I recently came out to my family and friends as gay and atheist. Throughout all of it, I have received an overwhelming amount of unexpected support. But, in every family, there is at least one bigot.
I have an uncle who, when I came out as gay, instead of rationally discussing it with me, decided he was going to start screaming Bible verses at me in front of the whole family. He ran off afterwards. I’d hoped that it was over and that he would just leave me alone, but he will not.
First, I started getting messages on Facebook telling me that I have “chosen” to lead a very wrong and sinful lifestyle. He said that he “loves” me, but I am going to burn in hell for “choosing” to be gay. He said I am a dark person and I am just angry at God.
I tried to explain to him that I did not choose to be gay and that I am not angry at God because I do not believe in him. He completely ignored this and just started spewing hate and bigotry again. I finally just blocked him from Facebook because I had enough of it.
Fast forward a few days. He found my blog that I write about atheists. He started to comment on the posts telling me I’m a horrible person, I am choosing to live the wrong lifestyle, that Darwin was an idiot atheist who didn’t know what the hell he was talking about, and saying that science has proved there is a God, etc. [Click headline to read more...]
***UPTDATE: Dustin’s blog is now open to receive your supportive comments!*** [Read more...]
Sunday morning I had the great pleasure to walk for 10 kilometers with 14 of my fellow members of Atheists United to help raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA). In response to my previous post two weeks ago, several of you sponsored me for a total of $740 dollars. Thank you! My deep gratitude goes to Dayanna, Pam, Joe, Rick, David, and three anonymous people. Your kindness helped to raise the Atheists United team donation to $1,295. This year’s event has brought in $2,520,684 for APLA and more than 25 other critically important AIDS organizations.
The mood was contagiously festive as 25,000 people walked the route through West Hollywood. Overcast skies kept the temperatures very comfortable but did not dampen anyone’s spirits. In our bright red t-shirts, we met many people who were curious about our organization or atheism in general, and who talked with us as we walked. There was no negative interaction with anyone.
Even Jesus chatted pleasantly and cordially with us while we waited in the crowd for the walk to begin.
Note: Letter writers’ names are changed to protect their privacy.
Recently my sister called to tell me that despite neither she nor my brother-in-law being religious people, and despite the fact that they both reject the idea of Jesus as a supernatural figure, she and my brother-in-law have decided to attend church regularly. Obviously, if that’s what they want to do with their Sunday mornings, that’s their business. My concern has to do with one reason my sister gave for wanting to attend church: they are planning to have children soon, and she wants to raise her children with a religion.
She said she wouldn’t care if they chose to leave the church when they got older, but seems to think that some sort of religious foundation is necessary. The other, somewhat more baffling reason is that she wants to make it easier for any of her children who would want to have a religious wedding in the future, since a friend of hers had to attend a lot of classes before getting married to a Catholic man, as this friend had not grown up Christian and was never baptized.
I realize the ultimate decision is theirs, but as a concerned sister and aunt-to-be, what can I do in this situation to help mitigate the harm I my sister will be doing to her children by allowing them to be indoctrinated this way? This seems as irresponsible to me as if she’d told me that she was anti-vax.
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This is your chance to save lives and help the atheist cause! On Sunday, October 13 many tens of thousands of people will see atheists being not just good, but EXCELLENT!
Since its inception in 1985, the annual AIDS Walk Los Angeles has grown into the largest AIDS fundraising event in California and has raised a total of $75 million to support the services provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) and more than 20 other AIDS service organizations in Los Angeles County. It attracts 30,000 participants each year.
I will be walking the 10 km route through West Hollywood with the Atheists United team in our bright red t-shirts with the Atheists United name, phone number, and web address. So far, 13 god-free good guys and gals are ready to joyfully join the massive crowds.
My personal goal is to raise $1,000, and with the help of three dear friends, it’s already at $200. You can help me reach that goal, help conquer AIDS, and help atheists demolish that annoying stereotype of our being selfish nihilists who don’t care about anything.
[Click headline to get to the really good part...] [Read more...]
The Santa Clara River is the largest river system in southern California that is still mostly in its natural condition, not cemented in like an enormous gutter. In southern California the rivers are dry most of the year, but the natural ones are home to abundant wildlife including rabbits, opossums, raccoons, hawks, eagles, egrets, coyotes, deer, mountain lions, and bears. Riverbeds that run near or though cities end up with a lot of litter and junk that contaminate the water and harm the native plants and animals.
Every year the City of Santa Clarita holds a River Rally where local individuals, families, and service groups gather to clean up a section of the river that runs through its city limits. A different section or tributary is selected each year, and in a single day the people haul out several tons of trash and junk.
Last Saturday, the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers joined over 1,700 people at the River Rally. I’m a member of this group, and this was our first effort to participate publicly in the community as an identified group.
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