By David Madison
PhD Biblical Studies, Boston University
It was about 1970, when I was studying for the ministry at Boston University School of Theology, that I wrote an essay entitled On the Improbability of God. Many years later I found out that Percy Bysshe Shelley had been expelled from Oxford in 1811 for writing his essay, The Necessity of Atheism. Well, 1970 wasn’t 1811, and I survived my blatant cheekiness. Since I never went to chapel while I attended seminary, I was considered the class eccentric, the contrarian seminarian.
I wasn’t kicked out, and I finally managed to write a statement of personal theology that was given the imprimatur by that liberal Methodist institution. I leaned heavily on the obtuse theology of Paul Tillich, who called God the Ground of All Being—and said that God didn’t exist because existence would be a limiting concept.
So I survived to (more…)
By Barry Klassel
Humanist Chaplain at Rutgers University
A couple of years ago I performed a humanist civil union ceremony in the beautiful formal gardens that adjoined a mansion on the campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. The elegant building was designed in the 1890s by famed architect Stanford White. After the ceremony I enjoyed a bit of wine at the reception inside one of the fine halls and, as I was gathering my stuff to leave, the couple asked me if I would stay and say Grace for the meal that would follow.
I knew I had been working on a version of a humanist Grace and I hurriedly tried to remember what I’d written (more…)
Research Assistant in Social Neuroscience at Duke U.
Blogger at NonProphet Status
Three years ago, Chris Stedman, my good friend and author of Faitheist, started the blog NonProphet Status. There was no venue for atheists to join in interreligious dialogue, so Chris created a space where believers and atheists alike could share their stories, humanize one another, and promote pluralism among conflicting voices.
I write this as someone relatively new to the idea; when I first met Chris I thought he was completely wrong. Now I write for his blog.
So allow me to briefly make a case for why atheists should engage in cooperative dialogue and action with liberal believers. You can read some of Chris’s thoughts here (and in his book), but while Chris’s roots are in outreach and service work, mine are in arguing on the internet, so I think I can provide a subtly different perspective.
Religion isn’t going away any time soon.
Despite the rise of the “nones”—about 1 in 5 adults is (more…)
By Thomas O’Rourke
President of the Philosophy Club
Rutgers University Class of ’13
I had intended to finish this article in the beginning of September, but my health took a turn for the worse and then midterms came and before I knew it September was October and three presidential debates had come and gone.
With the election days away, what I have to say is more pressing than ever.
I thought that for my first blog post, I would comment on an important issue facing the secular community, which I discussed with David Silverman during our last meeting in February. For those who don’t remember the feel of the community back then, politics came to the forefront with the rise of the Atheist Party. A cursory examination of their platform reveals them to be a (refreshingly) more honestly liberal version of the Democrats.
This prompted me to ask “What is the role of politically right-leaning nonbelievers in (more…)
Godless Public Policy: Is It a Myth?
Come hear Amanda Knief, former atheist lobbyist, constitutional law and public policy expert, and current managing director of American Atheists discuss the impact of local, state, and national elections on the Non-Theistic movement — as well as how to get active in public policy and politics.
As the 2012 elections draw near, does an atheist have any reason to vote? YES!
Come and hear Amanda Knief speak about:
-Religion & Politics in the US Elections
-The Importance of Non-Theistic American Voices
-Atheist and Humanist Activism in the US (more…)
Amanda Knief, Managing Director and In-House Counsel for American Atheists, will be speaking about Secular Activism in the upcoming Presidential Elections. Knief is a public policy and constitutional expert on religious freedom and civil liberties. She has worked as a lobbyist with the Secular Coalition for Americaand is co-founder of Iowa Atheists & Freethinkers.
Religion has been an unavoidable issue in politics in recent years and has only grown in the last few months as the Presidential Election closes in. What, if any, importance should be placed on Romney’s Mormonism? Why did Democrats leave God out of their Platform? Why did they put Him back in? What should we make of growing claims to persecution of Christians in the US? The wall of Separation of Church and State is seeming to grow thin. Is there anything secular and non-theistic Americans can do to strengthen it? To make sure they are represented? (more…)
What do you think about the Democratic National Convention taking out and then putting back “GOD” in their Platform??
Do you think it should be taken out of the Dem Platform?? Is it harmful or inappropriate to stay in?? Are there pragmatic concerns that it should remain there… for now?? Or does it not really matter?
On the one hand, there are concerns about who represents atheists, and non-theists in general. And further, are they being explicitly marginalized?
The re-assertion of “In God We Trust” as the national motto by the House of Representatives in Nov 2011 seems to imply that if you’re an atheist, then you aren’t part of the “WE”.
Does this reaffirmation of God in the Dem Platform now explicitly marginalize or exclude atheists?
On the other hand, are there any pragmatic arguments as to keeping it? For instance, it’s merely an empty symbol or all things in their time. If the Democrats kept it out they would lose too many voters and Romney would win. If so, defeating Romney now might be worth keeping a merely symbolic reference for a while longer.
So does the use of a single scribble on paper really matter that much if their policies aren’t theocratic? and the losses it might spur if kept be too big?
So what are your thoughts?? Was the move harmful and marginalizing? Or a necessary bit of pragmatism?
By Bill Hochstuhl
NJ State Chapter Leader
National Atheist Party
Please allow me to introduce to you a young and growing political party: THE NATIONAL ATHEIST PARTY!
Now don’t let the name fool you, although membership is primarily made up of non-believers, believers are equally welcomed. We are not about anti-religion. We fully agree with equality for ALL .. regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, social status and yes .. religious belief (or lack thereof).
What all members must agree with however is the need to rebuild and strictly protect the wall of separation between church and state.
We hold the Constitution true and interpret it’s Amendments to clearly indicate a desire for a Secular Nation, which allows its people choice, written by our Founding Fathers at (more…)
Understatement: the internet is a vast place. Of course Google is sometimes dumbfounding in how accurate its searches can be, but still it’s often hard to find what you’re looking for if you don’t exactly know what it is.
If you’re interested in reading Humanist or atheist blogs but can’t quite seem to find any good ones, Alltop.com on their atheism page has succeeded in putting the best of ’em together for you. They also rank some of the most popular recent posts as well, so you don’t have to sift through every blog.
Also, make sure to check out Freethought Blogs. This website is a must for links to some of the best science, philosophy and opinion blogs in Humanism and atheism on the web.
If your favorite blog isn’t on the Alltop page or Freethought Blogs, make sure to share it and write it down in the comments below!