Monday, January 10, 2011

An Atheist View is Recognized!

It's just an on-site award but it means someone on Squidoo who had gotten an award themselves nominated An Atheist View for what is called a Purple Star and then a staff member approved it. Purple Stars confer a little lensrank boost to the pages they are on and are meant to designate a page that is up to a high standard of excellence. I've gotten a few of these awards in the past but not on anything about atheism. It speaks of a very open-minded attitude among the staff that they approved a page about being an atheist.

Squidoo also recently created a sub-category for atheism and agnosticism that is not under religion! My atheist relevant pages are usually a collection of editorials about atheism that I've written and placed on a single page. They do well in the rankings and now even have a non-religion category to be in. If you are interested in putting up your own page (atheist themed or not) you can easily join Squidoo. The payout for top tier lenses is getting quite substantial. Last month it was $30.95.

If you are feeling charitable, please visit my Purple Star atheist lens and maybe your views will bring it to the front page of Squidoo! You can also find links to more of my atheist relevant pages on the right sidebar of this blog.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Denying The Right To Dictate and Discriminate

It seems like every other atheism related conversation I've been involved in lately touches on this one weird thread. This is not a new thought by any means but, why do so many people think that, by denying them the right to take away the rights of others their religious freedom is being denied? How is it that they can equate not having the right to discriminate against others because of their religious beliefs with persecution?

For instance, some Christian groups on college campuses call persecution when they are not allowed to discriminate against people who want to join. Others insist their freedom of religion rights is being violated when marriage equality legislation passes because they are denied the right to enforce the tenets of their religion on others.

What's up with that?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Atheist Condolences

I was a florist for 18 years. I dealt with many grieving families as they ordered flowers for their loved ones. It showed me how much grief is set in a religious framework in our culture. This presents some difficulty to non-religious people.

While our friends and loved ones are grieving, we want to express our sympathies but there's a 900 lb gorilla in the room, at least for me. I believe death is the end but most people around me believe it is a beginning. It can be hard to support religious friends and family during times of grief and loss simply because the words used to express sympathy in a non-religious way are seldom heard. If we learn by example, who is the example for sharing non-religious condolences?

I know of quite a few atheists who deal with religious grief by staying silent. It gives the impression they are cold and uncaring even if their heart is breaking for their religious loved one.

To help non-religious people share their sympathy and comfort with religious people during times of loss, I wrote Sympathy 101 for Atheists. Please let me know what you think of it. I'd also love it if you'd share how you express your sympathy in non-religious ways.