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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An Atheist Goes to Church and Kinda-Sorta Encounters the Religious Experience

This past weekend, I attended my grandfather’s funeral. Contrary to what’s generally seen as a somber occasion, in the Pentecostal-Charismatic tradition of the Black Church, a “Homegoing Service” is essentially just another opportunity to have church. And with this taking place in a southern Evangelical setting, those familiar with this environment can imagine how lively this "celebration of life" was.Growing up Pentecostal, this unique style of funeral is all I’ve ever known. In fact, at lea … [Read more...]

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The Plague of Single Issue Propaganda and Scientism

For a good chunk of 2015 and continuing into 2016, I have dedicated time delving into social issues that affect groups of people typically marginalized and excluded from routine discussion and initiatives within the secular community. Because of this, there have been some who question “where I stand” on certain matters they’re more comfortable with discussing. Or they speculate that I’ve somehow “lost my touch” regarding philosophical demarcation when it comes to what I choose to investigate … [Read more...]

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