Hello, everyone, Trina here.
As many of you know by now, I am the National Atheism Examiner (columnist) for Examiner.com. I want to share with you briefly how it is that I ended up with that gig before I get to my main point.
A while back, as a result of the recession, I lost my job. I was 43 at the time. I am one of those people who is skilled in a variety of areas so I typically am able to find a job rather quickly. Not this time. My area has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
I decided to take stock of my life, my skills, and my passions before moving forward. A few things ocurred to me. I have always loved to write. In fact, when I started college, back in the day, I did so with the intent of majoring in journalism. I changed my mind somewhat quickly after realizing that I would have to write about crap I didn’t care about.
The other thing that I took note of was that I was a relatively new atheist who spent her spare time devouring books, debates, and articles on the topic. (Do I know how to party or what? Woo Hoo!) In my quest to soak it all up, I realized that media outlets, in general, rarely give atheists a voice. To be sure, many of them, if not most of them, had religion sections. They employed religious writers. And too often, when the topic of atheism was written about it was done so by religious writers. We all know that many of those writers do not typically look on us favorably and some of them go out of their way to spin any atheism story negatively.
I had a mission. I wanted to work toward getting atheists’ voices heard, starting with mine. Of course, there are atheist blogs and the like, but I wanted our voices to be given equal time in the main stream news media. So, I approached about 20 media outlets, print as well as internet, about letting me write an atheism column. I waited… and waited… and waited….
About 2 months went by. I was beginning to think that it just wasn’t going to happen. And just when I was on the verge of giving up, I was contacted by Examiner. Initially, I was slated to write as a local writer — Miami area, I believe. But within a couple of days, my column was so popular that the Examiner powers that be decided to make me national.
I don’t mind telling you all that my column catapulted to the top of the Religion and Spirituality channel. With rare exception, my column stays in that top spot. Tee hee.
Since bringing me on board, Examiner has brought on other atheist writers. They write for the local online editions. There is one writer, Paul Fidalgo, who is the DC Secular Examiner. We also have Atheism Examiners in Milwaukee, Atlanta, and Manchester.
But, I want more! I want there to be so many atheist columnists that they have to give us our own category, which I am currently working on. Hopefully, very soon, there will be a “Freethinkers” category for secular writers, atheist writers, skepticism writer, and the like.
Yes, I do get paid for doing what I do. However, what is at the heart of what I am trying to accomplish remains the same. I want the atheist voice to be given equal time. I want atheists to be represented by atheists. I want atheists to determine their worth rather than letting certain religious folk do it. And I want atheists, rather than relgious haters, to define what the word “atheist” means.
So, on to the main point. I invite all you atheist writers out there to get on board. Join me at Examiner. If you have something to say, a voice, follow this link. Once the page loads, read all about it. If it intrigues you, click on the link to “join now.” Once the page loads, click on the Religion & Spirituality category. When the new page loads, scroll down passed the available positions and choose “or pick a topic we have not covered above.” Once you have done that, you are on your way. If we all rally together, we can become a force to be reckoned with, and we can make a difference.