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...]

Humanists Are Not Human Exceptionalists

Chris Sosa – Salon contributor, Huffington Post blogger, “vegan advocate”, and personal friend (at least for now!) has a new piece up on the HuffPo: “Don’t Call Me a Humanist”. After reading the poorly-informed diatribe, I’m happy if I don’t: taking a reasonable and even-handed approach to things is characteristic of the Humanist’s outlook on [Read More...]

The Difference Between Secular Law and Secular Culture

Reason

Secularism is one of my highest values. I consider a secular state – a state in which the government neither represents nor promotes any religious affiliation, in which laws are not made on the basis of purely religious arguments, and which remains neutral in matters of faith and conscience – to be one of the [Read More...]

Symbols and Secularism – What Sort of Secularism do we Want?

TNqYzOq

The Freedom from Religion Foundation has recently expressed opposition to a proposed memorial recognizing victims of the Holocaust to be erected on public ground in Ohio (see artist Daniel Liberskind’s design above). The grounds of their complaint is that the memorial’s design features a prominent Star of David created from negative space, and therefore creates [Read More...]

Dan Savage: I’m Not One to Judge

Compassion

I like Dan Savage. I like him a lot. I think his podcast is extremely funny, his writing  witty and deft, and I think the It Gets Better Project – despite its problems – was a stroke of genius. When he speaks to people during his podcast, or during a live show, there is so often the [Read More...]

Responsible Religious Criticism: Part Two – What is a “Religion”?

brain

Part of a Series on Responsible Religious Criticism Part One – Questions of Power Update: I edited the section on beliefs, values, and practices to be more (I hope) accurate to the great diversity of religions in the world When engaging in any sort of criticism, it is essential to know what one is criticizing. [Read More...]

Responsible Religious Criticism: Part One – Questions of Power

brain

Provoked, as so often, by adorably elfin blogger Vlad Chituc, I’ve decided to codify some of my thoughts regarding the responsible criticism of religion, and particularly responsible criticism of Islam. This is a topic which has sometimes divided the freethought community: some see Islamophobia in some of the criticism which prominent atheist writers direct toward aspects [Read More...]


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