The Difference Between Secular Law and Secular Culture

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?

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

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”?

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

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…]

Why Would Atheists Want To Attend an Interfaith Service?

In the aftermath of the bombs which recently tore through Boston, the governor’s office organized an interfaith service to attempt to begin the healing process of the city. In my last post I detailed how representation for Humanists and atheists in the service was denied – a fact which has generally been decried by the Humanist and [Read More…]

Three Things Holding Humanism Back

Clay Farris Naff, writing for the Huffington Post, argues that “Humanism’s Moment of Opportunity [is] Going to Waste”: The evidence is in, and it is clear: New Atheists have been a media success and a societal failure. They know how to sell books, how to debate, how to sneer, skewer, and satirize — in short, [Read More…]