With less importance placed on religion in this presidential election, I'm hoping future candidates will be judged on their political positions and their character, rather than on their professed religious beliefs.
You might say I watched the October 4 vice presidential debate "religiously." I thought the moderator's most interesting question was whether Tim Kaine and Mike Pence had ever struggled to balance their personal faith with a public policy decision. This was probably the most civil and thoughtful conversation in a previously contentious debate, with neither debater wishing to criticize religion. Each said he had a lot of respect for the sincere faith of the other...
A white doctor in the rural South is presumed to be a Republican and a Christian. Wynne LeGrow, a hard-working doctor in Emporia, Virginia, was neither, but he kept his political and religious beliefs to himself. He felt that his liberal political views would turn off most of his patients, and his atheism would shock almost everyone.
Last Leper in the Colony is the fascinating story of how LeGrow transformed himself from a small-town physician who shunned politics (except to vote), into a Democratic candidate for Congress.
I went to church on Sunday evening, August 7. This is something an atheist like me rarely does. However, I was eager to attend because Rev. Jeremy Rutledge of Circular Congregational Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where I live, invited me to a special "interfaith and philosophy" service in honor of Pride Week in Charleston. He also asked me to promote the event to other members of my local Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry group.
No, but it might look that way.
In a Wiki-leaked email, Democratic National Committee CFO Brad Marshall appeared to want someone to ask Bernie Sanders if he believed in God, as a way to hurt Bernie's campaign. However, that email was written in May and I asked the question in February, before the South Carolina primary.
America is an exceptional country because our founders wisely established a secular nation whose authority rests with "We the people," not "Thou the deity."
A July 8 article reports that Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Charleston, sent a letter signed by 50 legislators to Berkeley County School Board members, saying the board should be allowed to continue reciting the Lord's Prayer at public meetings. One board member referred to a suggested alternative moment of silence as "a moment of censorship."
There is no such censorship. Our First Amendment guarantees the right of individuals to pray to whomever whenever they please, but our government must not endorse or favor one religion over another, or religion over non-religion.
As an atheist, some people assume I must be anti-religion. Not so. By one measure, I might be the most religious person in America. You see, I have not one, not two, but three different religions: I'm a member of the American Ethical Union, with Ethical Culture Societies; I'm a member of the Society for Humanistic Judaism, with atheist rabbis; and I'm a member of the UU Humanists. All three religions are nontheistic and are active participants in the Secular Coalition for America.
Donald Trump would undoubtedly like a running mate whose views and personality are similar to his. I can't think of a better mate for him than Newt Gingrich, who at times seems Trumpier than Trump.
I was pleased when I heard last year that the President of the Boy Scouts of America, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, called for an end to the ban on gay leaders. But my brief satisfaction turned to disappointment when I learned his reason...
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