2 thoughts on “Atheists and Christians- they can never get on, right?

  1. Thanks for posting this humorous exploration of where Christians and Atheists might find space for meaningful conversation. I am reading Eboo Patel’s newest book, Sacred Ground, wherein he describes a case study in interfaith cooperation led by an Atheist, Evangelical Christian, and a Rabbinical student. The project headed up by these young leaders was the 2010 “Liberty Walk” in lower Manhattan (New York, USA) to show support for the creation of Cordoba House (a Muslim center envisioned to promote interfaith cooperation and dialogue near the site of the World Trade Center buildings that were the site of a horrible tragedy and loss of life in 2001). The Islamiphobia in the U.S. rampant after 9/11 reached a peak in the debate over Cordoba House. These young interfaith leaders realized that if any of us has our right to a voice in the public sphere limited because of our religious/spiritual identity, we all lose. The Atheist in the group was aware of prejudice against Atheists and, therefore, sensitive to the prejudice American Muslims were experiencing in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. All of the Liberty Walkers marched to support religious pluralism and the rights of all for full expression of our religious/spiritual identities. This, to me, is a beautiful expression of the promise and fulfillment of a truly pluralistic society–and a reminder of the vigilance required by all of us to sustain it. I teach comparative religions in a Quaker school in the U.S.–this case study was incredibly inspiring to me.

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