Evangelicals revise their way to LGBTQ acceptance

Today, well-known and widely traveled Christian social activist, Tony Campolo, released a statement saying he is now calling for the full acceptance of gay and lesbian couples in the church. While this will certainly seems like a very belated and insubstantial concession to many, Campolo’s stature in the evangelical community makes this a significant move. Tony Campolo, father of the post-theist, USC Humanist Chaplain, Bart Campolo, has long been a champion for the oppressed and marginalized, calling upon Christian communities… Read more

Caitlyn Jenner calls the question on Christian anthropology

Emma Green at The Atlantic published an excellent summary of the negative–and revolting–reactions from conservative Christians that we have have become familiar with over the past few days, from the hateful rhetoric of Matt Walsh* to the disturbingly rapey comments of Presidential candidate (I know!) Mike Huckabee who said in February that he wished he could have identified as a female when he was in high school so he could shower with the girls. Green then puts her finger on… Read more

“Mommy, can I draw Muhammad?”

Fellow Patheos Atheist Channel blogger, Wendy Thomas Russell, invited a group of people to participate in a group blogging project. As she writes, “Occasionally this blog features a series called “Mommy, What’s That?” — aimed at giving secular parents some simple, straightforward and open-minded ways to describe religious concepts. We’ve covered Satan, souls, the Bible — you know, run-of-the-mill Judeo-Christian stuff. But a couple of months ago, I began thinking about a particularly tricky (and uniquely Islamic) concept that seems to… Read more

Being an atheist in Bangladesh

The world was horrified again when third secular blogger – Ananta Bijoy Das – was murdered in a machete attack earlier this week. For the past month I have been corresponding with a courageous young atheist man in Bangladesh named Dean. He sent me his story and his appeal for tolerance and a return to the democratic ideals upon which his nation was founded. I and others are deeply concerned by what seems to be an organized “hit list” of secular… Read more

American Christians scramble for silver lining in Pew religion poll

Pew Research report shows Catholics and Evangelicals both declining, but it’s still good news, they say. Or at least okay. by Ryan Bell and Dan Arel Americans are losing their religion. At least that is what a new study released this week by Pew Research has shown. The study polled more than 35,000 Americans from all 50 states and mapped changes to the country’s religious diversity over the past eight years. The study found, to many people’s surprise, that religiously unaffiliated adults… Read more

Adventist “Holy Sexuality Conference” cancelled

UPDATE: Further clarification from the South England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists below —- My former denomination continues to make headlines, though not in the way they’d like, I think. Ben Carson has been saying things like homosexuality “absolutely” is a choice. Though he later apologized I don’t think he suddenly changed his mind. It’s more like the apology I used to offer my parents: I’m sorry I got caught. Or worse, I’m sorry some people were offended. The classic non-apology…. Read more

Different era, same injustice

I’m completely geeking out right now! I’m sitting at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, CT (actually, in the Carriage House next door) where I’m speaking tonight at 7 pm about my Year Without God. I’ve spent a fair bit of time with some of Mark Twain’s writings about religion over the past year. A few days ago I posted a link on my Facebook page to a piece entitled “Bible Teaching and Religious Practice” from Europe and Elsewhere. “The Christian Bible… Read more

Are atheists the most hated group in America?

So, I started a bit of a kerfuffle over on my Year Without God Facebook page last night when I posted this image above with the caption, Can we cut the martyrdom complex? It’s not a competition.By the way, I’m doing just fine compared to the poor, the homeless and the immigrants in my community. I know David. He’s a wonderful person and I know he’s just doing his job, but this is imprecise and, more importantly, unhelpful. Let me start… Read more

Having doubts? Just stop it!

I used to follow Christian author, Frank Viola, a little bit when I was a pastor and a graduate student. I never really cared much for what he was saying. I quoted him in my dissertation but not favorably. Today I received his occasional email update. I can’t remember the last time I read one of these but for some reason today I did and this is what he said right off the top: Hey Friends, Frank V. here. Last… Read more

Jeremy Neill’s God is the deus ex machina

RYGER / Shutterstock.com This post is part of a new feature from Patheos called Head to Head where our best minds debate the big questions of the day. This week, I am debating the Evangelical Channel’s Jeremy Neill of “Everyday Ethics”. The question: does emphasizing the incomprehensible nature of god become an expression of atheism? Or put simply does religious faith require a personal God? This topic was brought to us by James F. McGrath. You can see James’ thoughts at… Read more