Editor’s Note: Back in March, I wrote an essay encouraging atheists to join the Foundation Beyond Belief, a new charitable group doing good for human beings and the world in the name of freethought. I also offered to write a front-page post interviewing anyone who agreed to join the Foundation as a result of hearing about it on my site. This is the next in that series of interviews, and the last for now. Please welcome D!
Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you, where do you live, what do you do?
Hi, I’m the letter D! I live in central Illinois and I pay for rent & groceries by working as a quality consultant. In my free time, I enjoy reading science, learning about things on the internet, and writing stuff.
If you’re an atheist, when did you first become an atheist, and how long have you been one? If you’re not an atheist, how would you define your beliefs?
I think I first became an atheist when I was fourteen or fifteen, but I had a backslide when I was twenty and frantically working my way down to Business Ethics Hell. This lasted for a couple months before I realized I was possibly going crazy (call it an early-onset mid-life crisis). So depending on how you look at it, I’ve been off the God-smack for either six years or twelve years with one slip-up. While I am an atheist for lacking beliefs in supernatural hokum, I’m really fond of my father’s position of “reconfirmed agnosticism”, which is when you know you don’t have all the answers, and you also know that nobody else does, either!
Do you have a blog of your own, or another site you’d like us to know about?
I write She Who Chatters, though I’ve reduced my output to one post every weekend. Oh, and there’s another site I’d like y’all to know about, assuming that’s an inclusive “or” in the question: my good friend Jack has recently started a new blog, The Slumgullion. He’s an atheist working for Navy SIGINT, and he writes cool things that other people should know about.
Have you given to other charities before joining the Foundation Beyond Belief? If so, which ones are your favorites?
I have given to charities in the past. I’ve been a regular blood donor since sixteen, I’ve given to United Way through my office, I do Kiva, and I gave to Direct Relief when Haiti had its big earthquake. Aside from Ebonmuse’s excellent suggestions in The Secular Tithe, I would say that Direct Relief is my favorite for their sheer efficiency.
What membership level did you join the Foundation at?
I’m only in for five bucks a month while I’m under the effects of my last year’s pledge to United Way. Then I will be dividing that chunk out of my paycheck evenly between FBB & Direct Relief while I keep my Kiva funds recirculating.
How do you plan to divide your initial donation?
I’ll probably put it wherever the greatest need is. I trust these folks to know what they’re doing.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to atheists who are considering supporting the Foundation or other charitable groups?
Yes: DO IT! Do it now. You’ll get some self esteem from skimming a little off your own top to help those who need it, you’ll be doing some real good in the world, and you’re increasing the fiscal fitness of organizations that are motivated by principles but not profits. It’s win-win-win.