Find Your Tribe, Utilize Your Passion & Talent and Join Us

Find Your Tribe, Utilize Your Passion & Talent and Join Us October 27, 2018

By Rosi Guastella

“The work is tough, the hours are long, and we do not get paid, but finally, I feel like I am home. I never dared imagine that I would one day finally find my tribe, my people.”

I never imagined that I, a former Catholic from Puerto Rico, would end up being elected to serve as Vice President of the Atheist Alliance of America. AAoA has been around for decades and has practically helped build the atheist community from the ground up. AAoA is an incubator for secular activities, for atheists and atheist organizations. It now has more than 600 volunteers. We recruit people who are passionate and talented, and we make a difference that matters. I am so proud to be part of this team, this family, this tribe.

My first foray into atheism occurred at the age of thirteen when my father took me to visit the Arecibo Radar, in Puerto Rico.  He told me about the cosmos and the possibility of life on other planets. He told me about other galaxies and introduced me to a complex subject that made my young and developing mind want to learn more.

Little did I know when I asked my dad these questions this was going to spark my atheism, and later introduce me to Mark Gura and CW Brown. This would then lead to me being an activist, one of the greatest loves of my life. I asked my dad,  

“Was Jesus also born on other planets?”

“If there is no Jesus on other planets, then what do they believe?”

My father then said the words that have stuck with me my entire life,

“This is the reason you need to study and learn, learn as much as you possibly can and continue learning until the day you die. Never stop learning.”

In my late teens, I had another wake-up call. When I got ill and was forced to spend time in and out hospitals. During those long stays, I saw babies and young children battling leukemia and losing their fight. I saw mothers fainting, fathers screaming, asking, “Why? Why did you take my baby?”

Their pain was something I would never forget; it scarred me for life. Through their immense pain, I came to understand that there is probably no God, but even if there were a God, this God would have to be a perverse entity. This would have to be an entity who does not care for innocent children, or for people who suffer horrendous pains. He would have to be a psychopath who is indifferent to tiny bodies who writhe in agony as he sits there dreaming, blissful, and turns a blind eye, refusing to help them.

I am the mother of a transgender son. AAoA is currently working to enhance its LGBTQ program and Tina Hamilton, and I are excited to help people who are marginalized and stuck in bodies that do not match how they perceive their gender. Tina is a psychologist with a great passion for the community, transgender people in particular. This is her chosen area of expertise.

I’ve been working with Mark and CW for six months now. The work is tough, the hours are long, and we do not get paid, but finally, I feel like I am home. I never dared imagine that I would finally find my tribe one day, my people. We have formed a bond. It feels like we have known each other all our lives. Not all people make it at AAoA because we expect people to be their best. We don’t put up with nonsense, and we only recruit people who have passion or talent. I want to express my gratitude to Mark W. Gura and CW Brown for not only putting their trust in me but also for making me feel so comfortable that it feels like we’ve been a part of one another’s lives forever. We have a strong bond, but above all, we have deep admiration, love, and respect for one another, and this is the reason why we cherish each other so much, and why we enjoy working together.

The best is yet to come. Atheist Alliance of America will continue to achieve amazing milestones. If you are passionate or talented and want to make a difference that matters, look us up!  

Follow Mark W. Gura

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MarkWGura

Twitter: twitter.com/MarkWGura

 

Follow CW Brown

Facebook: www.facebook.com/CWBrown.PhilosophicalAtheism

Twitter: twitter.com/CW_Brown_

 

Follow Rosi Guastella

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ninarose.marina.7

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Cozmo the Magician

    Cool, you actually visited that amazing piece of radio astronomy. Jealousness (:

  • Brother TC

    “[God] would have to be a psychopath who is indifferent to tiny bodies who writhe in agony as he sits there dreaming, blissful, and turns a blind eye, refusing to help them.”

    That’s a poor assumption, but worse, your worldview leaves you without the objective moral standard you’re leaning on in order to judge God. In fact, you’re stealing from the Christian worldview in order to condemn God. That’s like climbing up on your father’s lap to slap him in the face.

