Sunday Open Thread & Links

Sunday Open Thread & Links May 3, 2009

• You may have noticed the new “Bookmark/Share This” link below each post, which expands to display links to a variety of social bookmarking sites. If you’re a member of any of them, please make use of this! Quite a bit of Daylight Atheism’s traffic comes from these sites.

• Next up, Andrew Sullivan criticizes Buddhism by quoting John Horgan, who asks:

It seems legitimate to ask whether a path that turns away from aspects of life as essential as sexuality and parenthood is truly spiritual.

For reference, Sullivan is a Roman Catholic – the church that expects its clergy to be lifelong celibates, and that draws its inspiration from a holy book which commands its followers to be chaste and never marry if they can possibly avoid it (1 Corinthians 7:1,8).

• Finally, there’s a compelling post on the blog Racialicious titled Coming Out Black and Agnostic, which addresses the question of how to be open about your nonbelief in an intensely religious African-American community where the church is the center of social life.

I don’t usually address racial issues on Daylight Atheism, since this isn’t an area where I feel I can speak with any expertise. Nevertheless, I think this is something the atheist community ought to consider. As the comments on that post show, there are many freethinkers in black and minority communities who feel inhibited from speaking out due to the social stigma they’re certain to face. This kind of isolation is self-perpetuating, as people who don’t know any other nonbelievers are less likely to speak out themselves. We need to reverse this trend and show the world that freethought knows no bounds of skin color or ancestry, but how do we take the first step?

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