Busting Through The Overton Window — An Interview with David Silverman

Anyone remotely familiar with atheist literature has at least heard of Christopher Hitchens. Whether in print or during a debate, the late anti-theist provocateur had a habit of saying, “There can be no progress without confrontation.”This perspective reflects the stance social reformer Frederick Douglass articulated long before Hitchens or the rise of New Atheism. Douglas wrote: “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agita … [Read more...]

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We Must #NormalizeAtheism

I have been a part of the atheist movement since 2013.My journey to apostasy from being a self-described “Jesus Freak” proselytizing and leading church prayers has been an arduous one. For at least a year prior to becoming more public about my rejection of god beliefs, I suffered in silence or otherwise wrestled with hesitancy.I didn’t want to make waves. I was unsure of how to express my loss of faith. I feared what others would think since most family or friends I had were religious. Wh … [Read more...]

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An Official Non-Apology To Village Atheists and Faux Humanists

“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde (lesbian writer, poet, womanist, civil rights activist) Society relies heavily on narratives. From the most common among of us to those who declare themselves to be the sharpest knife in the drawer, themes regarding others and the world around us influences our perspectives. The problem is, this pervasive phenomenon is established and curated by majority rule—a traditio … [Read more...]

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I’m Not Your Respectable Negro: A Reminder

I’m not your respectable negro…In many ways, I could be considered a “congenial” representative of Black atheism. However, at the same time, I’m the antithesis of the more kowtowing, line-toeing types.Succinctly, “respectability politics” denotes an attempt by individuals from marginalized groups to unduly compromise with themselves and culture in order to be harmoniously subsumed into mainstream values.I don’t quite operate that way. While I can be respectful and measured in my appro … [Read more...]

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Exploring Reasonable Doubt – An Interview with Justin Schieber

Whether or not a supernatural force we generally refer to as God exists remains one of the most important philosophical questions to humans. And while social sciences (anthropology, sociology, cognitive science of religion, etc.) have revealed much about the "why" behind religious beliefs, and despite methodological naturalism in science not requiring the extraneous factors associated with the god hypothesis, many remain spellbound by the meaning belief in God provides.However, careful … [Read more...]

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When the Fight for Social Justice Rightly Leads Humanism

Last week, the American Humanist Association made two bold statements regarding the importance of social justice and its relationship to humanism. This re-energized passion for combating social inequalities was communicated by a co-authored article from the AHA's president and vice president, as well as by me being appointed AHA's Social Justice Coordinator.What does my new position mean?Time will reveal the specifics of the progressive initiatives we have planned. However, much of what … [Read more...]

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The Consequences of Dissent: When Atheism Lands You In A Psych Ward

A year ago, I wrote about how religious apostasy can result in disenfranchisement and life endangerment. The article contained two interviews with people who suffered social ramifications due to nonbelief. It also featured the story of Mubarak Bala, a man who was forcibly held in a psychiatric ward because he was an atheist. I was able to track down and speak with Mubarak at-length about his ordeal and what life’s been like since this incident.I first asked about the circumstances s … [Read more...]

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Here’s Why Black Voters Who Desire Positive Change For Black America Must Support Sanders

When discussing the importance of moderation with our emotions and activity, Greek philosopher Aristotle made the following assessment: “Anybody can become angry, that is easy; but to be angry with the right person, and to the right degree, and at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way, that is not within everybody's power and is not easy.” Aristotle wasn’t discounting the importance of expressing emotion. Nor was he saying people don’t have the right to act or react accord … [Read more...]

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The Secular Social Justice Conference and the Progressive Atheist Movement

Updated: 2/3/16This past weekend was the Secular Social Justice Conference, an event focused on analyzing and seeking secular solutions for real-world social ills through a secular lens. What’s more, the discussions had little to do with god beliefs or religious ideation but were nevertheless informative and engrossing to the diverse group of atheist attendees.There was no need to bash Abrahamic religions or their adherents. There was no need to cite reason #2131085 why there is no god e … [Read more...]

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A Black History Month Challenge

Black History Month starts next Monday. This time around, I want to present a challenge to those who observe or at least appreciate Black History Month…Forgo paying homage to the usual, sanitized representations that are pulled out of the drawer, dusted off, and briefly displayed this time of year for a few weeks.Instead, go the entire month learning about new (to you) events and people who aren’t Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X. I dare you!This i … [Read more...]

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