I hate the word ‘interfaith’. I’m not religious and don’t have a ‘faith’ so anything labeled ‘interfaith’ doesn’t include me no matter what word spinning you try to do. You just can’t add nonbelief to ‘interfaith’ and be inclusive. Using the word reduces nonbelievers to the level of unwanted step-children. We need a new word to express cooperation between people who have faith and those who don’t. I nominate ‘interpath’.
A tendency with organized atheists that burns me up sometimes is the need to tone police other atheists. Basically someone will have a problem with how someone says something – especially if it’s provocative or might be offensive to believers or even other atheists. So it might seem ironic that I will tone police an essay, written by Ed Brayton, I read yesterday. I’ve been told for years that we need to tell people what we are for and not what we are against but that doesn’t seem to apply when speech is policed by other atheists. I just see far more ‘don’t do this’ and not enough ‘this is better’ essays. These police actions sap energy from organized atheism and actually doesn’t fix anything.
Doug Berger, co-chair Secular Coalition for Ohio, and Monette Richards, President of CFI NE Ohio and Legislative chair for the Secular Coalition for Ohio at the Secular Summit 2.0
On January 28th I joined 20 other secular people at the Secular Summit 2.0 held in the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus. The lobby day event was sponsored by the Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio and included people from several Ohio secular groups. We had several speakers, a little training in lobbying, and prearranged visits with our elected state representatives and senators.
I wrote a detailed account of the day over at my Secular Left blog. It also includes some pictures I took.
On January 28th, a bitterly cold Tuesday morning, approximately 20 people gathered for the second annual Secular Summit in the Museum Gallery in the Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus. The summit was organized and hosted by the Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio (CFI NE Ohio) but included people from the various secular groups in Ohio. In the morning we had several speakers, some training in lobbying, and then the afternoon was when participants visited their Representatives and Senators to introduce themselves and the issues of importance to seculars in the state. The extreme cold couldn’t keep us from talking to the legislature, most of whom have completely opposite views.
Great Time At The Ohio Secular Summit
In November, I wrote a post concerning the growing popularity of the Sunday Assembly events for atheists and complaints about the media labeling these events, that happen on Sundays, as a church. To go along with the church motif now a disagreement about the direction of the Assemblies have lead to the press labeling it a schism. It just goes back to my concern about Sunday Assemblies creating confusion and diluting our positive secular message by wrapping it up in warmed over religious packaging.
Chris Arnade is an atheist or so he says in an article in the Guardian that was published on Tuesday. He claims that his atheism was tested after working with and photographing homeless addicts in the South Bronx. He is shocked that the people he met weren’t atheists and then he somehow makes the false connection that having faith and hope is better than not being a homeless addict. He does a poor job selling religion.