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My sister and I have an ongoing joke. She had been doing a lot work in cooperation with some churches in our area, so I think her mindset was in a particular place when I burst through her door one day, shouting “Have you heard the good news!” She looked at me in shock. Oblivious, I continued, “There’s a sale on shoes! I have new shoes, and they have bows on them!” I cried, pointing my foot and showing off the big bow on my toe.

Now, we have an ongoing joke. When she hears the phrase “the good news” she whispers in my ear, “My shoes have bows!”

Well, there’s more good news these days, and I’m not talking about the metallic gold boots I found deeply discounted at a Zadig et Voltaire outlet. The Atheist Blogroll has recommenced. The Atheist Blogroll is, as you might expect, a listing of blogs hosted by atheists. Some of these deal with atheism directly and frequently while others are only atheist in so far as the blogger is an atheist.

I wasn’t blogging at the time that the Out Campaign first started, and since I’d never hidden the fact that I was an atheist, it might not have mattered anyway. Still, I think it’s useful to acknowledge that I’m an atheist because if one doesn’t say anything, people tend to presume that you are whatever the majority in your area is.

The atheist Out Campaign follows the efforts by gay activists in the late sixties and seventies to encourage homosexuals to come out of the closet. At least according to the movie Milk, a part of the impetus for coming out was that people who knew gays were less likely to vote in favor of limiting their civil rights.

From the movie:

Harvey Milk: We’re going to convince the 90% to give a shit about us 10%. We have to let them know who we are. Everybody has to come out. Across the entire state, no matter where they live. …. Every gay lawyer, teacher, doctor, dog catcher. We have to leave the ghetto. We have to let all those people out there know that they know one of us….
Scott Smith: The whole state isn’t San Francisco, Harvey.
Unknown: Clearly, Scott. Harvey, that could be really, really dangerous. I mean, there’s such a thing as a right to privacy.
Harvey Milk: Privacy. In this movement, at this time, I’m not saying this as a supervisor, privacy is the enemy. And if you want real political power, if that’s what you want, try telling the truth for a change.

My own main reason for being on the Atheist Blogroll is to stand up and be counted. This may, in fact, be more important for atheists that write about a diverse array of topics than for those who write regularly about atheism.

To be clear, the Atheist Blogroll is not connected to the Out Campaign. It’s just linked in my mind because being on the blogroll and having the badge on the sidebar of my blog is a way for me to let people know that I’m an atheist.

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Two benches facing one another inside an outdoor structure made of rough hewn logs.Researchers now think that polyandry, a woman marrying more than one man, was a more common social system than previously thought. From The Atlantic: When Taking Multiple Husbands Makes Sense.

For people who are interested in the more theoretical ideas having to do with liberalism, there’s an interesting debate going on in South Africa right now about whether or not the concept of ubuntu is compatible with liberalism. Why Ubuntu Is a Liberal Value: @zilevandamme; What’s Behind Liberalism’s Unseemly Attack on Ubuntu: The Modular Man ; Liberalism, the Democratic Alliance and Identity: Synapses

In the New York Review of Books, Russell Baker discusses how the resurgence of wildlife in North America has been caused by our changing attitudes towards nature and has, in return, changed our attitudes.

I have decided to request to join the Atheist Blogroll. I probably won’t be posting on that particular subject especially often, but I think it’s a good idea to identify myself as an atheist just to get across the notion that we exist, we’re pretty diverse and we’re interested in a whole lot of things. It’s important to let people know that people who don’t believe in the existence of any gods consist of more than just a handful of authors and active members of the atheist blogosphere. Since I’m not a former Christian, I won’t be spending much, if any, time criticizing that religion. Although, I haven’t been put on their blogroll yet, I can’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be, so I went ahead and posted the badge in the right hand column. The link will take you to a list of blogs maintained by atheists. Since you don’t have to write about atheism, you just have to be an atheist, I think it’s a good idea for people who post about a variety of things to think about joining.

Again, if anyone wants to share links of interesting things they’ve come across recently, please feel free to post them in the comments.