Musings about ‘New Atheists’

At this month’s meeting of the New London, CT chapter of Drinking Liberally (hosted at The Social Bar + Kitchen, which I’ve reviewed both in English and in Korean), a friend told me that he was looking forward to sitting down and reading my eleven-part critique of the so-called ‘New Atheist’ movement that I published in March. I was flattered!

I thought I’d make it a bit easier for him to find these posts:

  1. Part One
  2. Part Two
  3. Part Three
  4. Part Four
  5. Part Five
  6. Part Six
  7. Part Seven
  8. Part Eight
  9. Part Nine
  10. Part Ten
  11. Part Eleven

And, as a follow up, I recently came across an article on Vice about “New Atheists” joining the alt-right:

While championing liberal views on some issues, many of atheism’s most prominent advocates—the majority of whom are, like me, cisgender white men—have expressed troubling sentiments that align with views held by the alt-right and faced little to no consequences. […]

While there are certainly atheists and humanists doing the work and speaking out, too often atheists simply ignore this toxicity. And the silence of atheist organizations and public figures doesn’t come from ignorance. I spoke with a staffer at one of America’s largest secular organizations on the condition of anonymity who told me that issuing a statement condemning [neo-Nazi Richard] Spencer was discussed but shot down, in part because the organization’s leadership didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that Spencer is an atheist. This same organization, which regularly issues statements about political issues as a major part of its advocacy strategy, also reportedly declined staff requests to release a statement condemning Trump’s appointment of [atheist] Steve Bannon as a White House adviser.

I think it’s good that people are feeling increasingly comfortable questioning belief systems, and that society is more accepting of their existence. However, any movement based on solidarity between irreligious people needs to be truly intersectional. That was really my point in these eleven, now, twelve postings.