Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Chris Stedman was an evangelical Christian who came to a place of understanding about his gay sexual orientation, and also concluded that he was an atheist. But unlike some atheists who were raised in conservative Christian environments, or the so-called New Atheists who seem intent on caricaturing and trashing anything to do with religon and faith and God, Stedman encourages a respective dialogue.

Stedman, a humanist college chaplain (no, I didn't realize they existed either!) has written a book called Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious. In a Washington Post interview Stedman responds to a question about his defintion of a faitheist.

Q: What does the term “faitheist” mean? Is it a positive label or a derisive one?

A: It’s one of several words used by some atheists to describe other atheists who are seen as too accommodating of religion. But to me, being a faitheist means that I prioritize the pursuit of common ground, and that I’m willing to put “faith” in the idea that religious believers and atheists can and should focus on areas of agreement and work in broad coalitions to advance social justice.


I am a Christian and I alway want to bear witness to the faith within me, to paraphrase scripture, but I am convinced that in our increasingly secular world dialogue is essential. I cringe at those who want to impose faith of any kind, just as I have little time for those who seem to want to gleefully criticize faith in any expression. I may buy Stedman's book, and it might be a good focus for a discussion group.

Have you heard the term faitheist before? Does it make you suspicious, or give you hope? A good subject for a discussion group or a little "beyond the pale?"

What on earth, or in sea, is Oyster-tecture?


IanD said...

I've never heard of faitheists, but their point of view is obviously constructive. Good for them.

Laurie said...

Have put the book on my list. Sounds like good reading. Wonderful idea for a discussion group.

Lori-Ann said...

Actaully, I had read about this book and wanted to read it as well. I think it would make a good study book as well.

Laura said...

I don't quite get it. If it means not being anti-religious than that is a door for the discussions of which he speaks. It seems athiests and religious folk do work in lots of arenas already towards social justice.
Doesn't grab me as something I search out to read.