How to Blog about Atheism

Austin Cline presents some excellent tips on “how to blog more effectively about atheism, philosophy, and religion.”

Despite that focus, it’s just a good list for people who want to start a blog about anything, really.

Except for one thing. There was one tip that stood out to me — It applies to atheism and perhaps only a handful of other topics.

Should You Write Anonymously?:
Anonymous blogging is an especially serious question for atheists because of how much prejudice and discrimination there is against atheism. If you sign your real name to what you write about atheism and religion, assume that your parents, coworkers, and neighbors will find it. Assume that future dates will also find it. Assume that people where you apply for your next job will find it. If you don’t want them reading it, blog anonymously.

Personally, I’m against the anonymity. I know it’s caused some friction with some people I know, and I’m sure it’ll come into play when I begin teaching high school this year. But I don’t want to keep my atheism hidden. I’m proud of it!

Of course, so are many of the anonymous bloggers. I understand why they choose to keep it a secret. But if we continue hiding it, it’s going to be that much harder to make atheism more acceptable in society.

Why do the anonymous atheist bloggers conceal their identity? Is it work-related? Family-related? Some other reason?


[tags]atheist, atheism, Austin Cline, how to blog[/tags]

  • http://sedition.com/ Ashley

    I think that you’re right. Anonymity is ultimately self-defeating because it undermines the influence and credibility of an outside view. That said, I lost a significant job promotion once at least in part because there was suspicion I had plugged my ears to the Good News. If my full views had been out in the open, as they are today, I can think of one more job I would never have landed too.

    Putting your name to an unpopular view will have a cost. But so does refusing to move to the back of the bus, shoot-up a village of Vietnamese civvies, etc, etc, etc.

  • http://spaninquis.wordpress.com/ John P

    It’s just a sad commentary on this country, all by itself. That fact that some of us are afraid to come out to the world in general means only one thing – repression – intentional, overt or otherwise.
    I’m looking forward to the day I can be a little more “out”. I already am in some circles, but still hesitate for business and personal reasons.

  • http://sansfaith.blogspot.com godma

    I’ve wrestled with this too, but ultimately I don’t think it’s a big deal to stay anonymous. I’d prefer to stay anonymous in general, not just because of my atheistic writings. I don’t think anyone I’ve conversed with online, using my pseudonym, has found me to be any more or less convincing because of it.

  • http://www.floatingaxhead.com michael

    i really do not like the anonymity either but it is understandable given the freaks in the world.

    we have a “disorder” or “dysfunction” for everything, so why not because you are this or that. it’s just retarded…no offense to that segment of bloggers.

    i think one tip he might be missing is to say you are an author. it seems i have met more authors these days. i think we are planning on coming up with a book cover and the tag “upcoming book” to see if it increases readership.

  • http://hugotheatheist.blogspot.com/ Hugo

    I’m totally out, there is not much to fear over atheism in my country but still I like to keep my on-line presence a little anonymous. Sometimes things are said a little harsher or more direct on-line and the potential to be viewed by dangerous people is real.
    I have a family and do not want to take that risk.

  • http://t3knomanser.livejournal.com t3knomanser

    I go by “Remy” in my personal life, but “Jeremy”, my full name, goes on all my applications. Since few people know that the two are like “James” and “Jim”, it effectively Google-proofs me against folks that wouldn’t like my views.

  • http://atheisthussy.blogspot.com/ Intergalactic Hussy

    I admit I use an alias, but I sign all my personal emails with Rosy or Rosy the Intergalactic Hussy.

    For instance my myspace is not meant for major business networking (that’s just not my “thing”). I have friends I’ve known since elementary school on there. Most of my friends are at least agnostic, so I know they wouldn’t have a problem with my beliefs or lack thereof. But I am proud of who I am and everything that makes me me. And I have links from one of my sites to the next. myspace, for instance.

    I agree how the anonymity can be self-defeating. But whatever gets people out there being honest.

  • http://crazyrainbowunderwear.blogspot.com yinyang

    One reason why people blog anonymously anyway (though, really, you have to jump through a lot of hoops to really be online and have complete anonymity) is just a matter of safety. If I put my name online, people can find me, and I don’t want people to find me, except if it’s by choice through protected correspondence. My mom tends to freak out about online predators and such, and as I’m still a minor, I don’t want to bring trouble to my parent’s door.

