I get email

Sometimes it makes my day.

Last April, I had the opportunity to hear you speak in Des Moines. I never really truly thought of myself as an atheist until you defined it simply. I’ve been a scientist and now I work in business medical/science and married to an atheist for many years. But it wasn’t until last month that I realized that all of my thoughts and beliefs were recognized by many more. I accepted this. And with your encouragement, I came out of the closet soon after the conference. And it wasn’t a surprise to anyone that I knew, funny enough. I’ve been wearing an atheist necklace purchased at the conference, because why can’t I wear it and be proud just like the theists. And today, a few weeks later, I was approached by a co-worker that has the same beliefs as me. As us. And it’s a beautiful thing. Happy Friday, JT. It’s going to be very nice. ~Tina

It is surreal to be in a position in life to receive this kind of missive.

I responded…

I have no idea what to say. Nothing seems sufficient.

So with the expectation of mediocrity in expressing myself, I will say thank you. Messages like yours are the reason I live. Thank you for contributing the meaning to my life that I pursue every day. I cannot exaggerate my gratitude or my happiness for you.

People doing what you have done change the world more than the summation of every talk I’ve ever given. Thank you for your bravery: it is the lifeblood of the movement we both love.


This movement is not the property of a handful of organizations and the public atheists with everybody else being towed through their wake.  This movement belongs to each and every one of us.  Our roles may be different, but it belongs to us all and we advance it in the way that we conduct ourselves every day.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.