The CNN atheist special covered American Atheists more than atheism in America

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Last night, two friends and I watched the CNN atheist special, and I spent from about 10-2 AM writing up my thoughts. They went up this morning at The Daily Beast:  One couldn’t help walking away from the program with the sense that atheists are a roughly unified group. They might have a lot of different labels, but they’re alike in what matters. Phillips spoke with Greg Epstein, a humanist chaplain at Harvard and author of the New York Times bestselling book, Good Without God, and when she aske … [Read more...]

Vindicating Chris Stedman: Reddit’s atheism forum is the third most toxic on the site

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My good friend and founder of this blog, Chris Stedman, got into a lot of controversy a few years ago when he called New Atheism toxic, and frankly people were pretty petty and cruel in response (Seriously, people wrote about Chris Stedman eating shit-corn. That was about the level of intellectual discourse back then).A recurring point I've often made is that online atheist spaces are not representative of atheism as a whole. Looking at online atheist spaces, it'd be difficult to imagine th … [Read more...]

Atheism, Islam, and Race (Ctd)


Timberwraith had a great comment on yesterday's piece about atheism, Islam, and race:The notion that dominant racial, ethnic, and cultural groups in predominantly Christian and/or European countries have been treating Muslims in ways that strongly resemble the social patterns of xenophobia, ethnocentrism, and racism isn't some wooly concept which Vlad pulled out of a magicians' hat. It's not just another heated topic du jour on blogs and Twitter feeds. The subgroups that a society treats as … [Read more...]

What atheists still don’t get about racism and Islam

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There's a fantastic post at Vox discussing the racial fall-out of recent controversies surrounding Ferguson and the SAE chant. It touches on a point I think many of us often miss, particularly in the atheist community. Jenée Desmond-Harris writes: Many people believe racism has to be spelled out or said out loud to be taken seriously or punishedRacist songs about lynching are shameful, and it's disheartening that people alive in 2015 think they're fun and appear to be thrilled with their un … [Read more...]

What good are billboards

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I’ve been struggling to figure out the intended purpose of belief driven billboards. For example “Jesus is Lord: And You Know It”or “Reason over faith, always” or “Jesus is Muslim (yes we used the present tense.)” Who exactly is the intended audience for such billboards?Taken at face value the obvious answer is others—in these cases nonChristians, nonatheists, and nonMuslims. In the case of the first two slogans the message is clearly proselytizing. But does anyone believe this proselytizing … [Read more...]

Al Jazeera on New Atheism’s hypocrisy toward Islam

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Usaid Siddiqui at Al Jazeera America published a fantastic editorial on the tendency of New Atheists to be selective with holding certain ideologies responsible for violence: The Feb. 10 killing in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, of three Arab-American students, allegedly by atheist Craig Stephen Hicks has led some to compare militant atheism to Islamic militancy. Atheists are not happy with thecomparison.“The deluge of claims of equivalence between this crime and the Charlie Hebdo atrocity and … [Read more...]

Endangered Tuna and Tomato Sushi at The Daily Beast

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My latest for The Daily Beast went up this morning. I had the pleasure to meet James Corwell, a certified master chef and founder of Tomato Sushi, at a recent vegan conference I spoke at. I interviewed him and discussed some of the issues that lead him to seek a plant-based alternative to delicious staples in Japanese cooking: According to the most recent assessment in 2014, the southern bluefin tuna spawning biomass—what scientists call the amount of fish actually able to reproduce—is at less t … [Read more...]

Help support “Scalawag,” a new magazine for Southern politics and culture

If you had to make a list of "things I care about right now," near the top would definitely be "good writing" and "the American South." I've been living in Durham, NC and working at Duke University for almost three years, and it's been a fantastic place to make my home. I have a steady income, a low cost of living, access to arts and culture, and enough time to do some writing and reading on top of my work.That's why I'm really excited about a new magazine two of my old classmates and recent … [Read more...]

Robert Wright: Is ISIS Islamic, and does it matter?

The New Yorker published a fantastic essay this morning by Robert Wright, a journalist and author of "The Evolution of God," on a recent trend to emphasize ISIS's Islamic roots. He begins: Last week, the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen published a piece under the headline “Islam and the West at War.” Something seemed amiss here. Surely a more-or-less liberal columnist at the Times wasn’t going to say what even George W. Bush was unwilling to say: that we are at war with Islam itself. Maybe … [Read more...]

Humanism at Yale Week


The Yale Humanist Community, directed by NPS founder Chris Stedman, just announced a week of panels, trainings, discussions, and service projects to spark conversation and engagement with Humanism in and around the Yale community--and beyond. The second annual Humanism at Yale week will be from April 5 - 12 in New Haven, CT, and will explore everything in Humanism and Humanist living from celebrancy to service to its intersections with hip hop and storytelling.For detailed descriptions … [Read more...]