  • http://nomorehornets.blogspot.com The Exterminator

    I’m out in real life. Everyone I know, even casual acquaintances, are well aware that I’m an atheist. So I didn’t choose to be anonymous to hide my identity.

    My idea when I started my blog was to publish under a pseudonym as a kind of politico-literary conceit. For example, although readers had no trouble identifying the authors of The Federalist, the papers were published under the name “Publius.” John Dickinson wrote as “Fabius” and “A Farmer.” Benjamin Franklin was, at one time, “Silence Dogood,” and at another time, “Poor Richard.” Dickens was “Boz.” Samuel L. Clemens was “Mark Twain.” Francois-Marie Arouet was “Voltaire.” The list could go on and on.

    So I’m having some old-fashioned fun being The Exterminator. Of course, anyone who has a pressing, legitimate reason for knowing who I really am — or who wants to commission me to write a column or an article — can send me an email and ask me to “reveal” myself.

  • Diana

    I have friends who know I’m atheist, but I would absolutely lose my job in about a week if I were completely open. I’m a high school teacher in Texas, in a small town, in a small school. I’m in disguise as a nice old lady, but it gives me credibility and the opportunity to launch sneak attacks on their thinking process.

  • Mriana

    I know it’s caused some friction with some people I know, and I’m sure it’ll come into play when I begin teaching high school this year.

    I’d hire you, Hemant. If I were in a position to hire people that is. Anyone who complained, I’d be like, “A what? Really? Oh well. Who cares. He can do the job and he’s the best man for the job. All the rest were a bit screwed up in the head.” :lol:

    Oh I’m terrible.

    Maybe I should read about this blogging more thoroughly though. I made a blog post on myspace and I guess it’s not interesting, those who have read the book that is the subject haven’t found me, or something.

  • http://everydayatheism.wordpress.com EverydayAtheism

    I blog anonymously due to family reasons. I think my parents would take it pretty well if I could explain to them what I actually believe, and dispel any stereotypes they might have of atheists. What I really fear is my in-laws finding out. They really are nice people, but they have some prejudices (racial, religious, political) that get in the way of their basic goodness. Luckily they stay below the surface most of the time. If my father-in-law found out that I was a socially liberal atheist, it would cause so much pain all around, that I really don’t want to open that box right now.

  • Mriana

    It would cause the Inquisitions and the Crusades to start all over again if my mother knew what I really believe or rather don’t believe. I maybe 41, but Christians, esp family members who are fundies can be brutal. :(

  • anon

    I value my privacy. Those who know me know my position on religion. I blog to share my ideas, not my identity.

  • Karen

    Why do the anonymous atheist bloggers conceal their identity? Is it work-related? Family-related?

    It’s both, for me.

  • Mriana

    Those who truly know me, know I am not anti-Christian, but rather object to the behaviours of some who call themselves Christians. ie – Farwell and alike.

  • http://www.templewhore.blogspot.com Slut

    For me it’s a safety issue. There are some scary so-called Xians out there and I live in an area that is heavily fundie. Also my erotica attracts a few weirdos now and then who I would not want tracking me down with some other agenda.

  • Maria

    Those who truly know me, know I am not anti-Christian, but rather object to the behaviours of some who call themselves Christians. ie – Farwell and alike.

    I totally agree

  • http://fivepublicopinions.blogspot.com AV

    Well, if I were to be frank about my atheism, it would break the hearts of my poor Italian relatives ( :) ) and pretty much kill my chances of finding work as an English teacher in a Catholic or independent school.

    But there are other reasons to remain anonymous on the internet. Those who blog on political matters from time to time can find themselves the targets of those who disagree with their views. In the Australian blogosphere, this has at times gotten quite nasty: the “outing” of anonymous bloggers, posting personal details of targeted bloggers on Free Republic-style hate sites, attempts to have targeted bloggers fired, etc.

  • http://darwinsdagger.blogspot.com Darwin’s Dagger

    This is just blogging. It’s a nice hobby, and you might actually reach one or two people and change some minds, but for the most part it’s not worth upsetting family or antagonizing employers over. Hemant is famous for being an atheist, so anonymity isn’t really an option for him and he can get more done out in the open than the rest of us could. When the impact of my words can make a big enough difference in the world to offset the damage being openly atheist would do to my life I’ll be glad to drop the mask.

