When Washington Post columnist and author Kate Cohen became a mother, more than twenty years ago, she decided she would not lie to her children. And her latest book is a reflection of that journey.
Kate recently took center stage to discuss her book, We of Little Faith: Why I Stopped Pretending to Believe (And Maybe You Should Too) for the Central Florida Freethought Community on November 12th. Cohen’s engaging presentation at the event left a lasting impact on the audience, encouraging everyone to consider how they, too, could be out and proud about being an atheist.
In her talk, Kate eloquently delved into the essence of her book, which is a celebration of life’s meaning from an atheist perspective. Using the narrative of her own experiences, she dismantled the societal pressure to conform to religious norms and explored the freedom that comes with embracing a non-religious identity. And while she humorously shared her life experiences, she stressed the importance of separating state and church.
Kate confessed that her story does not portray “a very arduous journey” from Reformed Jew to atheist, “It’s not the most dramatic story that a person could tell.” She admitted that, “It was all about these tiny little moments in your head where you don’t want to correct someone in a conversation because you want to have a pleasant interaction or you don’t want people to think that they aren’t smart or that they believe something that’s incorrect.”
One notable aspect of Cohen’s presentation was her compelling argument for stricter gun regulations. She echoes her recent article in The Washington Post, where she made a compelling case for how Christian nationalism and lax gun laws can contribute to political violence. Cohen’s advocacy for a more regulated approach to firearms resonated with the audience, sparking discussions on the role of religion in shaping public policy.
In We of Little Faith, Cohen provides real-world reasons why nonreligious individuals should embrace their beliefs openly and proudly. By sharing her personal journey of shedding pretenses, she encourages others to do the same, fostering a sense of community and acceptance. Her message is a powerful reminder that secular voices have a place in the public discourse and that visibility is essential for creating a more inclusive society.
Kate also reminded us of the need to embrace the power of community, create meaningful rituals and find joy in holidays. In her book she shared her family’s delight in ‘International Pizza Day’, which her family celebrates every February 4th, which includes the making of homemade pizza crusts and the coming together of friends.
“I wrote this book,” she said, “to give courage to people who don’t believe in God as a supernatural being in charge of the universe—and I think there’s a lot of those people.”
Her presentation was a powerful reminder of the significance of authenticity in one’s beliefs, the urgent need for the separation of state and church, the importance of advocating for sensible gun regulations, and the value of building local secular humanist communities. Her book and presentation both blend personal narrative, societal analysis, and a call to action that is both intellectually stimulating and deeply resonant. If you ever have the opportunity to see Kate speak, don’t hesitate—her engaging presentation style and thought-provoking content make it an experience not to be missed.
The American Humanist Association will hold a discussion and book signing with Kate Cohen on December 7th. The event will be both virtual and in-person. Register here.
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