The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Positive Atheist Role Models

You seem them at any awards show that you’ve made the mistake of watching. “I want to thank GOD ALMIGHTY!”, they shout. “I couldn’t have been here without JESUS!” I always cringe, look away, and remind myself that their art is what matters, and not their mistaken beliefs about who …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Watch their eyes open…

We read out of the King James Bible instead of the Scott Foresman Bible As/In Literature now. Why? Because, as we started going through Genesis together in the Foresman version, specifically reading God’s reasons for placing the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil on the earth, or relating the genealogy of …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Don’t You Dare Make me Pledge

Every day, I cringe a little bit when I hear it. The Pledge of Allegiance. My whole class of high school freshmen stand , hand over heart, and recite it. My 6-year old proudly recalls how he says the Pledge in his first grade classroom. And no one really seems …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: My First Day of Teaching Bible Lit

I walk into the classroom, already defensive. A room packed with pious-looking students stare at me, holding their thick Bibles in their hands. Nervous, I stand in front of the room and stammer that I’m teaching the Bible… as literature. I tell them that we won’t be engaging in philosophical …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Hope is my god

Recently, there has been an uptick in the number of articles about church-going people who are actually atheists. These articles point out that many seemingly religious people are atheist. These people still attend church for a variety of reasons – the ritual, the calming effect of prayer, the social acceptance …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Standing Up for Yourself!

Recently, one of my fellow atheist educators asked the following question:  During a faculty meeting, we were doing a positive things session about each other and our principal was quoting scripture, prefaced by, “I hope this doesn’t offend anyone.” I said nothing. How would you have handled it? This is …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Where You Should Put Your Penis

Back in college, I was a volunteer rape crisis counselor. I had months of training, and I was on call for a few days a month. Basically, if a person (almost always a woman)  was sexually assaulted and went to the hospital, I went with her. If that person needed …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Change a few words?

In Oklahoma, a Jewish high school student and his family face threats and intimidation from angry white people after the young Jewish student had the courage to report the unconstitutional display of a page from Mein Kampf  in his public school classrooms. On Saturday, May 11, Jewish student Elijah Ross, a junior at …

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The Atheist Academic

The Atheist Academic: Coming Out At School

Q: How do you deal with your atheism as a teacher? Do you tell coworkers, parents and students, or do you just keep it to yourself? For the first semester at my current job, I was really quiet. I talked to the kids, of course, and I made awkward conversation, …

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The Atheist Academic: I Defile my Question Virginity!

I’d like to start this week’s column with a question from a loyal reader. (I suppose I can’t actually call someone a “loyal” reader when this is column #3, but it makes me feel better.) Anyway, Belinda from Oklahoma asks, “What are some ways of handling separation of church and …

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