A Reason to Celebrate: An Incomplete List of Not-So-Holy Days

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For some reason, when I first became an atheist, I began distancing myself from rites of passage, celebrations of life or anything that resembled religious ritual. Early on, my atheism took the form of rebelling against the dominant Christian norms that prevail here in the U.S. It was my way of living into my new label of choice. My phase of ‘opting out’ did not last long however, as I began to see the very real necessity of celebration.What is life without the joyous acknowledgement of this … [Read more...]

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Introducing our guest editor, Vanessa Gomez Brake

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I've been living New York City for the last week in a mini-residency to focus on some more substantial writing projects, and I'll be here for the next three weeks. Vanessa Gomez Brake, interviewed below, will be NonProphet Status's guest editor while I'm gone!Gomez Brake's interfaith credentials are impressive. She oversees campus programming at the Stanford University Office for Religious Life. She graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Religious Studies and Psychology, and … [Read more...]

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Trigger warnings are more important than spoiler warnings, so why are they more controversial?

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This post originally appeared on my new website, which you should check out.A few fair warnings: First, I’m about to discuss events from two recent episodes of this season’s Game of Thrones, “Unbowed, Unbent Unbroken” and “The Gift.” Second, I’m also going to discuss graphic depictions of rape. Those who aren’t up to speed with the show or who might be triggered by depictions of sexual violence may want to proceed with caution.Sansa Stark, the oldest living daughter of Eddard Stark, was a … [Read more...]

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My religion was co-opted by the Right

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The following is a guest post by friend of the blog Emma Connell.I’m not usually one to discuss my religious or spiritual beliefs in public. That’s partly because conversations about belief are always awkward. However, in recent years my hesitations have been exacerbated by the actions of those with whom I share a faith. As a Christian, I’m concerned about how my fellow believers are influencing and harming our society.The Pew Research Center’s recently released “America’s Changing Religi … [Read more...]

Chris Stedman on MSNBC: “This is a really good thing, and I think people of faith should agree”

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My good friend and founder of this blog, Chris Stedman, was on the Melissa Harris-Perry show yesterday morning to discuss the recent pew data showing a rise in the religiously unaffiliated (now up to 23% of the American public). Stedman was joined by Reverend Samuel Cruz, Christopher Hale from Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Kelly Brown Douglas, an episcopal priest and a professor of religion at Goucher College."What do you think is going on with this decline, particularly … [Read more...]

My review of Dan Ariely’s new book, “Irrationally Yours”

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Dan Ariely was kind enough to hook me up with a review copy of his forthcoming book, Irrationally Yours (which you can preorder on Amazon).It changed my life. … [Read more...]

My review of Lisa Miller’s “The Spiritual Child”

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My latest for The Daily Beast went up this morning. Nothing will protect our children like a well-developed sense of spirituality, argues Columbia University psychologist Lisa Miller in her new book, The Spiritual Child.Readers inclined towards skepticism are met with an impressive round of statistics connecting early spirituality to lower rates of what Miller calls the “big three dangers of adolescence”—depression, substance abuse, and risk taking.While Miller shows a vibrant command of … [Read more...]

Bill Maher reaches peak Bill Maher

In this week’s monologue, Maher managed to take the first crack at Bruce Jenner’s coming out as a transgender woman.“A lot of women in the news this week,” says Maher, transitioning from his previous joke. “Another wom.. OH! Bruce Jenner!”At this point, the audience erupts because to Maher’s audience, apparently transgender people are inherently funny.“The big interview is on tonight,” Maher goes on. “Please, no spoilers. I TiVo’ed it, which is ironic, because sometimes my TiVo also c … [Read more...]

From the archives: the vanguard fallacy and embattled purview

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I've stumbled on another great piece, this one by friend of the blog, Marcus Mann:A lot has been written lately on sexual assault and Islamophobia within organized atheism, and I’ll leave it to those better educated, well-versed and with more personal experience regarding those issues to comment on them. My point is more general and perhaps more obvious: a group that perpetuates the idea that they are being cornered, or that they are at war, or that disunity of voice portrays weakness which m … [Read more...]

From the archives: are we “getting” Islam?

More forgotten content from the archive, based on a comment by Sean Faircloth: It's worth noting that I largely agree with Faircloth here, but the small bit where we disagree matters a lot and largely colors our respective attitudes towards Islam. There's a subtle shift in Faircloth's language throughout the piece, and I think this is rather emblematic of this difference. Faircloth says: If liberals can – with great vitriol – condemn the Christian Right (as they do constantly), then liberals ca … [Read more...]


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