What Does “Mean” Mean?

Yesterday, I wrote about the importance (to me) of activists cultivating good character traits: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. I truly think these are important virtues for everyone, and especially important when we activists work with each other to improve the world. But I also said, pretty strongly, that I don’t like working with [Read More…]

Good Politics, Bad Character

In my years as an activist many of my core values have stayed the same. I am still committed to maximal liberty of the individual, compatible with others’ rights. I am still for government intervention to help people get more free. I am still enraged by injustice and willing to fight against it. One area [Read More…]

Humanism Has Limits. Obviously.

Yesterday I wrote that if you’re not for racial justice you’re not a Humanist. That (to me) uncontroversial statement provoked a predictable backlash among some “Humanists,” who prefer their worldview racial justice-free. The critics seemed to have two main objections. The first is standard racial obliviousness: the idea that colorblindness is, in fact, the best way [Read More…]

If You’re Not for Racial Justice, You’re Not a Humanist

I just finished reading Prof. Anthony Pinn’s book When Colorblindness Isn’t the Answer: Humanism and the Challenge of Race. It’s excellent. It’s a fantastic exploration of race and racial justice from a Humanist perspective, for Humanists. In a series of short chapters Pinn explores issues like the complex role of belief in god in African American history; [Read More…]

Justice Without God

“Tzedek, tzedek tirdof” – “Justice, justice you will pursue.” This phrase, which I learnt from my Jewish clergy colleagues while protesting together in Ferguson, lies at the heart of faith for many. Almost all religious traditions, somewhere in their scriptures or practices, make a call to justice. From the Muslim call from god “O you [Read More…]

Atheists Are Oppressed in America

A friend recently posted a question on Facebook which sparked much discussion: are atheists oppressed in the USA? I was not surprised by the troll responses from Christians ranting about how they are the most oppressed group in the States, but I was a little surprised that a number of atheists themselves seemed quite invested [Read More…]

So Your Family Voted For…

How do you survive the inevitable tensions of a post-election Thanksgiving, particularly after the most divisive and disturbing election in recent years? How do you navigate the tension between anger at your family and loved ones for their political decisions, and the desire to maintain good relationships with people who are important to you (or, [Read More…]