Skip to content

This Week in Atheism 2018–10–21


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

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

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/21

“Vice President Mike Pence has always encouraged his three children to make his Christian faith their own. But in order to do that, at least one of his daughters had teetered on the brink of atheism.

Pence’s 25-year-old daughter, Charlotte, released her new book, Where You Go: Life Lessons From My Father, on Tuesday. While the book focuses on the advice and words of wisdom that her father has offered her and her siblings throughout their upbringing, it also touches on the personal struggles of faith that the middle child faced as she spent a year studying abroad in England at the age of 21.

It is no secret that Pence and his wife, Karen, are devout evangelical Christians who are living out their faith in the public limelight that comes with the title of “Second Family” of the United States.”


“Perhaps the best way to characterize Camille Beredjick is atheism with a smile.

A writer, blogger, and nonprofit digital media strategist, she has been writing about LGBTQ issues for Hemant Mehta’s website Friendly Atheist for years. Recently, she has written a self-published book, “Queer Disbelief: Why LGBTQ Equality Is an Atheist Issue,” available on Amazon.

In the book Beredjick acknowledges the unprecedented progress LGBTQ people have made in the past decade, but recognizes they have a ways to go before achieving true equality, especially politically. Not surprisingly, she attributes the main roadblock as being conservative religious interests. She believes atheists could help LGBTQ people in their fight for equal rights. Beredjick, who identifies as a lesbian, was interviewed by the Bay Area Reporter via email.”


“In Russia, there is a religious revival happening. Orthodox Christianity is thriving after enduring a 70-year period of atheistic Soviet rule. In 1991, just after the collapse of the USSR, about two-thirds of Russians claimed no religious affiliation. Today, 71 percent of Russians identify as Orthodox. One can now see priests giving sermons on television, encounter religious processions in St. Petersburg, and watch citizens lining up for holy water in Moscow. Even Moscow’s Darwin museum features a Christmas tree during the holidays. President Vladimir Putin has encouraged this revival and he has also benefited from it, both at home and abroad. Last year, he explained that Russia’s intervention in the Syrian civil war was designed to protect Christians from the Islamic State. Not only has the Orthodox Church supported this “holy war” but so have some American evangelicals, who are likewise concerned about Christians in the Middle East and praise Putin’s socially conservative policies.”


Mary Midgley, who has died aged 99, was a moral philosopher who made enormous contributions to human thinking on questions such as the self, our animal heritage and our place in the universe. Although not a believer in any god, she was a staunch advocate of religion, frequently finding herself pitched against scientific orthodoxy and defending the right of individuals to maintain religious and scientific ideas in parallel.

She saw her role as a philosopher as being able to unite and reconcile extremes of thinking, to bring shades of grey to a domain of polarised black-and-white ideas. “Moral philosophers are back in the world, which is certainly the right place for them”, she writes in the conclusion of her 1999 book, Wisdom, Information and Wonder.

Midgley was born Mary Scrutton in London a year after the First World War, the daughter of Lesley and Tom Scrutton, a curate who later became chaplain of King’s College, Cambridge. Her interest in philosophy first developed at Downe House School, Berkshire. She recalls in her biography: “I had decided to read classics rather than English — which was the first choice that occurred to me — because my English teacher, bless her, pointed out that English literature is something that you read in any case, so it is better to study something that you otherwise wouldn’t.”



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.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: