Posted inThe Secular

This secular moment

Reading Time: 5 minutes This is our moment: this secular moment. The question of the moral and spiritual foundation of secular civilization is everywhere. You can see it in New York Times columnist David Brooks’s recent piece in The Atlantic: How America Got Mean. In the article, Brooks describes a 1950s, post-war America on firm moral/spiritual foundations in contrast […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

When living kids become organ donors

Reading Time: 4 minutes The passage below, quoting “Anna,” the traumatized child protagonist in Jodi Picoult’s disquieting novel, My Sister’s Keeper, sets the messy table for this essay: My parents tried to make things normal, but that’s a relative term. The truth is, I was never really a kid. To be honest, neither were Kate and Jesse. I guess maybe […]

Posted inEthics and Morality

The United States has an atonement problem

Reading Time: 6 minutes Throughout our history, but particularly since 2016, when Donald Trump first rode down that ill-fated escalator at Trump Tower to announce his presidential candidacy, it has grown ever clearer that Americans have a serious problem with atonement. We tend to run hellbent away from public accountability. It’s not just Trump, who is still trying mightily […]

Posted inDeep Dive

Who owns morality?

Reading Time: 4 minutes At some point during our merry journey through secularism, we all encounter some benighted religious people who incredulously ask: “If you don’t believe in a god, where does your morality come from?” Religious people believe that the source of their morality is their god and that their religious belief is the exercise of that morality. […]

Posted inLaw

Scientology isn’t on trial—but yes, it is

Reading Time: 10 minutes CW: Sexual assault and harassment Over the years, Scientology has skillfully avoided open challenge, often operating in clandestine ways, well under the radar. But there is no escaping the bright lights and media attention of a huge court case, and for Scientology, the Danny Masterson rape trial is huge. It may also include testimony by […]

Posted inThe Secular

20 secular moral beacons

Reading Time: 15 minutes Mother Teresa. The Dalai Lama. Martin Luther King. Gandhi. If you ask most people to think of prominent individuals who represent the highest of moral activism, the apex of humanitarianism, the aspirational essence of care, compassion, and justice —these are the names that will spring quickest from their lips. It’s a fine list. Aside from […]

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