Now here's an interesting new resource, complete with an attached blog. Predictably, the whole shebang is edited by a religious bloke, whose credits include a stint as a Protestant pastor, lots of background as a theologian, and some experience in writing about "modern atheism's dependence on the Christian legacy" (that's what it says, right there on the portal, expressed uncritically). None of this entails that's he's not a good bloke. Maybe he is. At this point I could go into my usual song and dance routine about how I always like to have a beer or two with any genuinely moderate Christian who's prepared to shout. But still ...
I suppose they didn't think of the idea that this portal might have more credibility if set up so that it at least looks neutral about all the current religious controversies. I mean, all those Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Daoists, and so on, might think it's not really going to represent them if it's run by a Christian theologian and pastor who even has specific views about Christianity's contribution to atheist thought. Let alone all of us actual atheists, agnostics, humanists, sceptics, etc. And especially as it's a religion and ethics portal - some people would say those two things are opposed, or at least orthogonal, to each other ... and it would be nice if ethics were represented by, say, a moral philosopher. Yeah, I know someone's gotta be in charge, but it would have been easy creating something that looks more like, I dunno, a religious studies department and less like a faculty of theology. There's a big difference.
And of course it hasn't escaped me that this thing is being paid for by public revenue, so I'll be pretty cross if it ends up looking like a taxpayer-funded religious propaganda site.
But then again, let's not carp too much quite yet. I'm getting ahead of myself. The new portal should at least provide some interesting news from around the world. I'll wait until it has some material of substance before I judge its fairness and effectiveness. And then I'll probably carp - let's face it - but all things in their own good time.