Source: Pixabay In one of my college classes, I used to ask the students to write down the names of three people who were their “heroes” and then to reflect on why they had chosen those particular people. Only some of the respondents were able to come up with three names for their list. Many included only people from their families, perhaps a mother or father or older sibling. Sometimes, they identified a loved one who was dealing forthrightly with a severe mental or physical challenge. As one might expect, the lists had many “public” figures, names the rest of us, or at least the members of their generation, would recognize. Of these, sports stars, actors, and musicians were predominant. Significantly, important politicians, business executives, or military figures rarely appeared. Instead, people listed leaders of social movements, non-establishment figures like Martin Luther King Jr. or Cesar Chavez. Pointedly, the students … [Read more...] about The Decline of the American Hero
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As is typical of every approaching new year (or ending of a year, depending on how you want to look at it), we are currently seeing a plethora of lists on pretty much everything – from a list of notable people who passed on during the past year, to a list of top fitness trends to get in better shape this coming year, all the way to the most ridiculous lawsuits of the year. In the area of psychology, year-end lists are common as well, as we have already seen a list of the must-read studies of 2016, and we also often see lists of notable books published over the past years or must read books for the coming year. In my specific area of interest – the experiences of ethnic minorities, particularly of Asian Americans – it is also typical to see such tallies; for instance, people have already shared their lists of notable Asian American books this year. However, except for very few exceptions, it is also typical for the … [Read more...] about An Incomplete List of Filipino American Psych Books for 2017
This finding comes as no surprise. Social science has long revealed high rates of secularphobia – the irrational dislike, distrust, fear, or hatred of nonreligious people – within American society. For example, a study by Penny Edgell of the University of Minnesota, from back in 2006, found that atheists come in last place when Americans are asked to rank members of certain racial, ethnic, or religious groups as potential spouses for their kids. And a Gallup poll from 2012 found that 43 pecent of Americans said that they would not vote for an atheist for president, putting atheists in last/worst place, behind Muslims (40 percent of Americans said they wouldn’t vote for a Muslim for president), homosexuals (30 percent wouldn’t), Mormons (18 percent wouldn’t), Latinos (7 percent wouldn’t), Jews (6 percent wouldn’t), Catholics (5 percent wouldn’t), women (5 percent wouldn’t) and African Americans (4 percent wouldn’t). … [Read more...] about Why Americans Hate Atheists
At some point earlier this week, during the commercial breaks on Fox News, and amidst his push to take away millions of Americans’ access to affordable healthcare along with denying transgender Americans the right to serve in the military, President Trump made the following declaration: “IN AMERICA WE DON’T WORSHIP GOVERNMENT – WE WORSHIP GOD!” Is that correct? Do we, as Americans, worship God? The answer: Most of us do, but many of us don’t. And those who don’t are growing in number. First off, some brief history: Our nation has always contained a significant proportion of skeptics and non-believers. As Thomas Jefferson himself declared, “Question with boldness even the existence of a God.” Most of our founding fathers were deists with a very non-literal conception of God that has nothing to do with the God of Ann Coulter, Betsy DeVos, or the 81% of white Evangelicals who helped put Trump into office. And it was this lack of strong … [Read more...] about Do We, as Americans, Worship God?
RARE VALIDATION: Barack Obama's first inaugural speech acknowledged "non-believers" as legitimate Americans, a rare occurrence in the political realm. Source: public domain Secular Americans, long ignored in the realm of politics, are finally starting to be seen as a group to be reckoned with. In a sign of the nonreligious sector's growing numbers and political muscle, a resolution validating the group was enthusiastically passed by the influential LGBT Caucus at the Democratic National Convention in July. The resolution recognizes the “value, ethical soundness, and importance of the religiously unaffiliated demographic” and states that the nonreligious “are a group that, as much as any other, advocates for rational public policy based on sound science and universal humanistic values.” The full resolution can be seen here. No major party or caucus has ever so … [Read more...] about Political Progress for Nonreligious Americans