June 29, 2018

In May of 2018, the Council on Foreign Relations organized a workshop on “Religious Literacy in Global Affairs,” as part of their Religion and Foreign Policy Workshop. The CFR Religion and Foreign Policy program serves as a resource for the faith community, bringing together congregational and lay leaders, religion scholars, and representatives of faith-based organizations for conversations on issues at the intersection of religion and global affairs. I daresay, it is a useful resource for nonreligious people as well. I… Read more

June 22, 2018

As outrage spread in response to the U.S. policy of separating children from parents at the border, so too did a number of memes invoking the Bible to advocate for human welfare. As a humanist, I value the politics behind these posts–the deep compassion for fellow human beings, and the desire to correct the problems humans make in this world–but I wince at the implicit religious message, especially when these memes are shared by fellow atheists. When we on the… Read more

June 18, 2018

Atheists aren’t just fleeing war and famine — they’re also fleeing the very real threat of execution based solely on their beliefs. Read more

June 18, 2018

The Russian World Cup is well underway, and whenever I catch a glimpse of Colombia’s colours in posters and TV spots, I feel a bewildering sense of pride: Bewildering because I realize that if I had moved anywhere else in the world, I would likely feel this same sentiment for another set of colours. Bewildering, too, because I know how much I still respond to the Canadian brand, simply due to my place of birth. Branding is a normal part… Read more

June 9, 2018

If you believe that human beings are responsible for fixing the world’s problems, populism can be a nightmare. This week in Canada, Doug Ford, a populist leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, won a majority provincial government on the back of an unfinished campaign platform (and absentee candidates in local debates), voter-bait like one-dollar beer and the promise to fire a person the premier has no authority to fire, and a host of well-channelled private-business-fortune ire against career… Read more

May 31, 2018

One reason I resist strict religious/secular binaries is because shared human behaviours often warrant closer scrutiny from humanists across the spectrum. We see this often enough when secular tyrants are wearyingly held up as signs that we “need” religion to avoid brutal dictatorship. At one extreme, theists argue that such heinous leadership is a direct result of faithlessness, avoiding (or #NoTrueScotsman-ing) the tremendous number of tyrants from spiritual backgrounds, too. At the other extreme, atheists argue that these figures simply… Read more

May 26, 2018

Colombians will rarely ask you your religion. Why would they, when “Catholic” is the default faith in this South-American country, where makeshift shrines to the Virgin Mary can be found in most public spaces and ¡Bien, gracias a Dios! serves as the natural response to “¿Cómo estás?” But when I do have to explain my beliefs, as a secular humanist recently relocated from Canada to this beautiful, complex social context, I draw heavily on the second part of that phrase:… Read more

May 7, 2018

The current deluge of “religious freedom” laws have a single purpose:  to let narrow-minded believers discriminate against gays. Read more

April 7, 2018

I feel a little unkind saying it, because people so fervently need to believe, but chance, not divine intervention, saved a woman from potentially life-threatening gunshot injuries in a recent attack. Former Sioux Falls, South Dakota, resident Ashely Van Hemert, 32, was shot four times on Jan. 7 at her home in Belgrade, Montana, by Joseph DeWise, the estranged husband of Lauren DeWise, one of her roommates. DeWise, also shot multiple times, was killed in the attack. Van Hemert was… Read more

April 3, 2018

Julian Baggini, founding editor of The Philosopher’s Magazine, asserts that a search for common ground between secular humanists and religious believers has many challenges. One must be exceedingly clear about difference if any common ground is to be sought. He says, “There are two equal and opposite pathologies of this common ground. One is the refusal to share anything to maintain clear divisions. The other is to pretend or imagine people have more in common with you then they do, latching… Read more

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