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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Applying skepticism more broadly than religion

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At his RNS column, Chris Stedman discusses comments Richard Dawkins made expressing ignorance and disdain toward the concept of privilege. presents a common misconception: that those who are concerned with social justice demand that privileged groups somehow apologize or demonstrate self-loathing. All I've ever seen is a call to be mindful of your advantages and how certain experiences might shape how you see the world, … [Read more...]

Chis Stedman and Reza Aslan on experiences shared by Atheists and Muslims

From an interfaith event at Faisal Mosque. Photo by the U.S. State Department.

In light of the recent controversy between Sam Harris and Ben Affleck on Bill Maher’s “Real Time” and the backlash that followed, Muslim academic, Reza Aslan and Humanist leader Chris Stedman[1. Full disclosure: Chris Stedman is the founder of NonProphet Status.] call for a more civil discussion between atheists and Muslims. They explain that atheists and Muslims may have more in common that one might think: “According to a Pew poll conducted this year, Muslims and atheists are the two least fav … [Read more...]

Who defines atheism?

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While atheism itself isn’t a statement beyond what we believe about God, other factors start to become relevant when we talk about how to define the larger atheism movement. Social and political views are going to become salient just based on natural groupings, and defining who and what we are becomes difficult and nuanced.When it comes to all of us as a movement though, what defines us, and who gets to decide?One simple answer is no one, because there is no distinct atheist movement, b … [Read more...]

Is “atheist” worth rehabilitating?


“Atheist” is a loaded term. Although it technically applies to anyone who doesn’t believe in god, many non-religious people feel a strong need to distance themselves from the label.Some atheists deride this label aversion as “closet atheism.”[1. This draws a false equivalency between atheists and the LGBTQ community, but that is a discussion best handled separately.] It may be true that some nonbelievers simply lack the courage of their convictions, but I think this is a relative minority. Mo … [Read more...]

NPS 2.0: Moving forward without Chris

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That NonProphet Status is moving forward without its founder, Chris Stedman, at the helm is that much more difficult given the touching and fantastic introduction he's given our relaunch. The returning writers---Walker Bristol, Stephen Goeman, and I---thought it would be a nice send-off to share some of how he's inspired us and how that inspiration is helping us carry NPS forward. … [Read more...]

Status Report: Looking back on NonProphet Status’s first 5 years, looking ahead to its future

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The following piece is authored by Chris Stedman, founder of NonProphet Status. The same month Kesha (née Ke$ha) hit #1 with her debut single, the celebratory “Tik Tok,” NonProphet Status was launched. Later this year, both the song and the blog will hit their 5 year anniversaries.As we approach this benchmark, it feels fitting to pull up that song and celebrate some good news: NPS is relaunching under the guidance of Kesha-fan Vlad Chituc.But before we look ahead to NPS’s bright … [Read more...]