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The Daily Beast: The Complicated Life of African American Atheists

This last weekend I wrote at The Daily Beast about the African American atheist as a double-minority. In this piece I interviewed several leaders in the African American atheist world and the problems faced with exiting religion. For more, see below.

“….While honesty may be said to be the best policy, for American atheists who are still in the metaphorical closet, it may also come with a price tag. And this can especially be the case for African-American atheists—often referred to as a minority within a minority.

But just what does this designation mean and how representative is it of the black atheist story?…”

Read the full post at The Daily Beast…

Photo: Kev Seto CC0

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The Daily Beast: The Cost of Non-belief in America

It’s a political season—a long, long political season—and politicians invoke the name of God and even try to court powerful voting blocs. But what if you’re not a religious person in the United States? Atheists, agnostics, and others among the non-religious are used to not having representation in government.

In fact, for many, political representation rank among some of the least significant costs of being non-religious in America.

In my recent piece at The Daily Beast, I interview four former Christians now turned nonbelievers, and asked them about the personal and social consequences of their de-conversion. From a grandfather who is no longer able to see his grand kids to a woman told that her children would be better off dead, their stories are worth reading if one wants to understand what life can be like for some without faith in America.

Below is an excerpt. Read the entire article at The Daily Beast.

“…America is still ‘Christ haunted’—to use the words of Flannery O’Connor. Fears of public shunning and the risk of losing family connections and employment, keep many atheists quiet about their identity. There is a significant difficulty in being honest about disbelief in a country where prominent religious leaders warn that it leads to a nation’s demise.

‘I have 5 grandchildren now, and 4 of them I have never held,’ says Dave Warnock, a former pastor and now board member for The Clergy Project (TCP), a safe place and network for former religious professionals who no longer have supernatural beliefs. ‘They [his children] also withhold relationships from my wife—their mother, simply because she stays married to me, an apostate.'”

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Rational Doubt: What Happens After One Leaves Religion

In July I took a big step publicly and came out of the closet about being a secular humanist. I wrote about it at the Chronicle of Higher Education (“Losing Faith in Religious Higher Education: What happens when a seminary professor joins the religiously ‘unaffiliated’?”) and in The Guardian (“When we give up a faith, we grieve for the community we leave behind”).

This week I was invited by Rational Doubt at Patheos—a blog by founding members of The Clergy Project—to write about what it is like now that I’m out. Of course, Continue reading…

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Religion News Service: Where Blasphemy Laws Reign

Photo: Sheikyh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi (UAE) by Jörg Peter (CC0)

This week I have an article up at the Religion News Service that looks at state of blasphemy laws as background to the International Blasphemy Rights Day, which is on Wednesday, Sept. 30. I briefly highlight situations in China, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia and Continue reading…