‘Evangelical Atheists:’ Pushing For What?

October 20, 2010

hpHey everyone! Please check out my newest blog for the Huffington Post Religion. This one, like the last, ended up getting so many comments that it was promoted to the front page of the Huffington Post, and was Monday’s #1 most commented on article for the entire site. With 2,000 comments and counting, I again don’t know where to begin responding (especially during an even busier week than last!). I’m so grateful that my writing seems to be initiating a much-needed conversation, but it’s meant that things are much busier these days, making getting much else done difficult. Anyway, here’s a selection; the piece can be read in full over at the Huffington Post:

Last Friday, a New York Times headline declared: “Atheists Debate How Pushy to Be.” This ongoing debate among atheists — “Just how much should we confront the religious?” — is nowhere near resolution.

Last year when I visited Minnesota to spend the winter holidays with my family, I spoke with a Christian friend about my budding efforts as an atheist promoting religious tolerance and interfaith work. She too was excited about the idea of bringing people together around shared values in spite of religious differences, but near the end of our conversation she asked me a pointed question: “I’m a little confused. Isn’t part of being an atheist trying to talk people out of their faith?” Continue reading at the Huffington Post.

4 Responses to “‘Evangelical Atheists:’ Pushing For What?”

  1. Hitch said

    All you have to do to get a lot of comments is stereotype and strawman. People will come out and defend their position.

    That doesn’t really start “much-needed conversation”. It starts the standard (and correct) defense mechanisms.

    Care to explain which study would justify a claim like this for example:

    “When a large and vocal number of atheists say that their number one goal is convincing people to abandon their faith, it comes as no surprise that our community is construed as extreme and aggressive.”

    “Large”? “number one goal”

    Yes you are strawmanning contemporary atheism. It’s disgraceful.

    Listen to PZ Myers, perhaps one of the most visible confrontationalists on the Point of Inquiry podcast and tell me how any of your claims accurately even describes him and he is as uncompromising as it gets in the more prominent “new” atheists…

    When are we going to see a correction or clarification?

    I think there is a much-needed conversation that is not being had. And that is why people extremize the image of visible atheists to try to keep them silent, especially given that they already are a stigmatized group that needs to assert itself to escape the stigma.

  2. Lucy said

    PZ Meyers is a jackass

    Chris Stedman rocks


    • Hitch said

      Perhaps you are right Lucy, and all the level of discourse to be had here is indeed reduced to what you said. Some like what Chris does, and hate PZ for just about the same reason. If that’s it, just don’t expect me to stand by and allow this to be called “much-needed conversation” and “bridge-building”. And yes I’d still insist that vocal atheism actually be portrait fairly, no matter how much you personally dislike PZ.

  3. Vlad said

    Hate to play the “if we’re going to complain about calling people pussies, we shouldn’t call people jackasses” card.

    But if we’re going to complain about being called pussies then we shouldn’t call people jackasses.

    P.Z. Meyers is abrasive but he’s done more for the humanist and atheist movement than I probably ever will. So what if he’s brash and rude and pissed off a few catholics? I might do the same if I lived in Minnesota and taught biology at a state University.

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