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.
Conservatives wanted to keep the military from acting against religious actions. Obama said it went to far. But what happened when Senate Republicans backed the president’s position and gave the military even more power? (Spoiler alert: Obama is still the bad guy)
(RNS) Catholic military chaplains cannot be forced to witness or bless a same-sex marriage, nor are they allowed to take part in any marriage counseling retreats that are open to gay couples under new rules issued by the Archdiocese for the Military Services. Participation in funerals of gay service members is also off-limits. But Catholic commanders may be able to facilitate same-sex benefits if they publicly register their objections.
WASHINGTON (RNS) Previous Pentagon spending bills protected the “beliefs” of service members and chaplains, but the 2014 National Defense Authorization Act would expand protections to include religious “actions and speech.”
(RNS) Christian conservatives have grown increasingly alarmed over reports that the Pentagon has adopted new policies aimed at disciplining or even court-martialing those who share their faith. But the Department of Defense on Thursday said evangelization is still permitted.
(RNS) It’s tempting to view the sex scandal surrounding former Gen. David Petraeus through a religious lens. Even before his fall from grace, some Pentagon colleagues compared Petraeus to the biblical King David – another proud and powerful warrior. By Daniel Burke.
(RNS) Denominational leaders and chaplains with years of military service are calling on more churches to find ways to minister to the men and women who have recently returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. By Adelle M. Banks.
(RNS) The conservative Family Research Council has named a former top Delta Force commando and outspoken culture warrior, retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, to run its day-to-day operations. By David Gibson.
(RNS) Is it okay to ask God to do harm to another person? The theology of such “imprecatory prayer” may be a matter of debate, but a Dallas judge has ruled it is legal, at least as long as no one is actually threatened or harmed. By David Gibson.