#illridewithyou: a reminder that the little things do matter

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In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 on the comedy news quiz Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, Moz Jobrani said: As a Middle Eastern male, I know that the whole Middle Eastern community was watching going, ‘Please don’t be Middle Eastern. Please don’t be Middle Eastern.’ And then it came out that they were Chechen and we were like ‘yes’ and the next day they said but they’re Muslim and I was like ‘Damn it!’ His tone is light-hearted and he is saying it for laughs, but he is also making a s … [Read more...]

Interfaith literacy: Omar Sarwar on utilitarianism and atheism’s “old white guy” image

On Friday, we posted the first of three parts of an interview with Omar Sarwar. Sarwar is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University who wrote a piece for Huffington Post that thoroughly debunked some of Bill Maher and Sam Harris’ go-to talking points about Islam.I've learned a lot from Sarwar about Islam, atheism, and everything in between, and I hope you will as well.If you missed the first part, you can find that here. This post picks up in the middle of a conversation about Sam Har … [Read more...]

Interfaith literacy: A chat with Omar Sarwar on Islam & atheism, pt 1

Omar Sarwar

Back in November, Omar Sarwar, who is a doctoral candidate at Columbia University, wrote a piece for Huffington Post that thoroughly debunked some of Bill Maher and Sam Harris' go-to talking points about Islam. After he showed up to engage our readers in discussion about his piece, we figured that Sarwar had a lot more to contribute to this conversation.We asked him a few questions about himself, about his academic work, and about his views on the relationship between Muslims and … [Read more...]

A very Sufjan (and kinda Kishi) Christmas playlist

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At The Onion's serious and actually fantastic pop-culture branch, A.V. Club, Libby Hill has a beautiful essay discussing why she thinks Sufjan Stevens makes the perfect Christmas music for nonbelievers: My parents’ house has two Christmas trees. One is the show tree. It’s color coordinated and lit in white lights. It stands in the front window, and the presents that lay under it are meticulously matched to its color scheme. The other is kept in the family room. It’s a mishmash of colored lights … [Read more...]

Police violence [continued]

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At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates urges us to take responsibility for our role in police violence: For activists and protesters radicalized by the killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, this weekend's killing may seem to pose a great obstacle. In fact, it merely points to the monumental task in front of them. The response to Garner's death, particularly, seemed to offer some hope. But the very fact that this opening originated in the most extreme case—the on-camera choking of a man for a min … [Read more...]

Double standards for anti-police violence

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Over at Slate, Jamelle Bouie discusses the recent death of two police officers in New York City. On Saturday, Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot a former girlfriend in Baltimore. Hours later, in Brooklyn, New York, he ambushed and killed two police officers in their car and then killed himself. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described the murders as “execution-style.” Police don’t have a motive for the shootings, but Brinsley had a long criminal record—he was arrested for robbery charges in Ohio in 2009 and … [Read more...]

Chris Stedman at RNS: 2014′s important moments in atheism

2014 in atheism

At his Religion News Services column, Chris Stedman invited contributors to discuss the most important atheist moments of 2014. Contributors include NPS regulars like Stephen Goeman, Walker Bristol, and yours truly, as well as friends of the blog and former contributors Michael De Dora, Ed Beck, Sarah Jones, and Marcus Mann.Walker Bristol writes about Humanism's shift towards more publicly addressing social justice: Though American atheism and Humanism continue to face major barriers to a … [Read more...]

COEXIST and the roots of religious conflict

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I'm really happy to call Michael Schulson a friend of mine. We graduated from Yale together in 2012, took a science writing seminar together with Carl Zimmer, and we both ended up in Durham, NC after graduating. Michael is consistently behind some of my favorite writing on religion, from Salon's interview with Karen Armstrong to a recent piece detailing the death of a self-styled living apostle in a charismatic Protestant Sect out of Guadalajara, and a widely-circulated piece scrutinizing some o … [Read more...]

Atheists can be fundamentalists, but not “atheist fundamentalists”

That's pretty specific // Photo by Steven Depolo, (CC)

This week, Chris Stedman’s Faitheist column featured a fascinating debate over whether or not atheists can be fundamentalists. Stedman’s decision to host the debate was rooted in his own ambivalence about employing terms like “militant” and “fundamentalist” about atheists: Just as there are religious people who denigrate any and all who do not share in their beliefs, or who argue that the only path forward to building a better world is the universal adoption of their worldview, there are some at … [Read more...]

Citizen dogs


At NonProphet Status, we love dogs. We love dogs a lot. We love their faces and their fur and the way their stupid little noses sniff and bury into everything. They’re like cats, but with personality and for people who can handle responsibilities.Big dogs, little dogs, short hair, long hair. It really doesn’t matter. We’re just really into dogs, and have accordingly assembled a list of dog-related links. Send your dog-related links to @npsblog. —1. Should dogs be entitled to citizensh … [Read more...]