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...]

San Francisco LGBTQI Pride: A Humanist Reflection

If you are anything like me,  last Friday's SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality completely overwhelmed you. Tears of joy were present with me throughout the day. Since not all NonProphet Status readers live in a city quite like San Francisco, where Pride is celebrated in a very major way, I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few photos from my weekend.  Every year, the secular communities of the San Francisco Bay Area come together to march as a large contingent in the LGBTQI Pride p … [Read more...]

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

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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The three marks of secular Lent

There are three marks to the traditional Catholic Lent: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. When we think of Lent, we typically tend to focus on the fasting---giving up sweets, coffee, animal products, or whatever else. Leah Libresco at the Catholic Channel explains: Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent — the season of preparation for Easter.  The whole church fasts from meat on Fridays, during this season, and individual Catholics usually make personal commitments to give something up or … [Read more...]

NPS: Lenten Reflections 2013

It's been nearly a week since the end of our 40-odd days of Lenten fasting, and we'd like to take some time to briefly reflect about the process. This post will be updating as we get more perspectives, and it seemed like a good place to aggregate all the links and writing we've done on the topic for easy reference.Our inaugural post this year.A defense of Lent as a secular practiceVlad writes about secular Lent on the Huffington PostA reflection on how we ought to treat religious … [Read more...]

Breaking Up With God

Today's guest post comes from Wendi Wheeler, a Creative Associate at Augsburg College, where I went for my undergraduate degree. Wendi and I met last winter when she contacted me to do a story on my work for the Augsburg Now magazine. We've since stayed in touch, and the other day she sent me this blog post, written for her personal blog. I'm flattered by her kind words, but the real reason I'm sharing this here (with her permission) is because I think she's got some very valuable insights on … [Read more...]

Announcing My February Speaking Tour!

See the expanded tour schedule here!This has been long in the works, so I'm excited to finally share the exciting news with you all: I'm going on a speaking tour of seven Midwest colleges and universities next month! At the invitation of campus staff and student groups from the following schools, I will be going from Indiana to Illinois to Iowa to speak about the importance of religious-atheist engagement, and the experiences that led me to the work I do around this issue.Below is my … [Read more...]

The Religious Must Stand Up for Atheists

Today's guest post is by Joshua Stanton, a man I am lucky to call both a good friend and a colleague at the Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue in my work as the Managing Director of State of Formation. In this post, Josh offers a thoughtful, personal reflection on why it is essential for the interfaith movement to stand up against anti-atheist rhetoric and action in the way that it does when particular religious communities come under fire. As an atheist, I couldn't appreciate this post more. … [Read more...]

Do Only Religious People Have a ‘Calling’?

Please check out my latest piece for the Huffington Post, currently featured at the top of their Religion section! Below is a selection; it can be read in full at the Huffington Post:In a recent interview with BBC Radio 4, musician Jack White (of the White Stripes and other bands) reflected on his "calling.""I was thinking at 14 that possibly I might have had the calling to be a priest," said White. "Blues singers sort of have the same feelings as someone who's called to be a priest m … [Read more...]

What's Your Calling?

In partnership with the PBS documentary The Calling, a campaign called What’s Your Calling? was launched to explore the topic of a “calling.” I was honored to be invited to do an interview with them; in our interview, they asked me to talk about my “calling,” so I shared a bit of my story and discussed my hope for greater nonreligious-religious dialogue and cooperation.Using this interview, they produced the above video (full of old, embarrassing photos, haha). Please check out their page … [Read more...]