Big news today! I’m happy to announce my first featured article for Political Research Associates, a social justice think tank that’s tracked the American right wing since 1981. They publish original research and analysis through articles on their website and in their magazine, The Public Eye.
My column is titled What’s the Matter with Secularism? How New Atheism Feeds the Right. In it, I analyze how prominent atheists have given aid and comfort to the racist, xenophobic outlook of America’s resurgent alt-right. I also focus on the paradox of an atheist community that’s consistently more progressive and more diverse than its spokesmen and thought leaders, and ask whether there’s hope for change.
Over the last few years, incidents like these have created a deep rift that’s split the atheist community. Famous atheists regularly become nexuses of controversy over remarks widely denounced as bigoted. Longtime activists have quit the movement in disgust. Others, particularly women, LGBTQ people, and people of color, have been driven out by violent harassment. At the root of these battles is a question of identity: should the atheist movement strive to be part of a progressive coalition and uphold a broad spectrum of liberal causes, or should atheists care only about secularism and welcome anyone who’s on board with that, regardless of whether they’re liberal, conservative, libertarian or even Alt Right and White supremacist?