FtB Interviews: Al Stefanelli

It’s been a while, but it’s time to hope back on the FtB Interviews wagon.  We’ve heard from Greg, Jen, Kylie, Assassin Actual, and Greta.

Now it’s time for Al Stefanelli.

How did you get into blogging? 

I kinda fell into it naturally.  I’ve been a writer for almost twenty years, so when the venue presented itself, it just seemed like a great fit for me.  I continue to freelance, but my blog is an outlet where I don’t have to be concerned with content editing or the agenda of whatever publication I happen to be writing for

For what are you most known? 

Being an outspoken, no-holds barred polemic when it comes to religious beliefs, dangerous doctrines and delusional dogma.  I don’t really pull punches, nor am I out to win a Nobel Peace Prize.  I am best known also for my articles, columns, blogs and my book.

What is a misconception people have about you? 

That I hate Christians. I don’t actually hate anyone, I just don’t suffer fools very well.

What are you most proud of? 

My family.  We’re a motley crew, but each one of us thinks independently of each other, and my kids have been taught to think independently of their parents.  I am an Atheist, my wife is a Christian.  We’ve been married for over twenty years.  Our four kids consist of an atheist, an agnostic, a moderate Christian and a born-again.  Yes, I love them all, regardless and we all get along just fine.

Who is/was your hero? 

This is a tough question that I have previously spent much time considering.  I don’t know that I have a hero.  There are those whom I respect, admire and look up to for a variety of reasons, but there is no “Superman” in my realm of being.  People do heroic things, but are also fallible.

Are you famous? 

I think that is a subjective question.  I’ve been read by millions of people over the years, and lately my name has become fairly well-known in certain circles.  However, I do not enjoy the renown of some of my comrades, nor do I have the celebrity that commands the attention of the world at large.

Who is your arch nemesis? 

Pick a religious fundamentalist.  Any religious fundamentalist.  I don’t have my own personal “Mabus,” though.

Describe a time when you were wrong about something.  

I wrote a piece on the evolution of consciousness based on the work of a man named Julian Jaynes, only to find out that his hypotheses were largely debunked many years ago.

Did you ever believe in god? 

Yes.  From 1992 until 2005 I was a Pastor, first with a Pentecostal denomination, then as a Southern Baptist.

What blogs do you read?  Which blog will you never miss an entry on ever?

Funny you should ask this, as the advent of Freethought Blogs have put those I’ve been following for a while all in the same place.  PZ, Greta, Daniel, Justin, Ed, Jennifer and just about everyone here.

On what projects are you presently working? 

A novel, fiction, called “The Regiment.”

What do you do for fun? 

I play an online MMORPG called “RuneScape.”  Been playing for years and am a relatively high-level player.  Yes, I just whipped my geek out.

If you were limited to one adult beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I don’t really drink alcohol.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to, but considering the medication I am on, the results would somewhat less than pleasurable.  I will have a beer every now and then, though.  If I am feeling particularly saucy, I’ll do a shot of rum.

Talk about American Atheists.  Go nuts. 

American Atheists, as in Americans who are Atheists or American Atheists, Inc., the civil rights organization.  If the former, I think we are seeing a growing schism between the “militants” and the “accomodationalists” for a variety of reasons.  I think there is room for all of us, though.  If the latter, I am going to have to take the “party line” on this, since I am the Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc.

In the movie of your life, which characters would be indispensable to the story? 

My wife, my parents and a writer named “Homer”

What motivates you to do what you do?

I have zero tolerance for religious intolerance, bigotry and discrimination.

What is your occupation? 

Officially, I am Retired/Disabled.  My position with American Atheists, Inc. is a voluntary one, and thus, I perform my duties when I am able to.

Where would you like to live? 

I live in Peachtree City, GA.  This is where I came to retire, and this is where I will most likely remain until I am planted in the ground.  I would like to live in Sicily, though, my family’s home.

Do you play an instrument?

I play piano, drums, bass, guitar, banjo, harmonica and a mean Jews Harp.

What is your favorite holiday? 

Halloween

What is your favorite swear word? 

Fuck

What really annoys you?

Religious people who walk the earth with impunity and a desire to abrogate my personal freedoms.  Oh, and tailgaters.

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.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560212430 Andora

    Runescape!!! Yesssss<3


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