Helping a Fellow Atheist Blogger

Ed Brayton is one of the founders of Freethought Blogs and he just went through a pretty tough health scare:

Ed Brayton with Jessica Ahlquist. Best picture *ever*.

Fast forward to Sunday night and suddenly I’m having trouble breathing. I can’t walk 5 feet without feeling like I’m gonna fall over, my heart is racing a mile a minute and I keep waking up drenched in sweat. I decide not to wait to see my regular doctor and not to try to drive to the ER, so I call 911. The ambulance came Monday morning and they thought I was having a heart attack. I get to Greenville ER and the doctor there immediately decides to send me to Butterworth hospital in Grand Rapids, a world-class medical facility, especially for cardiac problems.

Since many of us want to know what we can do to help, Ed has very forthrightly explained what he needs:

The good news is that I have health insurance, which I pay on a COBRA from my job with AINN (it runs out in six months and I’ll have to get my own insurance, which thankfully can’t be denied anymore because of the preexisting condition). But I’m still going to have some significant out-of-pocket expenses and loss of income during the recovery period (it’s going to be a couple months before I’m really back to normal). So you can certainly help out financially if you have the means to do so and it would be greatly appreciated. You can donate through Paypal (if neither of these work below, just go to and the email address is

Besides blogging himself and setting up a network so that dozens of other atheists can get more exposure, he’s just a damn decent guy. If you can help out, please do.

(via Camels with Hammers)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor


  • Richard Wade

    I enjoyed spending much of the day with Ed at the Reason Rally and at the Friendly Atheist dinner that evening. I’d like to enjoy his company again some day. Helping him is a worthy cause.

  • Kevin_Of_Bangor

    As for the story I’m sorry for your hard times but I’m trying to avoid being evicted from my apartment at the current time and having my car repossessed. How do I get in on this sort of help from fellow atheist? I’m a damn decent guy too.

  • Hemant Mehta

    That’s my fault with the coding. Fixed now.

  • Randy

    What happened to Ed is terrible. But he received care, and he is insured. As for “decent”, I would say “unethical” based on past behavior.

    As to this, I think it’s odd to mix in donations to your personal health care with donations to your blog network. The second button provides a monthly donation to the same email address as the first, but it’s referred to both as a blog subscription (to a free blog) and also as helping out. Financial transactions need to be clear. What advantage is there in characterizing a donation as a sale, or vice versa? And who decides when Ed is well enough for the monthly donations/sales to stop?

  • Lacuna

    How will he avoid the pre-existing condition issue? My boyfriend was just denied private insurance based on his Crohn’s diagnosis (but he was also able to get Cobra luckily). Based on what I read, only children are currentlt exempt. Adults not until 2014.

  • Dave

    Just to make sure that I’m not thinking of the wrong guy here: Was this the fellow who made that “You’re either with us or you’re against us” comment at the beginning of the Atheism+ rigamarole? That whole deal where atheists who didn’t join their exclusive club were to be considered enemies?

  • jjramsey

    No, that was Richard Carrier.

    (FWIW, I thought Ed Brayton was still a deist.)

  • Dave

    Right! Right you are. Okay, good. Glad I checked, rather than trusting my apparently unreliable memory on this one.

  • Bill Burcham

    I think he is mistaken. The prohibition on denial of coverage for preexisting conditions does not become law until January 1, 2014. If his COBRA is running out in six months, he will in general, be subject to denial of coverage.

  • Cecelia Baines

    Gotta say, I am jealous of Jessica’s 19 year old boobies…..I hate getting older…..

  • TCC

    He used to call himself that but has since changed his mind, as per this comment.

  • TCC

    I would say “unethical” based on past behavior.

    I’ve read Ed’s blog for quite a few years now, and there is virtually nothing I can think of that would rise to the level of being unethical. You’re full of shit.