Religious Diversity News

Showing all news articles with tradition Atheism & Humanism.

2nd Thoughts on Moment of Silence

Author: Ray Long, Jeffrey Meitrodt and Stephanie Banchero

Source: Chicago Tribune,0,4162376.story

Most legislators thought it was a terrific idea last fall when they required students in Illinois schools to have a moment of silence to pray or reflect, but House lawmakers now think they could have used a few more moments for reflection themselves before they put the law in place.

The House voted Tuesday to reverse the requirement after getting an earful of complaints from school administrators and teacher unions who found the requirement poorly thought out and unenforceable.

A Chaplain And an Atheist Go to War

Author: Michael M. Phillips

Source: The Wall Street Journal

They say there are no atheists in foxholes. There’s one on the front lines here, though, and the chaplain isn’t thrilled about it.


Navy Chaplain Terry Moran is steeped in the Bible and believes all of it. His assistant, Religious Programs Specialist 2nd Class Philip Chute, is steeped in the Bible and having none of it.


Together they roam this town in Taliban country, comforting the grunts while crossing swords with each other over everything from the power of angels to the wisdom of standing in clear view of enemy snipers. Lt. Moran, 48 years old, preaches about divine protection while 25-year-old RP2 Chute covers the chaplain’s back and wishes he were more attentive to the dangers of the here and now.


It’s a match made in, well, the Pentagon.

A Humanist Resolution to Overcome the Faith Gap

Author: Chris Stedman

Source: The Huffington Post

It may be mid-January, but I’m still thinking of Christmas.


The week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve just might be my favorite of the year. It is the one time that my entire family gets together. We spend several days eating our favorite foods, catching up and playing board games.

A New Day for U.S. Atheists?

Author: Michael Conlon

Source: Reuters

For some atheists in the United States it’s a bright new day with the election of President Barack Obama and a move away from religion-shaped government policies of past years.

Others aren’t so sure, and it remains to be seen whether a friendlier climate translates into more people publicly embracing an atheist or non-theist philosophy in an overwhelmingly Christian country.

“It’s becoming OK to be an atheist,” says Jane Everhart, communications director at New York City Atheists. It began, she says, with Obama’s inaugural address in which he called the United States “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus … and nonbelievers.”

Since then Obama reversed restrictions on stem cell embryonic research and the White House has signaled more liberal attitudes toward gays. Obama is a member of the United Church of Christ but has said he was raised in a family where values counted for more than religious identity.

“It was history,” Everhart said of the inaugural speech. “It translates into more people coming out. That one word legitimized us! It said we belong. It said we need to be included, and respected.”

Kenneth Bronstein, president of the New York group, said there has been a dramatic shift in attitudes about atheism which he attributes to former President George Bush whose policies he said fed an appetite for change.

Ron Millar, acting director of the Secular Coalition for America, which lobbies the U.S. Congress on atheist and secular issues, said polls indicate a growing secular constituency.

A Non-Believer – Say it Isn’t So


You can be gay, black or even a woman, but America will not tolerate a president who has no religion. Anne Davies writes.

Pete Stark found himself in a unique and slightly uncomfortable position earlier this year. The longtime Democrat congressman for the Oakland district near San Francisco had responded to a survey from the Secular Coalition for America which offered a $1000 prize to the person who could identify the “highest-level atheist, agnostic, humanist or any other kind of ‘nontheist’ currently holding elected public office in the United States”.

To his surprise, that was him. Stark was the only one of 535 federal politicians prepared to admit he had no religion. For a few brief weeks he was the poster-boy for the humanists in a nation where, according to Pew Foundation research, eight out of 10 people say they have “no doubt God exists” and that “prayer is an important part of their daily lives”.

A Pragmatist and a Lobbyist on Atheism


Source: The New York Times

The atheist lobby, in the blond, pregnant person of Jennifer Lange, waited with diminishing patience for the elevator in the Legislative Office Building.

Ms. Lange checked her watch one last time, then rounded a corner into the corridor and skipped down four flights of stairs. The back way to Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky’s office was just one of those useful things she knew about the inner workings of Albany.

Ms. Lange’s mission on this Monday in early February was to scuttle a bill titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which she and every legislator on her agenda called in their common insiders’ slang Rifra. Of the nearly 10,000 pieces of legislation introduced annually in the New York State Legislature, the act was one of only several dozen brought under the lead sponsorship of the Assembly’s speaker, Sheldon Silver. It was not going to be an easy target.