(RNS) Interfaith leaders are spearheading a new fight for net neutrality — once the realm of tech wonks and digital rights activists — and framing a free and open Internet as essential for religious freedom, social justice and interfaith cooperation.
Tom was a trailblazer—an openly gay man working as a professional atheist in a time when both of those things were far more stigmatized than they are today, he founded the Humanist Chaplaincy in 1974 as a home for Harvard’s atheist, agnostic, and nonreligious students.
Atheism was in the headlines perhaps more than ever before in 2013. To highlight some of atheism’s defining moments and trends from the last year, I worked with a panel of ten writers, scholars, and activists to come up with ten major moments or currents in American atheism from 2013. Their contributions are below. Godless congregations become global phenomenon
2013 was a landmark year for atheists, Humanists, and nonreligious people building communities. Ex-pastors Jerry Dewitt and Mike Aus grew innovative and successful congregations in Louisiana and Texas, and the Yale Humanist Community launched in Connecticut.
Last week, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick officially declared that Sunday, December 8 would be “Humanist Community Day” in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This was a historic moment for Humanists, atheists, agnostics, and the nonreligious—not just in Massachusetts, but across the United States. To my knowledge it is the only proclamation ever released by a governmental authority in the U.S. specifically acknowledging “Humanists, atheists, agnostics and the nonreligious.” (And, as others have noted since the proclamation was released, it is likely the only one that recognizes atheists and, amusingly, ends with the phrase “God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”)
The closing paragraph is among my favorite parts of the proclamation. (Though it truly is worth a full read.)
“[I] urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to welcome the Humanist Hub into the mosaic of our broader community, acknowledging, in the spirit of friendship and respect, that its members can contribute positively to the Commonwealth’s proud tradition of pluralism.”
AUSTIN, Texas (RNS) “I have committed a grave error in judgment that I deeply regret,” minister-turned-atheist Teresa MacBain wrote. “While I did not do anything with malice or with intention to harm others, my actions were still wrong.”
(RNS) When Pope Francis said believers and atheists can agree on the goal of doing good, and that even atheists were part of Christ’s redemption, atheist leaders say this is the kind of pope they can work with.
(RNS) Georgetown University professor Jacques Berlinerblau has a prescription for what ails atheism in America: stop whining about religion and build coalitions to reclaim “secularism” from the religious right. By Kimberly Winston.