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.
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.
|<– Jt at the time.
Me at the time–>
Long hair? 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 fun
|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.
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