It is a strange position to find myself in, trying to reconcile my values as an atheist and as an intersectional feminist. Allow me to explain.
In the beginning of this month, the French Senate passed a bill that, if made into a law, would enforce a sort of “secular dress code”. This amendment applies very specifically toward the rights of Muslim women, including:
As someone who is hoping for a brighter and fairer future for my country, I found hope and reassurance in watching the inauguration of our new President and Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. But as someone who is not religious, and who knows all too well the harms of Christian nationalism, I also found division and exclusionary language.
I wish that I could rejoice in the fact that today, I write my first ever blog post reviewing a book by a woman, but after reading it, I feel as though there is little to be joyful for. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that it would be greatly beneficial for the future of America (and the rest of the world) if everyone read The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, but at the same time I felt that it was deeply disturbing.
A few months ago, I wrote a rave review of one of my now-favorite books, Andrew Seidel’s The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. Being such a fan of the book, and being in agreement with so many of Seidel’s ideas, you can imagine how excited I was last October when I learned that I could meet him on his book tour in April!
Of course, his lecture with the Pittsburgh Freethought Community has been not canceled but sadly postponed for obvious reasons. As the PFC’s marketing chair, I had excitedly but prematurely drafted an advertisement for Seidel’s visit. For now, though, I will stash away my excitement for the day when Seidel finally makes it to Pittsburgh and instead share with you 36 of my personal favorite quotes from his brilliant book.
This week I finished Andrew Seidel’s book The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. As is my custom, that means it’s time for a book review! I’m particularly excited about this one, because The Founding Myth is one of the few books that I have rated as five stars on Goodreads—and it’s one the most highly rated books on my whole shelf!
Thanks to Andrew Seidel’s book The Founding Myth, I have spent the last few weeks more perturbed than usual about the mixing of church and state. It’s always bothered me, but this book, and a few other factors, have started to really make me angry that the Constitution is so frequently broken by people who are trying to rewrite American history into something that it isn’t.
This week, I finally did something I have been wanting to do for a long time: I put “atheist” on my Facebook profile. It was less of a dramatic coming-out than I had anticipated; to see it, you would have to go to my profile and scroll through my “About” section and find it listed under “religious views”. I could have made it into a post that will show up in people’s News Feeds, but I didn’t find that necessary. I did, however, follow a number of atheist pages, and maybe one day I’ll share some of their posts for all my friends to see.
During my final semester at Grove City College, I took a class at school on rhetorical criticism. The culmination of our rhetorical studies was a 10-15 page paper using the techniques from the class to critique a speech. We could choose a speech, and as you know, I have a passion for secularism, but I couldn’t find any legitimate speeches promoting secularism. Instead, I settled for the complete opposite: a speech on why secularism is the root of America’s “moral” chaos, and religion is the solution.
My Facebook feed is always chock full of every kind of Christian quote, post, article, share, and event possible. A few weeks ago, I noticed that a few of my Facebook friends were liking and sharing statuses and links from someone named Matt Walsh. At first I thought it might be some popular guy from school that everyone knew except for me, but after clicking on his profile, I saw that he was in fact a well-known blogger for The Blaze. That’s when it all went downhill and I discovered the writings of one of most hateful, bigoted, close-minded, judgmental people I have ever heard of. Read more →