December 6, 2011, 10:20 am
For starters, we might want a new ad agency.
If I were in charge of American Atheism—which I am not, but then again who is?—I would ask myself the following questions: Why does poll after poll indicate that we are one of the most disliked groups in the United States? Why are there so few self-professed atheists among 535 congresspersons and senators? Why have all three branches of the federal government turned their backs on the vaunted mid-century policy of Church/State separation? Why has atheism—a once formidable intellectual tradition—become such a “little idea” as R. Joseph Hoffmann memorably put it in an important recent essay.
As Head Atheist in Charge I would first get my priorities straight: The intellectual crisis of atheism is actually far less severe than the political crisis. Pop Atheists…
September 12, 2011, 8:50 am
The dust-up/circus sideshow this past weekend over Mayor Bloomberg’s decision to not feature clerical speakers at the 9/11 memorial service is now past.
Even though the Conservative Christian “outrage machine,” as Americans United for Separation of Church dubbed it, went into overdrive, the mayor of New York City seems to have weathered the storm.
Having experienced many of these memorial services, I have always been awed by the solemnity of the ceremonies. There are points at these commemorations where you can actually hear silence in downtown Manhattan. The families and friends of the many victims walk about the neighborhood in a lachrymose daze. It is impossible for any sane American to view this event as an appropriate new front in the nation’s ongoing culture wars.
It is against this backdrop that it is exceedingly difficult, if not exasperating, to contemplate the …