My Phil Plait Story

***UPDATE: Phil’s my friend now! Yay!***

I got an email the other day that said I have a new Facebook friend. But it wasn’t a random person… it was Phil Plait, the excellent blogger at Bad Astronomy!

This was very exciting. As far as science bloggers go, Phil’s at the top of the pack. He even included a short message saying hello and that we had met at The Amaz!ng Meeting. That was true– I met him earlier this year. We didn’t really talk, so I was surprised he remembered me, but that made the Facebook add even better!

So I open up my Facebook account to “accept” his friendship. But I didn’t see a friend request anywhere… and then I was just confused. Because the Facebook doesn’t lie.

That’s when it hit me.

I help coordinate the Facebook page for Lori Lipman Brown, the lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America. The emails she gets for friend requests and everything else go to me. So I opened up Lori’s account, and there was Phil’s request, waiting… taunting me in ways he can’t understand.

Now, any normal person could probably just find Phil on Facebook and send him a friend request. I’m sure he would accept the friendship of one of his blog’s fans. He’s a nice guy like that.

But now, I can’t do that. I’ve built up the whole idea of getting a friend request from him. It just wouldn’t be the same the other way around.

Phil, be my friend!

I’ll now sit in the fetal position until Facebook sends me a certain email…

  • http://aboutkitty.blogspot.com/ Cat’s Staff

    I’d signup and be your friend… but I’m waiting to see if this Facebook thing catches on.

  • http://looneyfundamentalist.blogspot.com/ Looney

    Hello Hemant,

    I am trying to get something cleared up in my mind. According to my fundamentalist Christian teachers, secular and atheist are synonyms. From your website, this appears to be a good viewpoint. The more liberal flavors of Christianity seem to define secular as anything except fundamentalist Christianity. Is either of those viewpoints correct? Or perhaps they are identical? Or is there something else?

    Thanks.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    I am trying to get something cleared up in my mind. According to my fundamentalist Christian teachers, secular and atheist are synonyms. From your website, this appears to be a good viewpoint. The more liberal flavors of Christianity seem to define secular as anything except fundamentalist Christianity. Is either of those viewpoints correct? Or perhaps they are identical? Or is there something else?

    Hi Looney– There is a very big difference between these words. They’re not the same at all. A long explanation can be found here.

    Here’s the shorter explanation. Atheism is about not believing in God. Secular is about not having a point of view on the matter; God doesn’t come into play.

    So when atheists say we should have a “secular” government, that means God should not play a role in our government. It does *not* mean we’re advocating a government that says there is no God (or something like that).

    Similarly, our schools should be secular. We should not be teaching that we should not believe in God; rather, we should keep God out of the question. Let religious teaching stay confined to home and church.

    Many conservative Christians see this latter view as an atheist view, since God is not being mentioned in school. But there is a big difference between not bringing up God and saying that God doesn’t exist.

    Learning Calculus is secular. Being a cop is secular. Playing soccer is secular. They have nothing to do with God. They are not atheistic, though.

    Hope that helps.

  • Tim

    Say, Hemant, do you have a Myspace? I just bought your book (I’ve been putting it off for how long), and I’m planning to put up a little review as soon as I’m finished with it, but I don’t have a Facebook account (nor do I want one).]

    You sent me a message on Myspace awhile back, but I can’t seem to find it….

  • Alice

    You are the Friendly AND Sensitive Atheist. I’m glad I’m too old for this Facebook/MySpace/IM nonsense. Just reject me in person, like the old days. That’s the way it was and we liked it! Oh and get the hell off my lawn.

  • Mriana

    :lol: Oh Hemant. It’ll be alright. I’m sure. *hug* It could be much worse. He might have died without you ever meeting him. Sadly, one of my heroes did.

    Where am I getting with this. I don’t know. I have no clue what so ever. :( Um… Yeah. I’ll shut up.

  • http://friendlyatheist.com FriendlyAtheist

    Say, Hemant, do you have a Myspace?

    I do! The link is in the sidebar on the right… and right here.