Patheos is a house with 19 rooms. Twelve of those are devoted to individual worldviews, from Catholic to Pagan to Atheist. In each room, there are between three and 58 people who share the same worldview. Each is standing on a soap box, talking to a crowd, and sometimes the crowd talks back.
Here’s one of our staff meetings:
Once in a while, the speakers talk to each other, which gets very meta. Even more interesting is when they open the door and talk to somebody in another room.
The Atheist room has 23 speakers at the moment, including some of the best writers and thinkers in freethought. With the addition of this blog, it’s 24. But the Secular Spectrum is a little different: Instead of a single blogger or a small group of regular contributors, the Spectrum will host an irregular slew of atheist guest writers on topics of their choice. If we do it right, it will draw out the often unrecognized variety in atheist thought.
That’s a thing worth doing. As the nonreligious community continues its explosive growth, the diversity that has always been below the surface is finally making itself known—diversity not only in gender and ethnicity, but in tone and approach. We don’t believe in gods, but beyond that common thread is every kind of human variable. There are atheists who want to get as far as possible from anything that reminds them of religion, while others are glancing back to find gems in the ashes of the temple. They are present in every socioeconomic class and every corner of the world. Some are solitary intellectuals, others love to gather in emotional community.
The Secular Spectrum is a showcase for that variety, a way for the less often heard voices to get some soap box time. I’ll start out with a few posts about the spectrum of disbelief itself, then start inviting others in. Feel free to subscribe in the right rail to track the Spectrum as it grows. Thanks! — Dale McGowan, Managing Editor of the Atheist Channel at Patheos