About Richard Wade

Richard Wade is a retired Marriage and Family Therapist living in California.

I Gave a Sermon at a Church About My Atheist “Spirituality”

From my work on the local interfaith council in my home town, I’m familiar with several clergy from a wide variety of churches, and so a senior member of the Unitarian Universalist Church who knows me well invited me to give a sermon as a guest on Sunday, August 9.



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For These Campers, “How Do We Know?” Is the Most Important Question They Can Ask

Over 100 young campers began arriving on July 5 at the beautiful, forested Camp Quest campground in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in northern California. They were looking forward to a whole week of interesting camp activities and outdoor fun, but unaware that Terrible Lizards were lurking nearby, waiting to spring out!



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I Was a Guest Speaker at a Church Last Sunday

In May of 2013, Kile Jones launched a nation-wide project called Interview an Atheist at Church Day where he matched atheists and preachers for video-recorded conversations in their churches. I had immediately signed up as a candidate, but he was not able to find a match for me. Since then, he has continued to do interviews of his own and to pair up several more atheists with pastors. Finally, several weeks ago, he introduced me to Dr. Scott Colglazier, the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles, and we had the interview last Sunday, June 28. (Thank you, Kile, and thank you, Dr. Colglazier.)



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It’s Not Too Late to Partake in This Historical Moment!

There’s a widespread and pretty much true idea that everybody of my generation remembers exactly where they were and what they were doing when they first heard that President John Kennedy had been shot. Yes, I do, in vivid detail. My eighth grade English class spelling test was interrupted by the school principal who had come in to tell us the terrible news. The word our teacher had just told us to spell was the word “extraordinary.” I saved that incomplete spelling test with that last word, but over the years I lost it. No matter. The memory is far more indelible than the ink on the paper.

Since then, the precise moments of important historic events that were less shocking and painful I don’t recall as intensely unless I was somehow involved with them. I remember them if somehow I was taking part on the stage, even if only as an extra in the background, instead of just a passive observer in the audience.

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Atheists and Believers Respond to Westboro Baptist Church with Unity, Positivism, and Resolve

On their way to Hollywood to peddle their drug of addiction, hate, outside the Academy Awards Sunday night, half a dozen members of the Westboro Baptist Church paid a morning visit to my home town 50 miles north of Los Angeles. They targeted five churches in a series of brief picket protests for the sin of having female pastors and other doctrinal practices that they abhor. Armed with their typically vile signs and antagonistic rhetoric, they timed their demonstrations to be seen by the parishioners as they arrived for or left Sunday services.

A few of us from the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers (SCAF) joined 200 to 300 members of the community to counter-demonstrate at each of the churches, despite the drizzle of much-needed rain. Groups from other churches and faith organizations, many students from Gay-Straight Alliance clubs at high schools and the community college, military veterans, and plenty of families and individuals turned out to overwhelm the little sidewalk bigot squad with a flood of harmony, acceptance, and love.

Here’s a small sampling of the nasty and rather goofy messages of the WBC:



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