In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with famed atheist activist and youtuber Aron Ra. We discuss the battle against encroaching theocracy in his home state of Texas, his coming out as a Satanist, whether Satanism qualifies as a religion, and much more.Continue reading “Sacred Tension: Atheist Revolt with Aron Ra”
In this episode of Sacred Tension, socialist author, podcaster, and professor Ben Burgis returns to discuss his new book on the late Christopher Hitchens.Continue reading “Sacred Tension: Remembering Christopher Hitchens with Ben Burgis”
Theists often struggle to understand how I can maintain a deep sense of sacred awe without believing in the supernatural. They seem to assume that a life without God is a dry, artless, wonderless existence. As I discussed with Matt Langston in a recent episode of Sacred Tension, my personal experience is much the opposite. I feel like nontheism has ripped away the veil between me and the fundamental mysteries of reality. The utter inexplicability of being, without a God to rely on as an answer, is the most sacred and mysterious thing I have ever experienced.Continue reading “Sacredness in a Godless World”
In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with Mandisa Thomas, founder and president of Black Nonbelievers. We discuss the experience of being a black atheist, the black church in America, racism in the atheist community, and much more.
Find Black Nonbelievers hereContinue reading “Sacred Tension: Black Nonbelievers with Mandisa Thomas”
I consider myself a mystic, and yet I am an atheist. I don’t believe in God, gods, the afterlife, or the supernatural. How is this not a contradiction in terms? Isn’t supernaturalism and woo central to the experience of mysticism?Continue reading “On Atheistic Mysticism”
In this episode of Sacred Tension I’m joined by Carrie Poppy.
Carrie Poppy is a journalist, host, podcaster, and speaker who examines everything at the corner of belief and behavior.Continue reading “Sacred Tension: Carrie Poppy on Pseudoscience, Conspiracy Theories, and Claims of the Paranormal”
I live in a strange, interstitial space between atheism and theism. While I no longer consider myself a Christian, I refuse to cut ties with the Christian world and my progressive Christian community. At the same time, I feel a great deal of kinship with the pagan and witchcraft communities, as well as the atheist and skeptical communities. My own religious home is The Satanic Temple, and I consider myself a practicing Satanist. I call myself a nontheist and reject unverified claims of the supernatural.
To many people, the question of God’s existence is simple: either there is a magical sky daddy or there isn’t. For me, however, this question is getting increasingly complicated. God is about more than just existence or nonexistence: it is also about definitions, worldview, and culture.Continue reading “Breaking Down God”
Several weeks ago, I interviewed pastor and astrophysicist Paul Wallace. On my website, there was one lone comment in response to our conversation, and it managed to encapsulate everything I struggle with in the atheist community:
Unsurprisingly, Wallace can’t let go of his fantasy about how important he is and that an omnipotent being agrees with him. It doesn’t take much, just making up his god and his religion in his own image and ignoring the inconvenient parts.
Alright atheists, let’s talk. It’s time for a huddle. If the following rant doesn’t apply to you, then congrats. But if this rant does apply to you, then I hope it inspires some reflection.Continue reading “Atheism, Kindness, and Hospitality”
In this episode of Sacred Tension, I speak with pastor, author, and astrophysicist Paul Wallace about his journey as an astrophysicist who can’t shake his faith in God. We discuss Galileo, quantum physics, the interactions between faith and science, why I personally don’t believe in God, and much more.Continue reading “Sacred Tension: Love and Quasars, feat. Paul Wallace”
I recently wrote an article titled On Forfeiting the Word Atheist in which I explored how using the word “atheist” predisposes people to having the least charitable view of me. I’ve gotten so exasperated explaining again and again what the word “atheist” means that I’ve opted for the word “nontheist,” just because it has a different connotation and isn’t as poisoned by anti-atheist propaganda.
To be clear, I like the word atheist, and I see it as identical to the word nontheist. I don’t care if other people use the word atheist, I just find the word a stumbling block when I try to have productive conversations with theists. I have limited patience, and I personally find it more expedient to not use the word.
Along these lines, a reader sent me this question:
“Why then would you self-identify as a satanist when it seems (from your writings at least) that THAT label is also widely misunderstood?”Continue reading “On Satanism and Atheism”