  • Mark W Gura

    Brother TC, your smug assumptions about moral standards and “stealing” are hypocritical and ridiculous. Christianity has stolen from ever culture it has ever come in contact with, including Judaism, from which it originated. And here you are basing your life on the ravings of Bronze Age shepherds…

  • Brother TC

    Jesus was a Jew, and He lived a perfect life according to Jewish law. Hardly stealing. The gospel is for the Jews first.

    Do you really believe the Bible is the “ravings of Bronze Age shepherds?” Too much internet indoctrination for you.

  • Jim Jones

    Gods are impossible, Jesus never existed, and the bible is contradictory and badly written fiction.

    Ordinary faith is expectation based on previous experience.

    Religious faith is just wishful thinking.

  • Brother TC

    I don’t subscribe to your statements of faith.

  • Jim Jones

    At least mine are based in reality and are historically correct.

  • Brother TC

    All statements of faith are based on perceived reality and historical correctness.

  • Jim Jones

    No. No they aren’t. For example: Scientology.

  • Brother TC

    Scientologists believe their faith reflects reality and historical correctness.

  • Mark W Gura

    I agree with Jim Jones. Regarding “faith,” well, faith is merely opinion. Anyone who misrepresents an opinion as a fact is lying to themselves or to others. The problem for Christianity, even though it stole/borrowed (whatever you want to call it) from Judaism and other religions, is that Judaism disagrees with the fundamental premise of Christianity. Traditional Judaism does not believe that Jesus was the messiah.

  • Brother TC

    “Regarding ‘faith,’ well, faith is merely opinion.”

    Now that’s merely opinion.

  • Mark W Gura

    Brother TC, words do have meanings, and what differentiates an opinion and a fact is evidence. Faith is not based on evidence. It’s merely based on things hoped for and not seen. Doesn’t mean that opinions cannot turn out to be real, but initially, until unsbtantiated by evidence, opinion are merely opinions.

    Let’s test this. You undoubtedly have faith that Jesus rose from the dead. Why? What do you base this on? Do you have any incontrovertible evidence?

    Please keep in mind, the Bible is not evidence. It is just a book of claims. Treating it a evidence would be the equivalent of treating a soft drink brochure which claims it is “the best drink in the universe,” as evidence that these claims are true. The Bible is nothing more than Judeo-Christian propaganda.

  • Brother TC

    “Faith is not based on evidence. It’s merely based on things hoped for and not seen.”

    Interesting that you paraphrased a verse, but you left out the “evidence” part!

    “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1).

    Anyway, my faith isn’t an opinion, nor a decision I made to take a blind leap. Left up to my own opinion, I rejected God for 43 years.

    “The Bible is nothing more than Judeo-Christian propaganda.”

    More opinion.

  • Mark W Gura

    The Bible is based on Judeo-Christian mythology which has no evidence to substantiate its supernatural claims. This is a fact. If I am incorrect, please produce even one fact that proves any supernatural claim made by Judaism or Christianity.

    The reason I did not repeat the word “evidence” which is written in the Bible, is because here (and in many other places) the Bible is contradicting itself, so it makes a mockery of the word. “Evidence” is substantive because evidence can be tangibly, physically, tested, examined and falsified. “Things not seen” are not evidence. Things not seen are opinions and conjectures.

    It’s nice that you were an unbeliever for 43 years, I commend you. I am sorry that you fell off the wagon of logic and reason. I assume you count the first few years of your life in that count?

    You did not answer my question above, though, do you have any evidence for the existence of any god? Are you avoiding the question that I asked above, regarding Jesus’ birth? If you do not have evidence, then your faith is just an opinion–by definition.

    Let’s have a real discussion here. Why do you believe? I’d really like to know. If your premise is anything more than opinion, then maybe you will sway us.

  • Brother TC

    “Do you have any evidence for the existence of any god?”

    I have abundant evidence of the one true living God, even manifest within me, and so do you. The difference is, you suppress the truth in unrighteousness.

    I know you don’t believe that. Save your breath.

    “Why do you believe?”

    Jesus Christ saved me and I was born again, and now my spirit is open to see the truth I had always denied.

    “If your premise is anything more than opinion, then maybe you will sway us.”

    I just gave you a testimony that I claim to be fact. I don’t claim that I can prove it to you, but that doesn’t make it mere opinion, and it certainly doesn’t make it false.

