Free Speech Atheists


Free Speech Atheists

This group is all about the freedom of expression, from an Atheist point of view. As the nonbelieving minority in a quasi-theocracy, it is essential to all we hold dear that our voices never fall silent.

Location: Virginia Beach/Norfolk
Members: 155
Latest Activity: Jun 29, 2015

Current Group Activities:

Hey all, We've moved to Virginia Beach... We are currently looking into setting up another meet up with everyone.  So keep coming back and post some thoughts. 


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**We have a carpool going so if you'd like to meet with us and enjoy a road trip, please let us know.**

Our Last Gathering:
Sept. 16, 2009

We met up with Richard Dawkins to hear his lecture on his new book,"The Greatest Show On Earth." As always, he was well spoken, educated, and humorous. After the lecture, we all gathered in a rather large line to get our favorite Dawkins books signed. It was well worth the trip.

All this followed by a nice dinner with like-minded friends. Thank you Matt L for informing us of the Dawkins lecture.

Not sure when we will be able to have our next meeting but check back for updates.

Discussion Forum

The Death of Evolution? LMAO!!! (creationist crap)

Started by Reverend AtheiStar. Last reply by willybilly30 Nov 30, 2009. 7 Replies

Atheist Nexus *(Hearts)* Women

Started by Jo Jerome. Last reply by Susan Stanko Oct 26, 2009. 6 Replies

Dawkins in VA!

Started by AtheistMommy. Last reply by Candie Ann Oct 15, 2009. 3 Replies


Started by AtheistMommy. Last reply by Susan Stanko Jul 30, 2009. 2 Replies

Oh yes, it happened again!

Started by AtheistMommy. Last reply by Jo Jerome Jul 30, 2009. 8 Replies

Stop Hate!

Started by AtheistMommy Jul 29, 2009. 0 Replies

Harry Potter: Child friendly?

Started by AtheistMommy. Last reply by Angie Jackson Jul 28, 2009. 35 Replies

Free Speech abuse?

Started by AtheistMommy. Last reply by AtheistMommy Jul 25, 2009. 3 Replies

Everyone here should watch Shouting Fire

Started by Billy Deaton. Last reply by Billy Deaton Jul 23, 2009. 4 Replies

Something I think we can all relate to...

Started by AtheistMommy Jul 23, 2009. 0 Replies

Possibly controversial

Started by Anne Halligan. Last reply by Diana Graves Jul 10, 2009. 15 Replies

A little Leonard Cohen

Started by Gecko, of Richie! Jul 4, 2009. 0 Replies

Are Atheist Camps Targeting Children?

Started by AtheistMommy. Last reply by Gecko, of Richie! Jul 3, 2009. 9 Replies

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Comment by Justin Pearson Smith on June 19, 2009 at 7:48pm
Getting a vasectomy was something that has been discussed between myself and my wife for some time now but after reading about Reverend AtheiStar's experience, I've been turned right off. I can think of at least one rather nasty blow to the groin and if that could lead me to similar complications then I'm out. Thanks for letting me know that there are risks involved.
Comment by Gecko, of Richie! on June 19, 2009 at 6:22pm
Welcome Alex!
Comment by Stephen Goldin on June 19, 2009 at 3:39pm
Best of luck, Alex. Don't let the yahoos intimidate you! I'll be therein spirit.
Comment by Gecko, of Richie! on June 19, 2009 at 2:42pm
Hey folks !! Can we take into a discussion forum, like ooo I dunno, "Comment by Jacqueline Sarah Homan 4 hours ago". Thank you very kindly:-)
Comment by Reverend AtheiStar on June 19, 2009 at 11:04am
Here's the my introductory story that I wrote for the Vasectomy Pain group a little over a month ago:

It was supposed to be a simple procedure. There was supposed to be hardly any pain, and recovery was supposed to be short. Ejaculation and orgasm weren't supposed to change, at all. My brother had it done. An iced bag of peas and he was fine. A boss of mine at a previous job had it done. No problem! The doctor assured me that it was simple, too. I just cut these two tubes and tie them off. No biggie! Even so, I had read in the pamphlet that one side effect was aching testicles for years. That scared me. An occasional ache was bad enough, but years? That sounded like torture!

But my wife and my father persisted with the pressure. She said if I didn't get it done then she would. That scared me, too, as I had heard how much more invasive that operation was. If something happened to her I would have never forgave myself. Not to mention the fact that our third pregnancy had been rather complicated. She had originally had twins, but one died early on. We didn't have confirmation of this until our newest was born -- with an accompanying empty bag. In addition to this, she bled very heavy during the birth, so much so that they kept putting these large pads down to soak it all up! So much so that she was cold because of it! At any rate, I didn't want to lose my wife just because I couldn't find the balls to get snipped.

