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This Week in Atheism 2018–06–17


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/06/17

“The day I told my father I didn’t want to go to church anymore, I may as well have turned into Satan himself. For hours, I tried to explain how I do not agree with the church’s teachings, but he wasn’t budging. I was just another “brainwashed liberal” that gathered all my ideologies from the internet.

While parents tend to be the last people you want to disappoint, I was tired of being shoved into a box of religion. They always told me, “It’s about relationship with God, not religion,” but failed to adhere to the fact that they were still following a religion, based on a book written more than 2,000 years ago, at least.

My parents were not always churchgoers. Eight years ago, my father began to attend with my older brother, eventually letting my little brother and I tag along, and soon enough, my mother was convinced, too. In the beginning it was nice. Everybody hugged me, spoke positively, occasionally provided free donuts for the youth, and so on. However, I was far too young to actually understand religion. I just figured, “Hey, these people are nice. I like this.””


“Stalin counters Minister’s ‘double standards’ jibe; says DMK’s stand is clear

Legislators of the ruling AIADMK and the opposition DMK — both tracing their roots to the Dravidian movement — were engaged in an interesting debate in the Assembly on Wednesday, as they questioned each other’s stand on atheism, and whether there had been a departure from their respective stances over the years.

Participating in the debate on the demand for grants for the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Department, DMK MLA and former HR&CE Minister K.R. Periakaruppan (Tirupattur) said though their party leader and DMK president M. Karunanidhi never visited temples, he was keen on the efficient functioning of the department.”


“Back at Easter time, I had quite a debate on Facebook with, amongst others, a friend I used to play rugby with. He is something of a conservative, in the classical sense — a sort of old-school CofE defender of the faith and conservative values. The sort of one who knows best because, you know, he used to be a left-wing Marxist-type, but he grew out of it (Alister McGrath, anyone?). I have many debates all over the shop, and what with all the very many things I do, and writing, blogging etc., I often don’t get to finish conversations and discussions as the next one comes along and takes up my time. I have to remind people to draw me back into conversations in order to get closure.

The problem is, the amount of time that Facebook discussions can take up only for them to be lost in the annals of time, I would prefer to commit those thoughts to a blog piece. Which will still get lost in the annals of time. But hey ho.

Let me look at his (and someone else’s) prominent comments — I am not differentiating the pair commenting here, since it is the ideas that need dealing with, so they have been spliced together.”


“Towards the end of the Radio 702 interview on You Have To Be Gay To Know God, Eusebius Mckaiser asked whether I’d switched to “The Gospel of Richard Dawkins” since the book was published. I then shared my political misgivings on Dawkinesque atheism.

The social media pushback from some listeners compels me to point out how atheisms’ proponents typically share liberals’ blind spots. The right to freedom of speech is normally invoked for their political activism. The limits on this right have been discussed ad nauseam by others.

Here’s the upshot: the bad-faith use of the right externalises the cost of an unjust economic status quo, while fronting a political innocence or self-righteousness that’s at odds with the speaker’s positionality, making a mockery of whatever liberal position the speaker claims for himself or herself. I recognise this trick from religion, where heterosexually-married, sexually-satiated pastors recommend celibacy to me; don’t get me started on what they preached and lived with regards to money.”



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


© Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing 2012-Present. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Scott Douglas Jacobsen and In-Sight Publishing with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. All interviewees and authors co-copyright their material and may disseminate for their independent purposes.

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