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    I don’t like anonymity, but I did have an anonymous period last year when I wanted to be honest but I hadn’t told people on the internet yet (or some in real life) how close I was to being an atheist. So I didn’t want to use my real name.

    I transitioned to it after a while because I’d rather people know who I am.

    I understand the problems being honest about certain things can cause so I understand why people might choose anonymity. At least for a while. Sometimes it can be a way to ‘test the waters’. But in the end it’s not ‘real’ – because in real life you can’t be anonymous. I think it’s best when someone’s online life and real life line up. Otherwise they will be tempted to avoid reality by living a fantasy life on the Internet. Which I don’t think is good for a person.

  • Keith

    How many atheists here have close family members who don’t know that you are atheist? It must be hard to carry this burden alone. If you share that you are an atheist, and someone rejects you – shame on them. But if you don’t even share who you are, you carry the burden of rejection already. Why carry such a burden all by yourself?

    On this site, much fun is had at the expense of Ted Haggard – and rightly so. This man was homosexual, but did not let his family or his work know this. Is it right for a person to keep who they are from their family and work? Was Haggard’s mistake in keeping secrets or in getting caught? It is undeniable that the man carried a heavy burden for the years he held his secret.

    Blogging anonymously because you fear strangers makes sense, IMO. Blogging anonymously because you fear your family or employer seems like a good way to end up Haggard on the inside. Blog anonymously if you want, but by all means, let your families know who you are and what you think. Give yourself a chance at acceptance.

  • Mriana

    Maria said,

    June 27, 2007 at 4:24 am

    Those who truly know me, know I am not anti-Christian, but rather object to the behaviours of some who call themselves Christians. ie – Farwell and alike.

    I totally agree

    :) I’m glad someone understands.

    Keith said,

    June 27, 2007 at 9:46 am

    How many atheists here have close family members who don’t know that you are atheist? It must be hard to carry this burden alone. If you share that you are an atheist, and someone rejects you – shame on them. But if you don’t even share who you are, you carry the burden of rejection already. Why carry such a burden all by yourself?

    Oh Keith, if you only understood. One day when I was talking to my mother on the phone, she suddenly got angry and DEMANDED under no uncertain terms what I believed. With her tone of voice, I knew if we were talking in person she would have had me angrily pinned to the wall like a stereo-typical evangical fundie out on a Crusade. I gave her lipservice and told her what I knew she wanted to hear and she stopped pressing me. She’s upset because my oldest is Buddhist and not Christian. However, she seems to accept the words Christian Humanist. She and her sister seem to have no idea what a Religious Humanist is, which given their attitude, maybe a good thing. However, I only added the adjective “Christian” to keep her from going insane on me… again.

    I only wish some people could understand that and how such behaviours are a BIG turn-off to Christianity and bring misery to others. I have never met a Humanist who goes on a Crusade for Humanism, in which they force people to convert. Humanism is truly a choice made out of REAL “free-will”. It is not imposed or forced on anyone, but research into the beliefs you were taught, told, or what have you is encouraged so that you can form your own beliefs or lack there of and as I’ve mentioned before, REAL research and knowledge can lead to an atheistic belief.

    Religious and Spiritual Humanists though are atheistic.

    Anyway, it is because of my relatives that I hang out on atheists and Humanists websites where I am accepted.

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Another Hugo

    I have added my name to my blog from the start. Bear in mind I don’t label myself atheist though. The journey was interesting. In the beginning I was incredibly careful about how I express myself, the journey to accepting my own perspectives and sharing them honestly under my name was liberating. But yea, I don’t call myself an atheist. I generally reject the supernatural though, and have more in common with atheism and atheists than typical theism.

    I blog under my name, as my aim is to reach my friends and the people that know me. They are my target audience. In many ways I maintain the “Christian” label (I don’t flaunt it though), meaning it in a cultural/moral way. I’m in South Africa, where we have a bunch of “good Christians”, and a bunch of fundie Christians (including extended family, where I will be expecting some grief some time, if they’ve got the guts – generally they respect my views/opinion too much to even know what it is, uh, yea, that sounds weird).

    Rejecting the atheist label (and toying in my mind with the ideas of “Christian agnostic”, “freethinking Christian”, and even “atheistic Christian”, hehe, or does Christian atheist sound better?) lets me stay in the culture, and play a part. It means I can share my views on the famous mystic from 2000 years ago (hehe), someone I do respect very much (following a book on the “historical Jesus”, “Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time” by Marcus Borg, amongst other things). I see him as an incredible free thinker that challenged the status quo, and what he taught is sometimes exactly what the fundies really need to hear. Yea, a million people, a million interpretations of scripture, eh. Well, serious scholarly study of the Bible does bear more weight with me than some arbitrary person’s views.

