I am fairly immersed in the atheist movement. When you’re constantly in interactions with other outspoken atheists, it is easy on a day to day basis to start to take other atheists who share your values and basic viewpoints for granted. One regularly gets disabused of whatever naive hopes and illusions you may have had that just being an atheist would make people inherently more rational or ethical. From within a movement it is easy sometimes to get focused on all the imperfections of the whole endeavor.
On Thanksgiving I spent some hours listening to Seth Andrews’s estimable podcast The Thinking Atheist. And let me say, wow, Seth has some incredible broadcasting talent. One episode I listened to was an old one on closeted atheists, which blew me away. A few of the letters he read from atheists who cannot be open about their atheism were extremely affecting to me. They reminded me why I do what I do and re-inspired me to want to be an atheist blogger. Fortunately, I already am one, so carrying through on that inspiration should be easy. If you have an hour and 18 minutes, or even just 15 or 30, I really recommend spending some time with the stories of conscience told in the podcast below: