If Just 1 In 8 Atheists Are Like Chris Stedman, Who Speaks For Atheism?

photo of Chris Stedman
Study shows Chris Stedman doesn’t speak for all atheists

Yesterday, my Facebook feed included a link to another article by Chris Stedman that attempts to make me feel bad because I don’t love religion. He uses a point made by another writer that actually doesn’t support his conclusion. If he thinks a study proves that some atheists, like Christopher Hitchens, don’t speak for all atheists then he needs to include all the information – that atheists like Chris Stedman also don’t speak for all atheists.

Chris Stedman, an atheist who wrote the book “Faitheist” and is a columnist for Religion News Service, wrote a post on September 24th that was an interview with author Dale McGowan who is Executive Director of Foundation Beyond Belief along with other hats he wears in the freethought community.

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To Be More Inclusive Stop Using Interfaith

created imaging showing prohibited symbol over word Interfaith

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’.

There has been a call in the nonbeliever community to participate in interfaith groups. One such group we have here in Columbus is called B.R.E.A.D. In my twenty years in the humanist movement, I am very familiar with arguments like those made by Chris Stedman:

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Framing Humanism Is Okay But Not At The Expense Of Honesty

Framing the word Humanism

Humanism is a strange collection of individuals in a stew of rationality, all of us looking for the truth for our world view. We, as Humanists, know we must work with believers and other theists to find common ground with the goal of bettering the human condition. Andy Norman, writing for the Humanist Network News, an e-zine of the American Humanist Association, tries to offer tips for dialogue on Humanism to non-humanists but does so by giving up honesty in the process.

Norman, in his essay “Framing Humanism, or How to Win the Culture War”, starts out great by explaining how we as Humanists could do a better job of bringing in new people or at least getting our message out by the use of Framing (where we control the meaning of our message), but then my alarm bells start going off when I read this:

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