    Oh, my blog doesn’t contain much. Yet. I need to finish my thesis first. It has been a useful journey already though, I’ve found my voice, and it carries over to real life. I’ve already “challenged” the perspectives of a couple of unfortunate friends. Poor things. It’s a gradual process though, the main aim: just get them thinking.

    Oops, too long. Sorry.

  • Keith

    Oh Keith, if you only understood.

    I wish I understood better, and I’m trying to. Even though I want to, I cannot say that I know how you feel, or that I’ve been through exactly what you’re going through. I’m sorry to hear about your conversation with your mother … and I’m sure you’re far from the only atheist here to have experienced that kind of reaction from family. It is right for such behavior to turn you and others off to Christianity.

    Have you ever told her plainly that you are an atheist? Sometimes – not always, and not necessarily in your case – parents end up learning to deal with the truth about their children even when they may not like it and/or may overreact to it initially. I wonder if a part – even a very small part – of your mother’s hurtfully-communicated frustration is due to her sensing that you are keeping a part of your life from her. Of course, I could be way off.

    Just hate to see you experience the rejection of your mother without ever letting her see who you are. How will she see ever see the strong atheist full of intellectualy integrity, passionate honesty, and thoughtful interaction that you are if you continue to let her believe you are a weak, fringe, Christian?

  • Mriana

    No, you are way off. See, she believes if you are not Christian you are going to hell and therefore it is her duty to convert you and not stop even after conversion. Pounding you until you convert and making sure you stay in the fold after conversion or else. She does not believe in educating oneself in a secular arena and should be done in a Christian arena only or one could loose one’s faith. She has said many times when she has a sense that I don’t believe as she does, “It’s because you went to a secular university. You should have went to a Christian one.” :roll: She and her sister rejoice when the Religious Reich have a victory in government, etc etc.

    She asked the minister at my grandmother’s funeral to preach about “The Path to Salvation”. :roll: She was so proud of herself because the word was getting out on how to be “SAVED!” My son and I thought the minister was going to have a damn freaking alter call! I’m glad she didn’t because my mother and I probably would have gone 20 rounds about that at a funeral. Not even the Episcopalians do that!

    Even so, she was shocked by my reply when she asked how I liked her minister’s sermon at the funeral. I just said, “It was different.” My older son wanted out of there and to go home as soon as we could, but he understood I needed a night’s sleep before driving 4 hours. We endured a few more hours with my mother and aunt, in which we nearly had a religious dispute at least once in the hours that remained.

    The Crusade doesn’t stop with them and my mother truly believes God is real, walked the earth in human form, etc. She couldn’t handle the truth if I told her it was all myth. She’d be climbing the walls with insanity. She is what Dawkins talks about concerning “The God Delusion”.

  • Mriana

    BTW, my grandfather’s brother was an atheist after WWII and they spent the rest of his life trying HARD to convert him. It erupted in anger everytime. It never ended until he died and now all they do is talk about him being an atheist and how he is suffering now. :roll: It’s all insanity, IMHO.

  • HappyNat

    How many atheists here have close family members who don’t know that you are atheist? It must be hard to carry this burden alone. If you share that you are an atheist, and someone rejects you – shame on them. But if you don’t even share who you are, you carry the burden of rejection already. Why carry such a burden all by yourself?

    Keith,

    My family does not know about my atheism. While I went through the “deconversion” process of recognzing myself as an atheist my mother was battling cancer. My parents faith and church community was a great comfort to them and my personal views took a back seat to their happiness. Brain cancer eventually took my mothers life after a battle of nearly 8 years. Dad, family, and friends all spoke of her being in heaven/in a btter place and all the other silly comforting cliche’s used so commonly when someone passes away. During this time I kept my mouth shut, despite thinking it was all crap, this was obviously not the time or place to “come out”.

    Blogging anonymously because you fear your family or employer seems like a good way to end up Haggard on the inside

    I don’t see the Haggaard connection as you do. Big Daddy Ted was holding something inside that went against his outward persona, something everyone he knew/in his church was against. Me not bringing up my atheism at a baseball game with my dad is hardly the same. Although I am an atheist it is just part of who I am.