  • Mark W Gura

    If you have abundant evidence please produce it. Proper evidence can be cross-examined and verified to be true. True evidence is falsifiable. This is why the fact that “water boils at 212 f at sea level” is a fact and why the statement “The color magenta is the prettiest color,” is an opinion. Your religious opinions are only that, opinions.

    There are many, maybe millions of “witnesses” who might testify to try to prove that the color magenta is prettiest, and even though these witnesses believe this claim–witness testimony alone does not make something a fact. Witness testimony is subjective unless verified to be true.

    You do realize that people are also “saved” by other religions around the world, and each person whose life is improved by Krishna, the Elephant god, or by Zeus thinks that his god/religion did through its own magical abilities. People have been saved by other gods for longer periods of time than by Jesus. Christianity is a relatively young religion.

    So how do you know it was Jesus Christ who saved you (by saved, I assume you mean made your life became better)? What methodology do you use to distinguish between other more likely possibilities? How do you know, for example, that Christianity did not merely act as a placebo, aided by your mental subconscious processes? If Christianity is a placebo, it does not make the religion true, it just makes it a good placebo.

  • Brother TC

    “If you have abundant evidence please produce it.”

    I have no desire to give you more evidence to throw into the wood chipper.

    “Proper evidence can be cross-examined and verified to be true.”

    Of course, you decide what’s proper and verified, and whose examination matters.

    “True evidence is falsifiable.”

    The existence of God is not a scientific proposition about the natural world. Not sure why you think it is.

    Your decision to evaluate the existence of God based on the scientific method is just a device for self-denial, and it’s a misuse of science.

    “Witness testimony is subjective unless verified to be true.”

    Are you under the impression that science verifies anything to be true?

    “You do realize that people are also ‘saved’ by other religions around the world”

    The preponderance of false beliefs does not impugn the truth. Now, if you’re claiming that nobody can know the truth, then you’re making a self-refuting truth claim.

    “So how do you know it was Jesus Christ who saved you”

    By the witness of the Holy Spirit who indwells me as a believer, and by the word of God.

    “by saved, I assume you mean made your life became better”

    By saved, I mean saved from justice and death.

    “What methodology do you use to distinguish between other more likely possibilities?”

    When it comes to understanding the natural universe, I favor the scientific method. When it comes to God, I lean on His word, prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

    “If Christianity is a placebo, it does not make the religion true, it just makes it a good placebo.”

    Things have become more difficult for me as a Christian. Things were much easier and more pleasurable for me as an atheist. My faith is definitely not a “good placebo.”

  • Mark W Gura

    Tell me why the believers of other religions should not be able to “prove” that their gods are real, using the same arguments. You have not given me any evidence, Brother TC. Not one piece of evidence to prove to me that your God is NOT merely your imaginary friend. Here is what your answers sound like to me.

    You say:
    “I have no desire to give you more evidence…”

    “Of course, you decide what’s proper and verified…”

    “Your decision to evaluate the existence of [my imaginary friend] based on the scientific method is just a device for self-denial, and it’s a misuse of science.”

    I know my imaginary friend is real “By the witness of [my other imaginary friend] who indwells me as a believer, and by the word of [my imaginary friend.”

    You do know Christians have much more acceptance in society, more legal rights, more business opportunities, etc. Not sure why atheism would be easier for you? Being a Christian was much easier for me. By a “good placebo,” I meant “mentally.”

  • Brother TC

    “Being a Christian was much easier for me.”

    Interesting.

  • Mark W Gura

    You belong to a privileged class of people and everything in the US is skewed to help you, laws, politics, the social-cultural system. You gain much more advantage as a Christian than you would as an atheist.

  • Brother TC

    I find it fascinating that you feel deprived as an atheist. I never felt like that when I was an atheist. I lived by the epicurean pleasure principle, and I thought I was a good and moral person. My atheist friends and family agreed. I was wrong, and so were they.

    I find the American style of evangelical politics to be a disgrace, and it burdens me much more now that I believe the gospel. I knew they were hypocrites when I was an atheist, and I get lumped in with them now that I confess faith in Jesus Christ. Besides that, I need to confront their hypocrisy whenever these subjects come up, which is extremely difficult to do without angering them, whereas before I could just write them off as superstitious fanatics.