Article on an Austin Atheist

Here’s a nice article from the Austin American-Statesman about Matt Dillahunty, president of the Atheist Community of Austin and host of both the weekly television show “The Atheist Experience” and the Internet radio show called “The Non-Prophets.”

The article talks about how atheism was a far cry from the path Dillahunty was “supposed” to follow:

Dillahunty’s vocation is shocking for his parents, who raised him in a devout Southern Baptist home and had once expected him to enter ministry.

Dillahunty’s pursuit for biblical truth took him on an unexpected journey. Instead of trying to win souls for God, the 37-year-old preaches the gospel of science and provable reality in the hope of keeping someone else from spending years on religion.

One excerpt was particularly disheartening:

Last year, after a relative discovered Dillahunty’s work on the Web and confronted him, Dillahunty realized that he would have to tell his parents. His father was stunned. He sent Dillahunty an apologetic letter saying he had failed him as a father and a spiritual leader. He said he regretted that his son would never be able to love anyone because atheism is a selfish belief.

His mother gave him books on Christianity and vowed to keep trying to return him to the fold.

He doesn’t expect to convince them that their beliefs are wrong. But it’s hard to shake his frustration with the labels they’ve given him: selfish, immoral, lost.

“You can build a moral code rationally from a few philosophical precepts,” Dillahunty said. His basic principle of ethics is “do the most good and the least harm possible.”

Definitely worth a read.

[tags]atheist, atheism, Austin American-Statesman, Matt Dillahunty, Atheist Community of Austin, The Atheist Experience, The Non-Prophets, Southern Baptist, Christian, Bible, God, religion[/tags]

  • txatheist

    I’ve been politely asking Eileen Flynn to do a write up on atheism and it happened. She interviewed an atheist for something about 2 years ago but it was a xian piece so the counter point was about 2 sentences. Someone actually wrote the Austin Statesman, got their opinion published, and said it was a great article except to hear the opinion of an atheist on the matter.

  • http://austinatheist.blogspot.com/ AustinAtheist

    I must be slipping. I’ll have to go read it, and maybe post something later. Expect some link love soon.

  • http://patrickimo.blogspot.com Patrick Craig

    The article in the Statesman was definitely worth reading. I’m kinda steamed about the “Atheist preaching” angle, it makes Atheism look once again like some kind of alternative religion. The “A” means “no” or “not,” to my understanding. Of course, making Atheism into a kind of religion does afford us the opportunity to defend ourselves using established anti-discrimination laws, but once we do that the courts will immediately switch back to agreeing with that previous “no” or “not” designation. And the attacks will continue…

    Keep up the great work, Matt Dillahunty. We in the Atheist community are behind you all the way. I look forward to seeing more of your work!