    You seem to think this would some great burden on me, but it really isn’t. I have a wonderful wife and great friends with whom I can share my beliefs. Not to mention some great blogs to read. This is enough of an outlet for me. Dad still doesn’t know, although he knows I don’t go to church religion doesn’t really come up in our converstaions. He also supports W and the war and we don’t feel need to hash out these disagrements over dinner. Our first child is due next month and if he aks about a church I will tell him my views. Until then I don’t see then need to bring it up.

  • Keith

    No, you are way off.

    It seems that I am. I don’t blame you one bit for not wanting to go through what your grandfather’s brother went through. Glad you have the opportunity to connect with like-minded others online. BTW, I share your hatred for path-to-salvation sermons at funerals. Comfort for the family and honor for the deceased ought to be the priorities at a memorial. Sorry to hear you and your family had to endure that.

    During this time I kept my mouth shut, despite thinking it was all crap, this was obviously not the time or place to “come out”.

    Good for you, HappyNat. That was very selfless.

    don’t see the Haggaard connection as you do. Big Daddy Ted was holding something inside that went against his outward persona, something everyone he knew/in his church was against. Me not bringing up my atheism at a baseball game with my dad is hardly the same.

    The connection is quite loose. Haggard actively protested against homosexual activity while engaging in it himself – this is the height of hypocrisy, and is not mirrored by someone who chooses to not force atheism into conversation. The connection I was pointing to was that Haggard didn’t let his family or workplace know how he really felt until someone else did – perhaps if he had done so he would have found some support in the midst of the rejection. That’s the only connection I was pointing too, and it is admittedly loose.

    You seem to think this would some great burden on me, but it really isn’t. I have a wonderful wife and great friends with whom I can share my beliefs. Not to mention some great blogs to read. This is enough of an outlet for me.

    Good to hear. I don’t know what it feels like, so I only imagine it would be a burden. I’m glad that it is not burdensome to you. Good luck with the birth of your child. It seems he has a selfless father who cares a lot about his family. My wife and I are welcoming our third child into the world next month … enjoy parenthood, man. It’s good stuff.

  • Mriana

    Keith said,

    June 27, 2007 at 3:24 pm

    No, you are way off.

    It seems that I am. I don’t blame you one bit for not wanting to go through what your grandfather’s brother went through. Glad you have the opportunity to connect with like-minded others online. BTW, I share your hatred for path-to-salvation sermons at funerals. Comfort for the family and honor for the deceased ought to be the priorities at a memorial. Sorry to hear you and your family had to endure that.

    Sometimes I feel sad that I cannot be open with my relatives, but I can be open on the net with complete strangers. It’s really backwards.

    BTW, Mriana is my penname, so I’m not exactly anonymous when I say I am a Humanist. Friends, aquaintences, and like that live in town and out of town who visit my website, esp my original writings section, go to MySpace, or stumble onto boards and blogs know I’m a Humanist. Eventually, the word will get back to my mother who lives 3 hours away and my aunt who lives 4 hours way, because my step-cousins who live near my aunt as well as other relatives have the internet. So, it’s really not that big of a secret, I just can’t come directly out with my relatives.

  • Karen

    So, it’s really not that big of a secret, I just can’t come directly out with my relatives.

    I feel the same way. The people I’m really close to and spend time with know where I am and what I believe. Some of my extended family knows and they are fine with it. Others I probably will never tell the full extent of my deconversion, like my fundy sister, because she would never let me continue my relationship with her kids and that would be heartbreaking for all involved.

    “Coming out” as a nonbeliever, sort of like coming out as gay, is one of those intensely personal decisions that can only be made by the person involved. I think we all know when the timing is right and we have to be kind to ourselves as we decide when and whom to talk to about this very sensitive subject.

  • Keith

    “Coming out” as a nonbeliever, sort of like coming out as gay, is one of those intensely personal decisions that can only be made by the person involved.

    Agreed. Can’t imagine how difficult and intensely personal such a decision must be.

  • Mriana

    Yes, you are right, Karen. Sometimes the pain of being selective in who we tell is less then the pain we know we will incur by telling everyone. My older son, a Buddhist, knows I’m a Humanist and has no issues with it, but he too knows better than to tell his grandmother because he knows the flack we will all get. It’s not always easy though not to suddenly say, “I’m sorry, but I don’t believe as you do” or what have you.

