James Bloodworth’s book ‘Hired’ inspires the profound reflections of a young writer on the roles of the individual, the atheist community, and the government in reducing income inequality and bridging the gap between political parties.
By Ross Paton
When issues of inequality are politicised, the solution becomes mired in partisan debates. To what can we attribute income inequality? Is it simply the fair conclusion of meritocracy, or a product of privilege, passed down generationally?
Bloodworth’s book Hired gives us an account of his time as a low-income worker to settle this debate. His experience spanned six months, during which he lived on the money he earned from low-wage, soulless jobs, and talked to those who, unlike him, had no reprieve from this drab and anxiety-riddled existence. How could we more accurately reach the truth than through talking to and living the lives of those who find themselves at the bottom?
By Dariush Afshar (Mohammad Hekmat Afshar)
In Iran, according to the Islamic regime’s birth registry statistics, 98% of the Iranian population is Muslim. This means that even the writer of this article and millions like him, are per force considered to be adherents to the religion, which is absolutely false, unilateral, and obscure.
Tax dollars are going to faith-based programs that discriminate against, mislead, and manipulate our most vulnerable. Are there benefits to favoring community organizations over faith-based ones?
by Rachelle Groves
“Faith is more powerful than government, and nothing is more powerful than God.” This was the proclamation made by Trump when he signed his new faith-based executive order. Faith-based programs are nothing new, and every president since Clinton has signed them.
There are obvious problems with putting social services into the hands of religious organizations. First and foremost is the separation of church and state that prohibits federal money from funding the agenda of religious groups. Second, is the fact that they can engage in discriminatory hiring practices that are illegal by federal standards.
Trump’s voter base made easy bedfellows of politics and religion, blurring the line of separation between church and state. But as white evangelicals shrink to a smaller fringe in the Secular Age, will their political power also decline?
By James A. Haught
White evangelicals put Donald Trump into the White House. They swarmed to the 2016 election in high numbers and gave an amazing 81 percent of their votes to the vulgar, obnoxious, race-baiting, gambling billionaire who favors the rich, tries to take health care away from 20 million, and brags about grabbing women by their genitals.
Although he once seemed to favor women’s rights, Trump campaigned on a promise to appoint only pro-life Supreme Court justices–those who would jail women and doctors for ending pregnancies.
An overwhelming majority of African Americans self-identify as Christians, putting them ahead of both whites and Latinos. Black Nonbelievers, Inc, aims to revolutionize the community and its deeply entrenched relationship with religion through community-building events like the one here discussed.
By Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Mandisa Thomas is the Founder of Black Nonbelievers, Inc., one of, if not the, largest organizations for African-American or black nonbelievers or atheists in America. The organization is intended to give secular fellowship, provide nurturance and support for nonbelievers, encourage a sense of pride in irreligion, and promote charity in the non-religious community. It is affiliated with the Center for Inquiry, Ex-Muslims of North America, and the Freedom from Religion Foundation, among other associations.
From the page:
“We connect with other Blacks (and allies) who are living free of religion and other beliefs, and might otherwise be shunned by family and friends. Instead of accepting dogma, we seek to determine truth and morality through reason and evidence.”
” ‘The day you step foot in Pakistan, as soon as you get out from the airport we will kill you’, said my mother.” Kubra recounts her experiences as a child in a devout Shia household and the price she pays for critically confronting her religion.
Her mother threatened her with death, recounts a woman who agreed to let me refer to her as Kubra.
” ‘The day you step foot in Pakistan, as soon as you get out from the airport we will kill you’, said my mother. I had just told her that I had left Islam when she asked me to come back to Pakistan as she missed me. I had to tell her why I could not return to my home country and so she gave me this angry impetuous response.”
Kubra was born in Lahore to a conservative, devout Shia family. From a young age, she relates, Islam was the “be all and end all” of her identity.