Posted by jlwile on June 20, 2010
I was reading PZ Myers’s blog today, and I found out that he has been nominated for several blog awards. One of those awards is for the Best Religion Blog, and he seems a bit confused about that. He says:
I’ve been nominated for what?
OK, what is this thing? I’ve been nominated for Best Blog About Stuff, which is OK, but then…Best Celebrity Blogger? Somebody has a very slack definition of “celebrity”. Then there’s Best Religion Blogger — this is an atheist blog…
I am not sure why PZ is confused. He seems to think that his blog shouldn’t be characterized as a “religious” blog because he happens to be an atheist. This, of course, is nonsense. While I know some atheists who are not religious, PZ is most certainly a very, very religious man. Thus, I am not surprised that he has been nominated for the honor of Best Religion Blogger.
There is an excellent post on David Sloan Wilson’s blog called “Atheism as a Stealth Religion.” The author, Erin Johnson (an atheist), demonstrates quite clearly that while many atheists might not be religious, the “New Atheists” most certainly are. As he states so eloquently:
How about the new atheism of our day? I wish I could report otherwise, but it has all the hallmarks of a stealth religion, including a polarized belief system that represents everything as good, good, good or bad, bad, bad (“how religion poisons everything”), the unquestioned authority of its leaders, and even the portrayal of bad ideas as like demons (parasitic memes) that need to be cast out (“breaking the spell”).
All you have to do is read PZ’s website to see how aptly this describes him. In his view, any kind of religion is just bad, bad, bad. Indeed, he even takes other atheists to task for making the rather simple claim that atheists should be nice to religious people. That kind of black-and-white thinking is exactly the thinking employed by religious fundamentalists, and it is one of the reasons I enjoy reading his blog. He continually reveals the parallels between the “New Atheists” and the Christian fundamentalists they hate so much.
So PZ’s blog certainly belongs on a list of religion blogs, and I am glad to have found it there. I was also glad that PZ posted the link, because it led me to a very interesting blog of which I was unaware: The Curt Jester. The author of this blog is, like myself, an atheist-turned-Christian. His posts are humorous and insightful. Even though I am not a Roman Catholic, I expect I will be visiting his blog from time to time.
Speaking of Roman Catholics, the leading blog right now is WDTPRS, and the author describes it as “Slavishly accurate liturgical translations & frank commentary on Catholic issues.” Interestingly enough, as of 2:16 PM Eastern today, four of the top ten blogs were those of Roman Catholics. Even though no Protestant blogs were in the top ten (I guess we just aren’t very interesting!), this made Christianity the most-represent religion in the top ten. While I don’t think that means anything in particular, I found it interesting.
So in the end, the top ten Religion Bloggers at 2:16 PM Eastern were composed of:
4 Roman Catholics
1 follower of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Baba
1 follower of Shirdi Sai Baba
1 Gay Mormon (wow!)
1 orthodox Jew
Now that’s a really interesting mix! Isn’t the internet a wonderful thing?