So, my wife submitted my name and info to a local, high rated doctor who had been doing vasectomies for over 30 years. I was to be in excellent hands. His office called and I went in, very nervous. He checked me out , explained what he was going to do, what drugs he was going to give me (xanax & oxycodone before and hydromorphone & amoxycillin afterward) and asked if I was sure if I wanted this. Trying to sound brave, but feeling terrified, I answered "yeah."

It was the 13th of February, 2008 and I was running late to my surgery. I popped my pills and my wife drove me over there. I was still nervous, but better as the drugs were starting to work their magic. After a short while I was called in and motioned to take my clothes off, put on the paper gown and lay down on the table. The nurse swapped me down with an industrial version of iodine and then taped my penis up onto my belly. The doctor came in and he told me to put my feet in the stirrups. He then gave me a local and made a joke as he cupped my testicles, "I've got you by the balls." I managed to let out a nervous chuckle. It still hurt and I felt a lot of pressure through the drugs, but I kept telling myself that this was a "simple procedure" and that I've have plenty of time off from work -- and that I'd get to have condomless sex forever after this!

The surgery started to not go so well from the beginning. He said that I was bleeding everywhere he touched me and sounded very concerned. Then he asked a strange question. He asked if I had been kicked in the balls a lot. Hmmm, no more than any other guy, I supposed. There was apparently heavy scarring down there. I had no idea. He struggled for a while, but finally he was finished. He told me that I was the second hardest surgery he had every done! At the time, that sounded cool to me, but it was to be a harbinger of things to come.

The recovery period -- when I had ample drugs -- was actually pretty fun. I got to take synthetic morphine every four hours! I felt nothing when it was working. When it started to wear off and the pain would start to rise up, I'd just take another one. It made me sleepy, too, so I napped often and was treated like royalty! It was great. Physically, though, I could see that something was wrong. My balls were the size of a horse's! They were huge and hard and sleeping was uncomfortable no matter what position I was in. A week later I tried having sex and ejaculation hurt tremendously! The orgasm was very subdued, too -- nothing like what it was -- and I felt pressure that just couldn't be relieved. I was also having trouble urinating for some time, much like I imagine has a swollen prostate feels like (which is probably what it was). The stream was a lot smaller and sometimes it just trickled out. About three weeks later, after the swelling had gone down, I started to notice that the veins on my testicles were enlarging at a constant rate. My balls looked like they were striped purple. The pain was still really bad, too. The veins and the pain got so bad that I had to call out of work. I could barely walk. I called the Dr. for an emergency appointment.

He said that I had an infection, epididymitis, that the veins were varicose and that I had a sperm granuloma on one side. He prescribed antibiotics and the pain subsided, but never truly went away. That was my first infection. My balls still would ache after this, just not so intensely. He said to take lots of ibuprofen and it should go away in no time. It didn't. It got worse to the point of thick, swollen veins that started to extend to my penis. By mid-December started to feel an itching/burning sensation right behind the head of my penis on the top side, that would get worse after sex. I thought maybe it was a yeast infection and so sprayed it down with some Micatin. It seemed to help, but it didn't go away. I noticed also that there was a large purple vein on the left side, an enlarged capillary that was very dark and had a bulge in it towrd the bottom. Above this was where the biggest pain was. Here, where I had earlier felt the burning, was a big swollen vein that was puffed out.

I did some reading on the internet and people were talking about blood clot of the penis. That must be it! Would a reversal cure this? I didn't know, but we had tax money coming up soon and I figured it couldn't be that expensive, right? I had seen quotes of as low as $4,000. That was high, but we usually get a lot back for tax season and so I figured it'd be easy. Boy, was I ever wrong! When my follow up appointment with my doctor finally came he told me that it'd be $10,000 and I'd need $5,000 up front! He also told me that he had never heard of getting a reversal for pain! He was a big time skeptic. When he looked at my penis and saw the swollen vein he said, rather uninterestedly, "It's a vein." Yeah, no shit! I knew that. Why was I paying this guy $80?!!! He said that it wasn't thrombosed, but that it felt a bit hard. He talked about the option of cutting it out or trying to remove the granuloma -- which were both covered by insurance, unlike the reversal. No thanks, if I was going to get my balls cut open, again, it was only going to be for an operation that would undo this horrible, life-scarring mess. He ended up prescribing more antibiotics and some high dosage naproxen sodium, or Alleve. This did help for the time that I was on it and I was quite pleased. But then it ran out.

