Alain de Botton Gets it Backwards

Remember you can vote once per day for the Atheism Awards.  I’m one of five nominees for Best Atheist Blog.  More details here.Alain de Botton, author of Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion, is, as you might guess, a bit persona non grata with the New Atheist blogosphere.  After reading his most recent CNN Opinion piece ("What atheists can learn from religion"), I'm guessing religious folks will also be thinking, "Please, don't help us."  Here … [Read more...]

Reading a Book I’d Never Write

I've just finished Sara Miles's memoir Take this Bread: A Radical Conversion, but I don't think I can write my usual style of review.  Miles was raised by atheists (although she had missionaries a couple generations back), is a liberal lesbian, and converted to Episcopalianism in midlife.  I'm always interested in the logic of converts, especially when they're a good match for me demographically, but Miles and I are way too far apart conceptually for me to have anything substantive to say about h … [Read more...]

Atheism, Anarchism, and Authority

Yesterday, a bunch of atheists tried to talk about the future of atheist communities on Twitter.  It didn't go so well, and though I think the overlapping, abbreviated medium didn't do us any favors, I was still able to suss out some points of contention I'd like to address. Greg Epstein, the Humanist Chaplain at Harvard got some coverage for hosting weekly gatherings of atheists that are meant to supply some of the community resources we miss out on by not being part of a church.   … [Read more...]

Is Santa Claus a Bad Influence on Christian Children?

Thanks to everyone for the lively discussion on last week's post which necessitated a follow-up and set an agenda for upcoming posts.  As always, if you'd like to respond to a Monday Call to Arms in longer form as a guest blogger, please email me at leah (dot) libresco (at) yale (dot) edu. --- In my more cynical moments, I sometimes think Santa Claus is God’s greatest gift to atheists.I don’t that mean in the usual, anti-materialist way. The commercialization of Santa Claus is a symptom of … [Read more...]