By Nick Wing, Huffington Post…..Earlier this month, David Silverman, president of American Atheists, sent in an order for a vanity plate that read “ATHE1ST,” with the number “1” instead of an “I.” “ATHEIST” was reportedly already taken, though the picture above shows Silverman with a retired version of that plate.
By Kate Blanchard, Religion Dispatches…..
I could very much relate to the recent NPRstory about a Christian minister losing her faith. Like her, I once counted myself among the über-faithful but then “fell away” in my twenties. Despite marrying a clergyman and spending lots of time in theological school, I never made it back to the one true way. But there is a major difference in my story and this minister’s story, which is that she has embraced the name “atheist,” while I cannot bring myself to do so.
By Kenny Smith, Emory University….
Atheist bloggers turned out in force for a record-setting $180,000 in donations for Doctors Without Borders, to which some Christians replied “thank God!” While fighting Christianity, Atheists wonder whether they should be fighting Wiccans and Neo-Pagans as well. They are, after all, religious. In Santa Monica, CA., where a lottery determined who would have access to “vandal-proof, cage-like areas surrounded by chain-link fencing” in which to place their public holiday displays, Atheists won 18 of 21 such spaces, with just two going to a coalition of churches, and one to a Jewish group.
By Kile Jones….
On February 28, 2011, I attended a meeting of Atheists United at the Center for Inquiry (CFI) in Hollywood, California. It was a typical day in southern California—sunny, beautiful, without a cloud in sight—when I pulled into the parking lot of the CFI. On a nearby mountain you could see the famous Hollywood Sign looming in the distance. The CFI is located next to a Mexican Pentecostal Church and a Christian Science Reading Room, proof of the religious diversity in Los Angeles. From the outside, CFI looks like more like a warehouse than a Church. Its electric sign, found on the street corner, not only announces headlines and CFI news, but also provides one of the only ways of detecting the building. While in the parking lot I was approached by the treasurer of Atheists United, Norm, who politely asked me if I was attending their meeting.
Religion Lately: Mabon Celebrations, More Teavangelicals, Ugly Atheists, and the Machine Gun Preacher
By Kenny Smith and Heather Abraham…..
Wiccans and Neo-Pagans of all sorts celebrate Mabon this September 23 (or there about), a celebration of the fall harvest and the Autumn Equinox, a day in which the hours of day and night are perfectly balanced, and just one day after the birthday of both Bilbo and Frodo Baggins! Looking for a primer on Wiccan/Pagan holidays? Rob Bell, the controversial Christian minister whose book, Love Wins, published earlier this year questions some basic conservative ideas, for instance, that heaven is not a Christians-only club, strikes out on his own. Elsewhere in Christendom, one Southern Baptist leader argues that state executions are “pro-life.”
By Kenny Smith….
San Francisco’s Yoda statue draws pilgrims from around the globe. Are we all Jediists at heart?
According to the Prison Literature Project, inmates most frequently request books on Buddhism, Wicca, and Islam. Practitioners of minority religions continue to face many different forms of discrimination throughout American culture.
One writer recalls the Church of the Subgenius’ Prophet Bob and the balmy days of the 1980s.
It’s not always easy to be an atheist in a predominantly religious culture, but most of the challenges are manageable and getting easier with time. Some of my fellow non-believers would kill me for saying that, but it’s silly to suggest that it’s as difficult to be openly nonreligious now as it was in 1954. Not to mention 1454.
By Michel-Camille Bordeau…….
Parenting works in mysterious ways. It’s a complex affair for experienced, willing parents and a intimidating undertaking for those who, like myself, never prepared themselves for it, never imagined they would be fit for the task, or be given the opportunity. Two years ago, I became a born again parent, a step-dad to an 8 year old with an incredible (free)thinking mind and a mean high kick. Overnight, I grew a second heart—the first one being for his mother—and with twice the volume of blood stimulating my (free)thinking brain, I discovered a whole new family of anxieties that can be summed up with: ‘Seriously, don’t fark up (this kid’s life).’
