Fighting the Good Fight

I got sent this picture the other day from Andora along with a message:

thank you fighting the good fight<3

Well Andora, I appreciate the gratitude, but the picture says it perfectly.  For all the pains in the ass of defending the obvious over and over and over again and fighting for reason, equality for gays/women/anybody, etc., the roller coaster of activism is a blast!  I have gotten to meet Jesse, Lyz, Ashley, Michaelyn, Christina, Greta, PZ, Richard, Jen, Ellise, Brandon, and FSM-knows how many other awesome people with whom I can share this experience.  I even got to meet you in Pennsylvania last week and hope we get to hang out again!  Thanking me for this is like thanking someone for going bowling – it’s fun!  And we’re all in it together.

Greta once wrote about a piece by Molly Ivans (who I believe is the namesake for the Mollies awards over at Pharyngula) called Go Forth Unafraid.  In it, Molly talks about a civil rights activist she once knew, and pretty much sums up what it is to be an activist in one of the paragraphs.

So, Mr. Rauh would have been a great guy to have freedom fighting with us today. Fought during the McCarthy era, during the early days of the Civil Rights Movement when it was unclear that we were going to have any kind of success there, it was always hot, and we were always scared, Rowell used to come get people out of jail and deal with authorities. And he fought on the side of the right and the good most of his life, and toward the end, one of these big national organizations was fixing to lay one of these lifetime freedom fighter awards on him, and Joe was sick in the hospital, and asked a friend of his to go down to Philadelphia to collect the award for him. Friend went to see him in hospital, said “Joe, what do you want me to tell these folks when I pick up the award?” He’s looking at Joe lying there sick as a dog, and thinking about his life, all the struggles, all the hard times, you know, trying to fight for social justice, and racial justice, and trying to deliver on the promise of “liberty and justice for all” and all the hard battles, and all the hard work, and Joe looked up at him and said, “Oh, tell them how much fun it was. Tell them how much fun it was.” Now think about it. Y’all get down toward the end of your road, I want you all to be able to turn around and tell the young women who come behind you, and believe me, as women you are going to go through some special tests, that you just had a hell of a lotta fun raising hell.

I have a lot of fun raising hell.  I have even more fun for the people like you who do it with me.  Thank you.

ACTIVISM: What it's like to run an atheist group in Turkey.
PERSONAL: Sorry to disappoint you, Julian.
You guys are wonderful.
Update and pics from #AACon15. MST3K cast members were at my talk.
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.

  • Randomfactor

    You mean Molly IvIns, right?

  • Adam Lee

    I totally agree with this. Blogging, writing, speaking, going to conferences – all these things are ridiculously fun! (And when we get to beat some evil theocrat and kick him while he’s down, that’s even sweeter.) If anything, I wish I had started doing them all sooner.

    I realized the other day that with the amount of time I spend on my blog and all my other writing, it’s almost the equivalent of a second job. But I’ve never thought of it that way, because it doesn’t feel like work at all. I would happily do it forever for no money at all, just because being part of the atheist movement and its energy is such a joy.

    I realize, of course, that I have the luxury of not having to do it for a living. We definitely need more infrastructure that can channel people’s passion for the movement into good jobs. We need people to do this full-time. But it’s that passion that sustains us, not the money, and the more we can do to encourage and cultivate it, the better.

  • Andora

    D’awwwwww. Com’ere you! //squish-hug

  • Sastra

    To add to the quote file:

    “I stand four-square for reason, and object to what seems to me to be irrationality, whatever the source.
    If you are on my side in this, I must warn you that the army of the night has the advantage of overwhelming numbers, and, by its very nature, is immune to reason, so that it is entirely unlikely that you and I can win out.
    We will always remain a tiny and probably hopeless minority, but let us never tire of presenting our view, and of fighting the good fight for the right.”

    ― Isaac Asimov

  • lloydcasteel

    Now before reading this I wish to acknowledge I am one that slips up and gets judgemental and abusive to these people as well, it is human nature to brace up when pushed. I just want to say, we are supposed to better than the neo-facist autocrat religious fanatics. We cannot claim the ethical high ground if we use the tactics and actions of those that despise us for being rational humanist. I realise we are all going to slip up occasionally and react with anger and animosity. But we all need to remember they are the ones that commit brutality, they are the ones that use extortion and malfeasance to gain there goals. But we each need to remember that when we ALLOW them to determine OUR actions, this is what they want. They want to drag us down to their level so they can say, “See, those humanist are just angry people.” Do not feed their need for chaos and suffering, and make no doubt about reacting with anger only causes US suffering, it’s a poison that eats away at the mind and the body. Stand up in one voice, and cry “WE WILL NOT BECOME YOU.” We are better than that, we should have no more goal than to live in a nation that lives up to the dream for which it was created. WE have to live up to the IDEALS that made this nation strong. The ideals of LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. For every american, for every Human, for ALL life. The best defence against evil is joy, justice and freedom.