The Boston Globe’s cover story the Nonbelievers reports that “an increasing number of young people in America – and adults around the world – don’t believe in God. Greg Epstein, who advises fellow atheists and agnostics at Harvard University, wants to create a kind of church for those who reject religion.”
In describing the growing confidence and popularity of atheism and humanism in the USA, the report includes encouraging signs such as Lori Lipman Brown, director of the the Secular Coalition for America who says “When I’m on right-wing radio or Christian radio, I no longer hear people say as much that I’m immoral or liable to commit murder,” she says. “Now, it seems, they acknowledge it’s possible that I could be a good person.”
It also quotes Epstein’s belief – shared by the O Project – in the importance of looking to build links with religious compatriots, a belief that has seen him criticised by fellow atheists and humanists.
“On his blog at Harvard, Epstein wrote that he hopes atheists avoid vilifying believers as they have disparaged atheists. “I don’t even have a problem with all the people who are blogging about me right now and slamming me as some kind of representative of ‘appeasement,’ ” he wrote. “We want to be treated as equals? Let’s raise hell about it, fine, but perhaps think twice about slamming me so hard as some kind of Uncle Tom (I definitely heard that one on a few blogs) if I want to speak for myself, and for the millions of atheists and Humanists out there who actually *like* and care deeply about a lot of religious people and don’t feel the need to hurt their feelings in addition to disagreeing with them.”