By Michel-Camille Bordeau….
We can’t expect restoration of trustworthiness with the likes of Harold Camping. He’s already made that very clear. After the fiasco of May 21st, he took time to regroup, and when he was ready to face the public, he came out to announce that he wasn’t wrong, he couldn’t be wrong, and he would never be wrong. The Patriarch, provider of eschatological hope, had spoken. But these were not the expected words. He did not seek forgiveness or offer an apology to his wounded children and/or the rest of the world. Being wrong was the right thing for him—and he was certain that God would forgive him. In fact, he was convinced that it was in God’s plan…for him…through him… and for the rest of the world… whether we liked it or not. Even if some of us, his dearest fans, suffered great emotional injury.
By Michel-Camille Bordeau….
If, like yours truly, you’ve been closely following the new wave of freethinkers, if you’ve helped Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Bart Ehrman, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens and many others become bestselling authors, you might remember Matthew Alper, author of The ‘God’ Part of the Brain: A Scientific Interpretation of Human Spirituality and God. You might even recall the original cover of the 1996 self-published edition of his seminal work. Although The “God” Part of the Brain continues to pad Sourcebooks’ pocketbook; although it has been adopted by about 50 college professors; and, although, fifteen years after the initial release, Matthew Alper still receives hundreds of e-mails from students and professors worldwide, I still think it should get more attention. It should get Religion Nerd’s reader’s attention. Here’s why.
By Michel-Camille Bordeau……
In his most recent article famed spiritual author Deepak Chopra expressed his concern that “By making belief in God their enemy… atheists deprive themselves of what spirituality is really about: a process of inner growth.” The short article is a blog-jab in Christopher Hitchens direction, a response to a recent letter he wrote for the annual convention of atheists, and, by ‘atheists’, Mr Chopra implies those who think-believe in the manner of outspoken Christopher Hitchens. Though, like any self-respecting minority, Atheists have plenty of reasons and sufficient rights to question majority opinions like those expressed by Mr. Chopra, assuming that every Atheist sees Humanity with Hitchens’ eyes is somewhat reductive, although very flattering, considering the man’s achievements.
By Michel-Camille Bordeau….
CJ: Absolutely the Bible is a dangerous book if you do what God commands you to do. For example, if my daughter says, “God damn it!” I’m to take her to the edge of the town and bash her brains out with large rocks. If I wish to sell my daughter into sexual slavery, not only does the Bible not say there’s anything wrong with that, it gives commercial terms and conditions for doing such a thing. When we look at places like tribal Pakistan, for example, there they routinely execute people for blasphemy, a victimless crime. Now, are they barbaric, evil people? No they’re not. In fact, according to biblical law, of which the Koran is based, they’re more pious and pleasing to God than those who ignore that command. When people become cognizant of these kinds of issues, people realize this ancient book has no relevancy in today’s times.
By Michel-Camille Bordeau…..
I’ve never been entirely satisfied with radical views that reject the possibility that a higher entity ‘exists’ (stick with me, this is still a freethinking argument, I haven’t lost it… yet). Complete denial of such an important cultural creation as God is no less problematic than blind devotion to it. ‘How about God as a fig Newton of our imagination?’ My kid would ask. I couldn’t blame him: how about God as a re-presented, fictionalized entity?
By Beatrice Marovich, Religion Dispatches…..
The small school of so-called “new atheists,” whose pop commentaries on religion, science, and political life have proven incendiary in recent years, have lately come up against the charge that they’re conspicuously homogenous: white, male, and squarely professional class [there areexceptions, however —ed.]. Personalities like the natty Richard Dawkins cut a profile that’s not much of a departure from the iconic white Protestant pulpit master. If you’ve been following the rise of this movement, noted Monica Shores on the Ms. Magazine blog last November, “you may have noticed that it sure looks a lot like old religion.” Surely atheism, to the extent that it is indeed a “movement,” isn’t comprised merely of stiff, aging white guys? The moment seems ripe for diversification on all kinds of fronts.