Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist

Hank Fox (who is one of my exciting new Freethought Blogs neighbors) wrote a book called Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist: Simple Thoughts About Reason, Gods and Faith which he plugs hilariously in the video below:

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His red neck, blue collar, and atheist credentials are extensive taken all together:

A former draft horse teamster and cowboy, Hank Fox has been kicked, stepped on, knocked down, bitten, and bucked off by horses. (Fortunately, there were those other times when he got along with horses just fine, and even stayed in the saddle.) Growing up in Texas with a bunch of rodeo cowboys and rednecks, roping calves and quarter horses, his early blue collar work history included driving a dump truck and soda delivery truck, working as a framing carpenter, and work as a roofer and roofing company foreman. Later he served as a mule packer, ranch hand and wilderness horseback ride guide in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. He drove hay wagons and sleighs professionally for 8 years, hitchhiked around the United States more than 26,000 miles, and even once hopped a ride on a freight train. Older now, he does a lot of his work indoors – but claims he can still saddle a horse and find his way in the wilderness, hitch up a team and get a wagon safely there and back, work cattle in the chute, hook up a two-horse trailer and tow it down the highway, and maybe even diamond-hitch a pack on a mule for a wilderness trip. Raised in a household with a Jehovah’s Witness father and a Southern Baptist mom, he started to have doubts about religion by the time he was 13. It took him 20 years to figure it all out, but he ended being a confirmed atheist, and later even an antitheist — which he describes as, “Not only do I not believe in supernatural superbeings, but I don’t think you should either.” A lifelong writer and journal-keeper, he started jotting down his thoughts and ideas on religion and atheism in private, later graduated to blogging, and eventually began to imagine writing a book on the subject. That book became “Red Neck, Blue Collar, Atheist: Simple Thoughts About Reason, Gods & Faith.” Today he lives on what was once a farm and egg ranch in Upstate New York, only a short walk from a clear stream, with red foxes, wild turkeys and deer for neighbors. He makes his living through writing and, still true to his blue collar roots, rather annoyingly menial work in a supermarket bakery.

He can also boil down the debates about religion to an issue of proper feline identification.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Francisco Bacopa

    I don’t need the “grandma” booklet anyway, as both my grandmothers are dead. One died just a few years ago at age 97. She converted to being a Jehova’s Witness shortly after her husband died. I think she was attracted to the Witness doctrine that there is no eternal hellfire. The dead who are unsaved are simply destroyed. In fact, from what I gatherfrom all the JW material my grandmother gave me, the Witnesses do not believe in an immortal soul. When you die, you die, but some of those who lived the right relationship with God will be re-created as spirit beings to live with God while the rest of the saved will reseurrected into new perfect bodies to live in an earthly paradise.

    She had 11 kids, none of them JW’s, and some who were fundies who thought she was bound for Hell for her heresy. The task of negotiating between the Witnesses and the kids fell to my nonbelieving father. He could stay cool because he didn’t have a dog in the fight. Witnesses do not make that big a deal out of funerals. The family hated that. MY dad negotiated a deal where my uncle, who had become a old school “spirit moves you” meeting house Quaker, was allowed to give a short speech and prayer as long as he didn’t mention Hell or the Trinity. Worked out OK in the end.

    BTW, there’s a sculpture at the University of Houston of a cougar attacking a dragon who has scales that say “good”, “evil” and “thou shalt”. No camel or child though. I’ll try to find a picture for you.

    • Camels With Hammers

      BTW, there’s a sculpture at the University of Houston of a cougar attacking a dragon who has scales that say “good”, “evil” and “thou shalt”. No camel or child though. I’ll try to find a picture for you.

      NO. WAY. !!!!!!1!

      I have to see that!!!!1!1!!

    • Francisco Bacopa

      I have twice tried to find a link to a pic of the sculpture but my Google-fu fails me. It’s on a sub level courtyard between the University of Houston Bookstore and a one of the main dining halls. Yes, the UH mascot bites the base of the neck of the Nietzschiean Dragon, and the Dragon is very ugly, while the cougar is rendered with a little more detail.

      I think only 10% of students even understand the sculpture. Professor Freeland used to recommend looking at the sculpture when she was discussing Nietzsche in her intro to ethics classes, but now she has ascended to that level where she no longer teaches intro classes and mostly flies around the world talking about her philosophy of art stuff.

      If I find good pix online I’ll post them here as a follow up. If I can’t find them I’ll take my own pix as I will be visiting the campus often by mid-October.