Herb Silverman


Herb Silverman is founder and President of the Secular Coalition for America, author of “Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt,” and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at the College of Charleston.

Stories by Herb Silverman

Nothing says ‘divisible’ like ‘under God’

Regardless of personal religious beliefs, students should learn about the importance of religious liberty and why it is threatened when the government endorses any religious view.

High holidays for Jewish atheists

I commemorate this time of year partly due to my Jewish tradition, but also because I want to help change that tradition into a more godless one.

Are Atheists Smarter and Humbler?

In a study of 63 individual studies, 53 showed less religiosity among the more intelligent participants.

Do Christian conservatives believe in the First Amendment?

While our support for religious freedom abroad might have limited resultants, we must remain vigilant at home.

‘Religious fiction’: Isn’t that redundant?

Apparently authors can usually choose whether to call their books fiction or nonfiction.

Reza Aslan meets ‘experts’ on God

‘Zealot’ author Reza Aslan on MSNBC Nobody has ever mistaken me for a Muslim, but I now feel an affinity … Continued

An atheist’s defense of marriage act

While listening to arguments for same-sex marriage, I discovered there are about 400 state benefits and over 1000 federal benefits to marriage.

Varieties of atheist experience

The so-called six types of atheists based on a University of Tennessee study are: activist, anti-theist, intellectual, non-theist, ritual, and seeker.

The Power of Positive Praying — Even for Atheists

I think that prayer, at its best, serves as a placebo. People may improve because their expectation to do so is strong.

God’s welfare dilemma

Atheism flourishes with economic satisfaction, while religion often thrives when people are undereducated and desperate.

No track to sainthood

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Catholic Church. That’s why I feel less … Continued

On religious atheists

When I was six, I began Hebrew School as an Orthodox Jew because that’s what my family was and that’s … Continued

How to read (and think) like an atheist

There were two categories of teenagers in the 1950s: those who could name one book by an atheist and those … Continued

The right to blaspheme: For no god and country

(Streeter Lecka — GETTY IMAGES) I could not have had a more patriotic beginning. I was born on Flag Day … Continued

God is opposed to food stamps? Let’s try an evidence-based approach to hunger instead.

More local produce coming soon to SNAP recipients in Michigan. (Jessica Tefft for The Washington Post) Recently, I wrote about … Continued

Do atheists go to heaven?

I believe that Pat Robertson, Rick Warren, the pope, my dog, and I will have the same afterlife, and that it will be a pain-free one.

For atheists, all religion is superstition

The “Good Book” is seriously flawed. Which book am I talking about? It could be any book. No single book … Continued

To life, not martyrdom

Recently, I read two articles about dying for a cause. The first, on these pages, by Sally Quinn, addressed the … Continued

Atheists: Let your conscience be your god

Recently I was invited to participate in a Religion and Law Conference at Florida State University. Almost all the other … Continued

What atheists can learn from the gay rights movement

I’m not gay. But I am jealous. How did homosexuality shift in public opinion from less respectable than atheism to … Continued