American Family Association’s “Bigotry Map” Backfires

Anti-gay hate group the American Family Association has recently released a perverse mockery of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s national map of hate groups which they call a “Bigotry Map“. Promising to “expose anti-Christian bigotry in America”, the map includes locations of groups which are “anti-Christian”, “atheist”, “Humanist”, and which “promote the homosexual agenda”: The [Read More…]

The Archdiocese of St. Louis Wishes You a Merry Christmas!

This Christmas Eve I went to church. What brought me was the shooting of another black teenager by a white police officer: Antonio Martin, 18, who was fatally shot on Tuesday night near Ferguson. Today I got the call that a candlelit vigil would be held for Antonio and other victims of police violence outside the [Read More…]

No I Am Not OK

In some ways I’m not a stereotypical Englishman. I don’t have that legendary English reserve, or much of a discomfort with feelings. I try to live my life like an open book, and when I’m happy, grateful, excited, or in love I want to share that. I try to be a joyous influence in others’ [Read More…]

This Atheist is Thankful for the Clergy

The word “clergy” makes me uncomfortable. I’ve always thought of myself as a nonreligious person, and the idea of a class of people separated from the rest of us, granted special privileges due to their position as representatives of a religious tradition, worries me. Too often, it seems to me, these privileges are held by those who [Read More…]

How Should Protesters Relate to the Police?

This week I sat in on a press conference held by the Don’t Shoot Coalition, a broad alliance of national and St. Louis-based groups dedicated to securing structural change after the shooting of Michael Brown. As part of the press conference the Coalition proposed a set of “rules of engagement” meant to guide protesters and the police ahead of [Read More…]

When is it Right to Take Action?

In my conversations about the ongoing protests in Ferguson and St. Louis one argument from those who do not support the protests has become a refrain: how can we protest against the shooting of Mike Brown when we don’t yet know all the facts? This is not a totally ridiculous question. We don’t know all [Read More…]

The Art of Social Protest

Protest is an art form: a way of bringing to the surface structural inequality and injustice so that people can glimpse, if only for a moment, the invisible cage which constantly imprisons oppressed people. Artful protests reveal inequalities in surprising and provocative ways while remaining non-violent and invitational, inspiring people to think and act differently rather [Read More…]