  • http://runawayscreaming.wordpress.com/ HRM

    I have a blog and I expressed why I write anonymously.
    http://runawayscreaming.wordpress.com/about-me-and-this-blog/

    It gives me the freedom to express my innermost feelings, whether it be about non-theism or busting the hallowed myths of family, America, or motherhood. I’m just getting started but I have already linked to this blog.

    Hemant, I am currently reading your book and I feel better about the world because of it. It gives me hope that there is some tolerance and reason in the world. Congratulations on its success and thank you for this site. I look forward every day to your posts.

  • Maria

    No, you are way off. See, she believes if you are not Christian you are going to hell and therefore it is her duty to convert you and not stop even after conversion. Pounding you until you convert and making sure you stay in the fold after conversion or else.

    I never understood why people try to force religion and/or belief. Forced conversion is not true conversion anyway; you can’t control what’s in a person’s heart and mind, even though you can make them say what you want to hear. Forcing it is pointless. It should come from within, if it’s going to come at all. Your mother should support you b/c you are her daughter, period. I can relate only very mildy-since I’ve become more deistic recently, I’ve had to keep it to myself from my family. (I’ve been able to be totally open with my friends though, and that is nice). My family would have no problem being friends with and/or living next door to an atheist, deist, humanist, etc.-but they wouldn’t a family member of theirs to become one. Makes sense? That seems to be how it is in a lot of families around here.

    Please keep writing about your experiences guys. It’s really eye-opening to those of us who weren’t aware of what you had to deal with.

  • Karen

    Please keep writing about your experiences guys. It’s really eye-opening to those of us who weren’t aware of what you had to deal with.

    The comments above reminded me I’ve been to two “evangelical” funerals and one wedding with the same “come to Jesus!” message. All three times, the altar-call mentality overshadowed the actual meaning of the event.

    At the funerals, one for a friend and the other for an uncle, the gospel message was presented in the context of, “If this person had to die in order to get his/her loved ones into a right relationship with Jesus Christ, they would have been glad to do it.” It was almost like a guilt-trip! Please convert and give this nonsensical, cruel and horrible death (one was cancer and the other was suicide) meaning! Ugh…

    The wedding was the cheesiest thing I’ve ever attended. The minister sounded more like a used car dealer. The couple were both new converts and most of their family members were non-Christians, so the pressure was really on. I swear, he said something very close to: “Try my Jesus for 30 days and I guarantee he’ll change your life!”

    It was just frickin’ awful, and I don’t think anyone actually converted at any of these events, or as a direct result afterward. Makes me cringe now!

  • Darryl

    I hate when funerals get hijacked by preachers pushing Jesus. My mother is a Christian and when Grandma died (she was the very center of our family) mom had the ‘family minister’ deliver the ‘eulogy.’ It was a eulogy enclosed within an altar call. I was not happy about it. How is it that Christians just can’t understand or don’t care that not everyone at a funeral loves to hear the Gospel preached at them, and that maybe they just came out of love and respect for the person who died?

  • Mriana

    I never understood why people try to force religion and/or belief. Forced conversion is not true conversion anyway; you can’t control what’s in a person’s heart and mind, even though you can make them say what you want to hear. Forcing it is pointless. It should come from within, if it’s going to come at all.

    I agree and that is my whole point when I talk about Pascal’s Wages and it being applied to any philosophy- it’s not real belief, regardless of the philosophy, unless it comes from the heart. Yet, my relatives believe in forcing people to believe what they believe.

    Your mother should support you b/c you are her daughter, period.

    Unfortunately, she won’t. She even objects to my activism and my choice of Obama. :roll:

    How is it that Christians just can’t understand or don’t care that not everyone at a funeral loves to hear the Gospel preached at them, and that maybe they just came out of love and respect for the person who died?

    Well, it’s like this, Darryl, they (they as in my relatives and their Christian friends along with others like them) believe in taking EVERY opportunity to preach the Gospel and save souls. To them a funeral is the perfect opportunity because you get many different people there. Of course, it is also and opportunity to get wayward “flock” members to reaffirm and returning to, via going to the alter, their relationship with Jesus (notice we aren’t talking God here, but Jesus. Of course there is the complicated, illogical, warped thinking, Trinity in which Jesus is God and the son (sun) of God. What they refuse to believe and realize is that they really are worshipping a mythological sun god from the past. :roll: Regardless, even a funeral is to them a perfect opportunity to gain converts.

