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In Conversation with Lee Moore— Former Executive Director, The Atheist Conference (TAC)


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/01/16

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: Do humanists have to be atheists?

Lee Moore: It really depends on how you define humanists, some seem to think a rejection of a higher power is a requirement… some not so much. A better question to ask is “Why aren’t all atheists also humanists?”

Jacobsen: There are so many labels floating around about the formally non-religious or the formerly religious community. It is staggering to recount them all. Do you think that atheism has such a bad rap that people shy away from the word and so go by other terms or labels?

Moore: Well atheists are independent by nature, not a fan of going with any flow… the more someone tries to tell someone to call themselves an atheist… the more they tend to rebel against such an idea. I would say calling yourself an atheist used to have a much worse rap than it does now… these days most folks on either side of belief don’t care as much.

Jacobsen: Do you get hate mail for the things posted on A-News?

Moore: I have received a great deal of hate mail as an open atheist who worked within the godless community. Sometimes even death threats… About 5 or 6 years ago, there was a shift in it though… I stopped getting as much from religious folks and started getting it from my fellow non-believers.

Jacobsen: What makes A-News potentially distinct in the landscape of news provisions for the non-believing community?

Moore: It was set out to appeal to the non-ivory tower masses. The Atheist movement here in the States has always presented itself as arrogant, and was led by folks who have no idea what it is to be poor in this nation. We sought to change that.

Jacobsen: In the context of the atheist community and the media, does making fun of religion help interbelief dialogues? Or is this more to ‘blow off steam’?

Moore: It’s of course blowing off steam. Most of the folks I have met, myself included, have been a victim of oppression by our religious neighbors in some way. Making fun of religion helps some to heal those wounds, it even helps others see that they may have been following something they shouldn’t… for the most part though… it does little to help our relations with those religious neighbors.

Jacobsen: Any final thoughts or feelings in conclusion?

Moore: The Atheist movement here in the states is mostly dead these days… yes, there are more and more folks leaving religious belief, but that has little to do with the movement. Our movement turned in on itself years ago and has been self-destructing ever since. Our groups grow smaller by the day and are receiving far less donations than in the past. We kind of already won the battle, and it’s time to move on.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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