A few weeks ago I wrote how I might be a "faitheist" a la Chris Stedman and Nonprophet Status. Needless to say, I got a lot of criticism for it, especially on /r/atheism. So I think I should probably clarify a few things.
First of all, I'm not a faitheist. I admire Stedman and what he's doing (plus I think he's cute). However, I feel Stedman doesn't criticize religion enough. I've yet to hear him address the problems that are often motivated by religion: suicide bombings, female genital mutilation, blasphemy laws, colonization, wars, the caste system, queer homelessness, etc. True, there are other factors that fuel these atrocities, like racism, misogyny, and homophobia. But it's easier to get away with oppression if you wrap it in religion.
Having said that, though, I do agree with Stedman on some things.
For starters, while moderate religious people often toss the No True Scotsman card to distance themselves from religious fanatics, atheists can be just as guilty. The only difference is some atheists paint ALL religious people as fanatics, and that's simply not true. As Heina Dadabhoy said in our interview the other day:
My greater concern lies with [Sam] Harris, who claims to be in favor of reforming Islam but keeps insisting that Muslims who don't for instance "behead infidels" are Muslims who aren't serious about their faith. There are Muslims who take Islam very seriously yet don't perpetuate violence, and Muslim who do violence in the name of Islam yet don't practice it very closely. I personally think that encouraging progressive and reformist Muslims is much better practice than telling Muslims that by not being violent, they aren't being serious about their faith.
In Christian circles, I've met several Christians who as passionate about social justice as I am. I'm not talking about the watered down version of social justice that the Emergent Church preaches. I'm talking about folks like Suey Park, Eliel Cruz, and Sarah Moon: activists who shake up the white-dominated heteropatriarchy. I disagree with them about God, but I agree with them on everything else.
So there you have it. Not a faitheist, but agrees with Stedman to a certain extent. Got that?