The Future of “Temple of the Future”

This blog has been quiet a while. Partly, that’s because I’m busy: I recently moved to St. Louis and started a new job, and I’m struggling to finish a book and a doctoral dissertation. My time to blog has therefore been dramatically reduced. But it also reflects a lack of clarity in my own mind as [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…]

Who Gets a Platform on the College Campus?

When I was an undergraduate, the Cambridge Union invited Jean-Marie Le Pen – then Leader of the National Front Party of France – to debate immigration. Le Pen is a highly polarizing figure: a darling of the French right wing, and a demon to the left. Seen (rightly, I think) as a race-baiting, foreigner-hating, anti-semitic, [Read More…]

In Language, Dignity Over Clarity

Tom Flynn of the Center for Inquiry has a new post up arguing that the use of the pronoun “they” by trans* people to refer to a single individual is unnecessary and unclear, reducing the clarity of language as regards our capability to describe situations in which a distinction between singular and plural is important. He [Read More…]

Introducing “Applied Sentience”

Are you a blogger or writer with an interest in atheism, Humanism, non-religious philosophy, and being “Good Without God”? Do you want a platform for your work, and to engage in dialogue with other thinkers who share your passion for exploring life without religion? If so, then Applied Sentience is for you! I’m proud and excited to [Read More…]

Marching through 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…]

A Humanist Congregation

It is Sunday morning, and I am heading to the Ethical Society of St. Louis. As I approach, its distinctive spire comes into view: it is affectionately known by many in the city as “the witch’s hat.” I think you can see why. It’s a bright day, and as I enter the foyer the sun streams [Read More…]

Two Forms of Secularism

Secularism is the principle that the government and religion should not unduly influence each other. A secular government is not anti-religious – a government which actively discouraged religious faith would be anti-secular. Rather, a secular government seeks to maximize the religious liberty of individual citizens by ensuring that they are not forced by the state [Read More…]

How the West Really Lost God, by Mary Eberstadt – a Review

This review is part of the Patheos Book Club, which last month was reviewing Mary Eberstadt’s “How the West Really Lost God”. My review is a little late, due to my moving across the country. Other responses can be found here. In How the West Really Lost God sociologist Mary Eberstadt offers a new theory of secularization, [Read More…]


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