How Can We Talk About Ferguson?

Congregate

Today I attended two discussions on the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and its aftermath. The first was with adults, in a Forum at the Ethical Society of St. Louis, comprised of Members and friends ranging in age from 20s to over-60s, many an advanced degree and professional career among them. The second was with [Read More...]

Where Do You Belong?

Congregate

Today at the Ethical Society of St. Louis we had the pleasure of hosting Dale McGowan, editor of Parenting Beyond Belief and all-around great guy. After he spent some time speaking with parents of children in our Sunday Ethical Education for Kids program, he gave our Sunday address, and something he said stuck with me: he said [Read More...]

Marching through Ferguson

Crowds in Ferguson

It’s strange, perhaps, for an activist to admit they do not enjoy marches. Marches and rallies – so often the go-to response when a community wishes to demonstrate power, generate solidarity, or express outrage – make me deeply uncomfortable. The emotional energy, the collective passion, the chanting and shouting and call-and-response: all of it makes [Read More...]

Some Atheists Are “Joiners” Because All Atheists Are People

Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp recently appeared in an utterly weird segment for CNN claiming that conservative atheists are better than progressive ones. There’s lots wrong with the video, and Humanist interfaith activist Chris Stedman has written two excellent takedowns here and here challenging some of her ridiculous claims (“conservatives have no problem with atheists!”, “atheists aren’t politically marginalized!”). They’re [Read More...]

Daniel Dennett’s Strange Idea – and a More Radical One

Daniel Dennett - philosopher and atheist “horseman” – has been deeply involved with the Clergy Project, an effort to provide religious professionals who are experiencing doubts about their faith a safe space to discuss their changing views and a way to transition away from religious life. It’s a great project: for many it is an extraordinary psychological [Read More...]

I Am Not a “None”

I went to church this week. Well, not exactly church, but to the remarkably-church-like Andover Hall at Harvard Divinity School (HDS). Throughout the school year they hold “Noon Services” there, one a week celebrating a different “religious tradition”. One week the Buddhists will have a service, the next week the Presbyterians, and so on. This week [Read More...]

How to Check Your Privilege in 5 Excruciating Steps

Dialogue

Recently, I changed my mind. Challenged over my uncritical reposting of a secular argument against abortion, I was forced to examine my assumptions, reflect on my identity, and consider how my actions might look from a different vantage point – in other words, I “checked my privilege”. The exhortation to “check your privilege” is common in [Read More...]


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