The way to prevent further disenchantment with organized religion among young people is for religious leaders and laypeople alike to sever the exclusive link between religion and conservative politics in the United States.
In America today, you can proudly say, "I'm a Christian" and carry a Bible with you everywhere you go. You can go to any church you want to without being arrested. You can even proclaim that you worship the Giant Spaghetti Monster, and all the persecution you will receive is strange looks.
We should spend less time denying there's a big man in the sky and more time wrestling with its moral implications -- trying to build lives as rich, purposeful and filled with beauty as those of the faithful.
What the new research suggests is that promoting freedom is less about any belief system or form of government than a commitment for nations to follow through on their constitutional promises to uphold religious freedoms.
In a society where the presence of different cultures is a fact of life, humor cannot afford to be a-contextual. We need to know the politics of what we do, particularly because this sensibility is part of our cultural background.
Secularism and pluralism are two of the defining ethos of Western societies. The former decouples religion from governmental institutions whilst the latter seeks to protect the rights of all citizens to freely practice their creed.
Legally speaking, 2014 has not been a good year for secular Americans. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that closely held, for-profit corporations can claim religious exemptions from laws that go against their owners' religious beliefs.
Young diaspora Muslims are flocking to Syria and signing up with ISIS to fight in a cosmic war while others plot domestic violence against secularism in their adopted homelands. Nothing as horrific as 9-11 or 7-7 has yet to take place but some believe it's just a matter of time.
So, proudly, claims the official website of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. If you were to ask imprisoned liberal Saudi writer Raif Badawi, you may hear otherwise. Or not. He may not be able to tell you what he really thinks.
Since his highly controversial exchange with Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof on October 3rd, Bill Maher has insisted that he's simply stating the unpleasant facts about the Muslim world. But there are two particularly noxious myths that need to be debunked.
Mishra's essay is an incredible exercise in distortion and denial. Even if one grants that there is a glimmer of good intentions around his apocalyptic vision the problem with the sheer fictiveness of his idea of India remains.
Most citizens with progressive politics want policies predicated on the philosophy of humanism, not religious dogma. Internationally, progressives want full recognition of human rights. Does this mean that only atheists can be authentic progressives?