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nyt33092No, that’s not the Gray Lady. The Gray Lady is the employer of the nice lady in the picture, Laurie Goodstein, national religion correspondent for the New York Times and my new favorite person.

Every article ever written in the mainstream press on the subject of atheism in the U.S. includes at least one howling wincer. I’ve always assumed it was some sort of requirement to include a misrepresentation or cheap shot — some rule written into a secret journalistic code that’s buried under Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. Why else have there been exactly zero exceptions since Gilgamesh put stylus to clay?

Until now, that is.

Today’s Times includes the best mainstream article I have ever seen about atheism in America. Written by Ms. Goodstein, the piece is accurate, reasonable, positive, timely, free of cheap shots — and quotes Herb Silverman, one of freethought’s best spokespeople.

Read the article and watch Laurie on Colbert (below). Comments are mercifully closed now, but you can drop Laurie a note of thanks by going here and clicking on “Send an email to Laurie Goodstein.”

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(Don’t forget to say thanks to Laurie. I’m sure she’s getting flak for failing to include a wincer.)

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Dale McGowan is the author of Parenting Beyond Belief, Raising Freethinkers, and Atheism for Dummies. He holds a BA in evolutionary anthropology and a PhD in music.