was employed at an interfaith seminary in Berkeley, where it was not unusual for atheists to be enrolled. I was 1 of 2 atheists serving on the Board of Directors at the Interfaith Center at the Presidio in San Francisco.  Around that same time, I was regularly invited to ‘preach’ a … [Read more...]

#ISTANDWITHAHMED & So Should You

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In the last few days, its no doubt you’ve heard the story of Ahmed Mohamed. The 14 year old boy who was arrested at his school in Texas for bringing a homemade clock with him to class that day. He was proud of his creation and wanted to share it with his engineering teacher. Instead, he was detained for bringing a bomb on campus.  Naturally, the story blew up on social media because of its sheer ridiculousness. Some people asked, 'how is it that children at a banned open carry protest can walk wi … [Read more...]

I’ve written a lot of stuff this week! A Roundup

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It's been a hectic few weeks for me, and a lot of pieces I've been working on for the last month or so have finally been published. This has been really rewarding and cool.At The Daily Beast, you can read about the latest research on combating anti-vaccine attitudes. Powell and Horne didn’t measure how long the change in attitude about vaccines lasted, and it’s worth noting that the information about the harms of not vaccinating didn’t change anyone’s beliefs about the link between vaccines … [Read more...]

Faithfully Feminist – Why Women Stay With Their Religious Communities

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The book, Faithfully Feminist – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Feminists on Why We Stay, will be available for purchase later this summer. It features essays by 45 contributors from Abrahamic religious traditions. "Why do you stay?” It is a common question women are asked in relation to their faith. These are not women who buy into Candace Cameron’s biblically submissive theory; rather, these are women who claim a feminist identity, have membership in a particular religious tradition, and practi … [Read more...]

A Note on Dealing with Death & Dying, Trauma & Tragedy

At a recent workshop on ‘Trauma in Everyday Life,’ a psychologist spoke about big ‘T’ and little ‘t’ trauma. Big ‘T’ trauma is what we commonly refer to when speaking of serious accidents, war, death, etc. In its most severe form, big ‘T’ trauma can lead to post-traumatic stress. On the other hand, little ‘t’ trauma refers to the everyday violence we encounter, such as being teased, losing a pet or a job, being picked last in a group activity, receiving negative comments on a blog. While such exp … [Read more...]

The science of white fragility

According to Robin DiAngelo, a professor at Westfield State University, white fragility is: a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium. David Brooks, a columnist for The New York … [Read more...]

The New Republic’s review of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s necessary new book

Reading esoterically about morality maybe?

 Ta-Nehisi Coates is quickly becoming one of America's great public intellectuals. Bijan Stephen, an Associate Editor at The New Republic and an old friend, recently wrote about Coates's latest book, Between the World and Me. He writes: Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, and his body of work concerns, in general, confronting that violence on its structural terms: racism’s history, the institutions that allow it to persist, and its economic and social consequences. B … [Read more...]

Could there be an ISIS without an Islam?

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Speaking of catching up on things I've missed while I've been gone, I was asked my thoughts about a cover story from March's issue of The Atlantic. It reminded me of another article from The Atlantic earlier in July, which argued that "is ISIS Islamic?" is the wrong question to ask (for the record: I wouldn't disagree that ISIS is Islamic).The important question, as posed by The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding's Dalia Mogahed, is instead "would a group like ISIS, with all the ot … [Read more...]


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