The best place to start is at the beginning.

I recently extended an invite to my friend, David Burger, to be the second contributor to this blog.  David is the best activist and leader you’ve never heard of.  This is his inaugural post.

Please join me in welcoming him aboard! ~JT


I’ll start with the best opening line from any speech; My name is David and I’m here to recruit you.

But that’s what I say now. Until I met JT, I wasn’t recruiting anyone for anything.

It started my freshman year of college at Missouri State, with a xanga blog, and a slew of things done by republicans that annoyed me.  It wasn’t that difficult to find something, almost every day, sometimes multiple things a day, in various news media that I felt was worth sharing. A guy named JT found me though a shared “group” and felt some of that stuff was interesting enough to comment on.

Skip ahead to sophomore year.

I don’t recall exactly, but at some point this commenter JT says that if the chance ever arises, he’d buy me a sandwich. Likely due to my frequently stating that every food is improved when put into sandwich form. Sometime later, we discover we both attend Missouri State.

Small world, right?

We decide to meet up, after all, I have a free sandwich at stake. Via that old standby “AOL instant messenger” (remember that?) we decide where to meet.

This didn’t take very long.

JT & Me houses

 

It turns out we lived not just in the same city, but on the same street. Within about a block of each other.

I walked to his apartment, rang the doorbell, and some long haired guy opens the door.

Its a miracle!<– Jt at the time.
Me at the time–>

Beard? Check.

Sandals? Check.

Long hair? Check.

Bandanna? Check.

Over six feet tall & ability to whip some ass at Mario party? Check. Well….one of us anyway.

 

So that’s how I first met JT. “The Beginning” if you will.

This is where the recruiting starts. We just wanted to hand some pamphlets out explaining that if  all ideas on how existence came into being are valid, we want equal time for Flying Spaghetti Monsterism too. For every minute spent on Genesis, we want 1 minute spent on His Holy Noodles. It’s only fair…..right? (zero minutes being the optimal number of minutes to spend public education time on bullshit.)

Did you know college students like piracy?

We end up sort of accidentally starting a local chapter of a Noodle cult. It was a strange intersection of what happens when a pair of pirates discover “the system” will let just about anybody fill out official forms.

Like chalk FSM recruiting slogans all over campus. Organize counter-evangelizing events downtown, so the fundamentalist Christians can encounter fundamentalist Pirates.

 

 

And build giant box forts in the middle of Missouri State.   We also might have adopted a street.

 

And pointed out that our deity had bigger and meatier balls than the false god of “Brother Jed”

 

There was a radio show for a while, Rational Talk Radio.We interviewed Dick Cheney, who sounds remarkably like Darth Vader. He found our lack of faith disturbing.

 

While visiting JT’s parents in Arkansas we helped educate some church goers. Pastor Pudding & Brother Biscuit did not appreciate us being there very much. We told them we didn’t appreciate their congregation picketing a local business that had made a donation to the Gay Games. I guess they didn’t like people spreading the word that they were Homophobes4Jesus.I gave them both a pamphlet on Flying Spaghetti Monsterism. I suspect it changed their life.

 

Long story short, that’s how the MSU Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster got started. Just two guys who didn’t know any better. Eventually the church would have over 200 members, and some of those members went to start a little get together called Skepticon.

 

 

JT says people ask him about how to be an atheist activist. There isn’t a secret. You just do it. Even if it’s just you and one idiot friend with no sense between the two of you. Even if if it’s just you. Just get out there and do it.

I can only promise you that it will feel terrifying and awkward and weird the first 17 or so times you get out as an atheist activist among the general public. After that you’ll get the hang of it.

 


You can find me on twitter, @DrDavidBurger

I recruit in Kansas City, http://www.kcatheists.org/
& https://www.facebook.com/KCAtheists

  • John Eberhard

    Ah….memories.

  • Michaelyn

    One word: bromance.

    But seriously, this was possibly the most adorable post I’ve ever read. Glad you’re here, David :]

    • doctorburger

      Look, just because you’re the girl JT won’t stop blabbering about, don’t be jealous of us.

  • Carol Eberhard

    Omigawd! I just loved this. What great memories and photos. I still think the one of the two of you sitting at the table with your hands clasped is a classic. :)

  • http://www.thesceptickid.blogspt.com Carina De Almeida

    I like you already :) Welcome!

    • http://www.ipcpress.com Darrel Ray

      Be warned, David is all warm and cuddly until he gets his pirate gear on, then beware his sabre and pistol.

      • http://thesceptickid.blogspot.com Carina De Almeida

        Luckily I do some pirating meself Har!

  • redwood

    Thanks for the nice introduction and it’s good to find out about some of your and JT’s past. I was wondering how Skepticon got started in Springfield, MO. I grew up near there back when MSU was still SMS (Southwest Missouri State, not even the later SMSU) and Springfield was the “big” city we went to once a month or so to eat at McDonald’s and visit my uncle and his family. Some of those pictures brought back memories of places, like the Calvary (where did they keep the horses, I wondered) Bible Church. This was, of course, pre-pirate days and I eventually went to school up north to MU and then on to different places. Like one of my idols growing up, Lou Brock, said about his home state of Arkansas, I can say the same for the Ozarks: “It’s a great place to be from.”

  • http://www.cookiescholar.blogspot.com Rebecca

    Wow… I still miss the long hair, as all respectable as ya’ll do look now. *snickers*
    Miss you guys LOTS. Besos de lejos! (greetings from far away)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=587227434 lizdudek

    This is a pretty awesome origin story.

  • Grant

    I just read this, now I feel motivated! There is a local church with a billboard supporting the freedom to go to church, i want to pack myself outside it with a cardboard sign saying, “or not.”