Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. It’s customary this time of year to think about the things you’re grateful for and I thought I’d write them down for you. First of all, I’m thankful for my readers. I’m still amazed that so many people enjoy what I write and find it interesting enough to keep coming back here every day. This blog is now exactly 11 years old and I could not possibly have imagined when I started what it would turn into.

I’m thankful to have such an amazing family. My dad is now 79 years old and still going strong. Still working full time, in fact, because he gets bored if he doesn’t (he oversees worker safety on big projects like the building of stadiums or the resetting of an auto plant). I could not ask for a better role model. My family is big, weird, spread all over the country and altogether wonderful.

I’m thankful for the CFI Michigan community that has been my home for the last 8 years since I stumbled on them by accident. Let me just single out a few people: Jeremy and Jennifer Beahan; Jeff and Cathy Seaver; Justin Schieber; Kris and Dave Fletcher; Jeremiah Bannister; Sue Johnson; Cindy Krieg; Bob and Sherron Collins. There are many more. It’s an incredible group of people who have given me so much support over the years. It’s an extended family and exactly the kind of secular community we should be trying to build all over.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to work for Dale McGowan, a man of extraordinary kindness and good humor, at the Foundation Beyond Belief. At a time when so many leaders of the atheist community have turned out to be enormous disappointments to me, I believe Dale should be the public face of atheism. And I’m thankful for all the wonderful people I work with there — Cathleen O’Grady, Rebecca Vitsmun, Noelle George, Airan and Kelly Wright, Kate Simonson, AJ Chalom, Conor Robinson, Ben Blanchard. Not a one of them who isn’t a gem of a person. FBB inspires me to dream of a better world and gives me the chance to help, in some small way, to make it happen.

I’m thankful to my closest friends: Rick Suwarsky, Connie Adams and Julie Powers. I love them all for so many reasons. My friendship with Rick goes back over 30 years and he is one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve ever known (a lot like my father in many ways). I’ve known Connie for about 15 years now and we’ve been to hell and back together in some ways and our love for one another has endured a lot and been strengthened by it. Julie I’ve known for about six years now and we forged a very deep friendship almost immediately, based mostly on a mutual love of bacon. She just amazes me. Despite some pretty serious chronic health issues, she just never seems to stop. She has devoted her life to running non-profit organizations that help people and the environment and she’s absolutely tireless. I need a nap just hearing about everything she accomplishes every day. I love you all very much and my life is so much better because you’re in it.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. What are you thankful for?

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  • Sastra

    I’m thankful for blogs like this one. Thanks, Ed.

    Other things, of course — but I’m thankful that comments don’t have to be long.

  • karmacat

    I’m thankful for all the social justice warriors like you, Ed. When I feel despair about the US, it’s great to come to these blogs and learn about all the groups fighting to make the world a better place.

  • Tracy

    Ed, thanks for all you do. Will you at some point address the arguments made by Reza Aslan vis a vis Sam Harris/Bill Maher? I’m curious to know what you make of Aslan’s take on “New Atheism”.

  • caseloweraz

    I’m thankful that I only have to think about what I’m thankful for one or two times a year (two if you count New Year’s Day.)

    But seriously, I am thankful for the existence of this blog. It allows me to vent some strong feelings, to learn a thing or two, to occasionally indulge my fondness for puns and doggerel — and otherwise become guilty of attempted humor.

    I’m thankful that polio and so many other diseases are essentially gone from developed nations, and I look forward to their eventual eradication from the rest of the world.

    I’m thankful for the collapse of global communism and the end of the Cold War.

    I’m thankful that we got to the Moon (and damned impatient for us to go back.)

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I’m thankful that when the screws aren’t paying attention, I can “borrow” their smartphones and post on the internet. I probably should take their keys instead, but I’ve got twisted priorities. That’s what the papers said. And the prosecuting attorney. And the psychologist. And the judge. And, more recently, the parole board.

  • caseloweraz

    I’m thankful to have lived at the same time as a great number of people. Those of you who’ve been around this blog for a while know I love to make lists. Looking back over my life, I got to thinking of all the people whose contributions I’ve valued. I came up with a long list (still a tiny fraction of the total.) Then I mercilessly whittled it down to a mere one hundred names — a totally random selection that includes actors, comedians, writers, politicians, inventors, musicians and astronauts. Those names are:

    Pete Seeger; Jeff Goodell; Seymour Hersh; Theodore Taylor; John McPhee; Judy Collins; Michael Collins (Armstrong & Aldrin too); Joan Baez; Peter, Paul & Mary; Bob Dylan; Dylan Thomas; Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel; Phil Ochs; Jimmy Breslin; Sir Arthur C. Clarke; James “Ox” van Hoften; Isabel Allende; Diane Ackerman; Barbara Boxer; Douglas Adams; Ray C. Anderson; Lloyd Biggle; Joss Whedon; George Pal; Isaac Asimov; Stanley Kubrick; Marcus Chown; Jacques-Yves Cousteau; Sylvia Earle; Robert Wise; Oriana Fallaci; Elon Musk; Dick Gregory; Colin Turnbull; George Carlin; Jeff Bezos; Lisa-Ann Gershwin; Aaron Copland; Donald Knuth; Joe Romm; Don Lancaster; Gene Wilder; Forrest M. Mims III; Steve Jobs & Steve Wozniak; Bill Gates & Paul Allen; Steve Addiss & Bill Crofut; Jim Seals & Dash Crofts; Rick Piltz; Stan Freberg; Jane Fonda; George McGovern; Ralph Nader; Zoe Lofgren; John Steinbeck; Peter Schickele; William Lederer; Joseph Margulies; Bill McKibben; Donna Shirley; Leonard Bernstein; Dan O’Neill; Gerard K. O’Neill; Naomi Oreskes; George Orwell; Bill Press; Dina Rasor; A. Ernest Fitzgerald; Robert Reich; Story Musgrave; Carl Sagan; Henry Scammell; Gilda Radner; Molly Ivins; Sir Nicholas Stern; Gene Roddenberry; James Oberg; Barbara Jordan; G. Harry Stine; Jill Tarter; Robert Forward; Victor Borge; Lynn Truss; Steve Martin; James William Gibson; Hedy Lamarr; Chad Oliver; Peter D. Ward; Mary Tyler Moore; Dick Cavett; Phil Donahue; and Philip Wylie.

    A good many of those are whistleblowers of one sort or another. If there’s one single thing to be grateful for above all, it’s a willingness to speak out against the rationalizations and outright lies that entrenched power always assembles as a bulwark.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I’m thankful that we celebrate Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October, like normal people.

  • http://thorgolucky.com/ ThorGoLucky

    Happy Give Thanksing, and safe drively if travéling.

  • raven

    Happy Thanksgiving and thanks to Ed Brayton and his blog.

    The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.-Carl Sagan

    We’ve pushed the demon haunted darkness back in the last few centuries. There is still a long way to go. FTB’s is one of the brighter flashlights.

  • davefitz

    I’m thankful for Jupiter. Without its gravity, we would never have the chance to argue with crazy relatives at Thanksgiving.

  • throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble

    I know this thank you was specifically meant for me since I just recently spent $30 to get rid of these STUPID FUCKING ANNOYING INVASIVE ADVERTISEMENTS. Ahem… You’re welcome! And thanks for the great content all these years!