  • anti-nonsense

    I don’t have a blog, I’m not sure whether I’d blog anonymously or not. I’m not terribly secretive about my name on the Internet, or my first name at least.

    My dad and brother are both atheists, and my dad’s side of the family is mostly non-religious (although my dad’s mom is a pretty strong non-denominational theist who gets into arguments with us about belief or nonbelief in god sometimes), except for my aunt who is Anglican and takes my cousins to church with her, I’m not sure if the kids believe or not, they are a decade younger then me (oldest is 13).

    The only close relatives I have that might not know I’m an atheist and may be strongly religious enough to care live 1000 km away and I’ve not seen or heard from them in years, they are my mom’s relatives and my mom died years ago and we don’t have much contact with her relatives except for her sister and her husband that live in town but I don’t think they are really religious either. My mom was an atheist too.

    Also, I live in Canada in a reasonably fundie-free area, so I’m not worried about losing a job offer or being beaten up or something like that over being an atheist. If I lived in Alberta or some other parts of Canada I’d be a bit more careful.

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Another Hugo

    And then, the following day, I often cringe at what I wrote the previous day, and wonder “what was I thinking, exactly?!” And I wonder if I shouldn’t have rather gone anonymous. But that drives me to improve, or something. It helps me grow.

  • HappyNat

    My wife and I are welcoming our third child into the world next month … enjoy parenthood, man. It’s good stuff.

    Thanks Keith. We are a mix of excited and scared all at the same time, the ratio has been tipping towards excited recently. Best of luck to you and your wife.

  • Keith

    And then, the following day, I often cringe at what I wrote the previous day, and wonder “what was I thinking, exactly?!” And I wonder if I shouldn’t have rather gone anonymous. But that drives me to improve, or something. It helps me grow.

    Well said, Hugo. I’m often (too often?) the same way.

    Thanks Keith. We are a mix of excited and scared all at the same time, the ratio has been tipping towards excited recently. Best of luck to you and your wife.

    That ratio will continue to go back and forth :-). Few things are more exciting/scary that seeing your child for the first time and know how much opportunity/responsibility they bring. Soak every moment in. Thanks for the well wishes, and best of luck to you guys as well.

  • http://mojoey.blogspot.com Mojoey

    I know I am a few days late on this one, sorry. I blog as mojoey because I work in IT and understand the risk of disclosing personal information on the internet.

    Everyone who knows me knows I am an atheist. Most read my blog too. Since becoming atheist focused, I have received a couple dozen death threats. It makes me feel better to know it takes a little effort to find my real name.

    I use my real name in my email correspondence. I feel foolish calling myself Mojoey.

    And for the record: My name is Joe.

  • Mriana

    You are in good company, Mojoey. Bishop Spong has received death threats too- from Christians. Some he had to take very seriously though and it’s all because of what he writes, which those who threat him do not consider Christian. It’s really sad that some Christians feel that they have to threaten to kill others who do not think as they do. :(

  • Maria

    Also, I live in Canada in a reasonably fundie-free area, so I’m not worried about losing a job offer or being beaten up or something like that over being an atheist. If I lived in Alberta or some other parts of Canada I’d be a bit more careful.

    Hey, what is Canada like when it comes to the “fundie” problem? Is it as bad as here?

  • http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com Alonzo Fyfe

    Personally, my attitude is derived from the fact that my father was willing to risk – and actually sacrificed – quite a bit in defense of what he believed in. He left the military after 12 years of service with a medical discharge – 100% disabled.

    The risks that I take in using my own name – even if they do include some slightly elevated risk of life, limb, and employment – are insignificant compared to the risks that he took, or the risks of millions of people like him.

    I owe it to them to be willing to take on some risk.

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    I’ve posted my response to your question here: http://tinyurl.com/yue2xr

    BTW, I wish you had trackback enabled.

  • Pingback: Rock Hudson and Liberace outed the hard way « Only Crook in Town

  • http://www.reasonabledissent.com Carl

    For me, it is almost entirely work related. I enjoy sharing my ideas and writing for others to see, but I have known too many discriminatory employers to take the chance. I’ve never seen any outright discrimination, however that doesn’t mean that they treat everyone the same. Politics in the workplace is a tricky thing, and if I need to use a pen name to not risk a future promotion, so be it.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X