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

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

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...]

Introducing our guest editor, Vanessa Gomez Brake

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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From the archives: the vanguard fallacy and embattled purview

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...]

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...]

Interview with James Croft on interfaith and FergusonOctober

As the month of October is coming to a close, we at NonProphet Status want to turn attention back to the FergusonOctober movement. Although the media has long since moved on, the systemic discrimination that sparked those protests, as well as the local activism, persists. Let’s not lose sight of that.On Sunday October 12, thousands joined together at St. Louis University for an interfaith service and call-to-action called the Mass Meeting. The event was part of FergusonOctober—a series of pea … [Read more...]

Yes, Atheists need closed spaces too

Last week, I wrote a piece calling for religious people to reach out to atheists to engage us on our own terms. This impulse come from by belief that atheists and the religious are in dire need of reconciliation. And reconciliation will not be accomplished without both sides actively seeking constructive interaction. I asked religious people to come to atheist space rather than wait for atheists to come to them, because we don’t have time to wait.First, I want to point out that I wrote this p … [Read more...]

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

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...]

Why this atheist is going to seminary

We at NonProphet Status believe that getting smarter about religion is a crucial step in achieving greater cultural understanding. This post is written by Kristi Del Vecchio, an atheist interfaith activist who studies theology at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.It wasn’t until I left a religious institution that I recognized the robust social fabric woven within it.If I noticed one thing about leaving the Catholic Church, it was a large increase in free time on Sunday morning wh … [Read more...]

Building a Christian home inside atheism

After realizing that I was an atheist a few years ago, I had to do a lot of very intentional and difficult work to separate myself from my evangelical megachurch upbringing. I felt so angry, hurt, and betrayed by my religion that I immediately rejected anyone who tried to remind me of the better parts of it. It felt more righteous being a bitter atheist than a recovering and broken ex-Christian.I never fault fellow ex-believers for having wholly negative opinions of the faith they were … [Read more...]