Frustrated with that asshole of a doctor, who treated me like a small boy and held my balls like it was some kind of man show of how strong his grip was, I decided to go to my Dad's doctor. He was awesome -- brilliant and kind, the way a doctor should be. He cured me with the bleeding granuloma I had in my belly button and when I was nearly dead from pneumonia. For him I waited an entire month, until the 1st of April. He looked at my problem and said that he was unimpressed and confused as to why I was in so much pain. He said he had seen a lot worse and suggested, because of a history of spider veins, that I was predisposed to problems like this. A very good point, actually, one that should have been asked about before the surgery by the other doctor! He gave me an anti-inflammatory opiate known by the name of Tramadol. Wow, was that stuff ever wonderful! It gave me energy beyond belief and I was completely pain free everywhere! My penis and testicles didn't hurt, my back didn't hurt, my feet, my anything. I felt young, again -- a sad fact considering I'm 32.

During the month I was on these pills I could scarcely remember that I even had a problem, aside from what I could see on my penis. The extra, swollen veins that were all over by then, just didn't matter. They were ugly, yeah, but acceptable because I just couldn't feel them! I wished my prescription would never end. But it did and so did my insurance. I had to cancel it as it was just too expensive. I couldn't afford my copays and so it was pointless. I was starting to have big trouble, too, making essential bills like rent and electricity. It had to end. It was probably a good thing, too, as the doc told me that this drug, being an opiate and all, was addictive. That's all I needed, another addiction!

So, here I am today with just ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen and my trust ice packs. I already took one Alleve this morning and it's doing nothing. I've begun stacking it with Tylenol, but that makes me really sleepy and I have three kids and a crazy schedule so that just doesn't work. I find myself slipping deeper and deeper into depression, reliving that day on the table and hearing the doctor's voice echoing in my head. "Are you sure you want to do this?" "I've got you by the balls!" There's not a day and hardly a moment when it's not on my mind.

If only I could travel back in time! I would warn myself to follow what I felt, to trust my emotions. They were right! I had a dark, sinking feeling about it and really wanted to get out of it, but felt locked into the commitment. My dad was even paying for it all! My wife was so happy that I was getting it done! How could I disappoint everyone? I should've stood up and put my bravery where it should've been, protecting me, not giving in to other people's interests!

I just want everything to go back to the way it was on the morning of that day, back to the days when I had a big interest in sex. Now I feel less and less like having it because I'm constantly in pain there. I sometimes have problems with psychological impotence, too, as I just have so many negative emotions connected to my penis now. It's hard to get aroused when all you feel is depressed and angry. I kind of feel like I was castrated that day and that the balls I see are just an illusion, a twisted hallucination.

It does still work, though, when I can get around the usual problems. At least I have that. When I'm in a good mood or inebriated or pain free, or all three, I have no problem. It's just getting to that point, with this wreck of a penis I now own, that's the problem. I'm just not interested, most times. That, in itself, is depressing. I start thinking about divorce and my wife cheating on me and that makes me feel even worse. And really, who could blame her. My moods are very dark these days. She's noticed it and so have the children. I tend to lash out at them now -- and then feel guilty and depressed because of that!

I could easily slip into alcohol or drug abuse at this point. Anything to make the pain in my heart and everywhere else to stop torturing me day by day. Sometimes I think of suicide and find myself wanting to cry. Sometimes I break down when it gets bad enough. The last time it happened I was in my wife's arms, sobbing uncontrollably.

When my sister called, telling me about her husband's successful vasectomy I just couldn't stand it. How come it worked for him and not for me? It just felt so completely unfair. I actually felt rage toward her because of it. I didn't tell her that, though. I just talked about how this was an inhumane, barbaric and unnatural procedure and how it was really fucked up that doctors never really warn you about how bad it can be. I told her, too, that I was thinking about writing a book on the subject. A book that I would have loved to have seen before; book that would serve as a warning to the rest of the world's unsuspecting men. Don't do it! Don't do it! Sure, the chances are low that something will go wrong, but what if it's you? What if, after popping in the bullet and spinning the chamber, you pull the trigger and it goes off? What then? What kind of consolation will you feel when that “minority" is you?
Comment by Reverend AtheiStar on June 19, 2009 at 10:41am
Just so you know, I think that tubal ligation is just as fucked up -- if not worse. A woman's side effcts can just as horrible and life altering. To be all inclusive: knife + genitals = bad idea!
Comment by Reverend AtheiStar on June 19, 2009 at 10:38am
I don't actually don't think mine was a botched operation. I think the operation, itself, is totally fucked up and damaging. It's been clinically proven that this procedure causes testicular damage, no matter who you are:'s-Health/Vasectomy-Causes-Testicular-Damage.234681

HealthMad > Men's Health
Vasectomy Causes Testicular Damage

by Brain Doctor, Aug 30, 2008

There are several medical references showing testicular fibrosis after vasectomy. This important complication it is not featured in the vasectomy consent process and has implications for testicular function and early andropause in vasectomized men.

Vasectomy is frequently described as a simple, convenient, inexpensive, permanent surgical birth control method for men. Approximately 500,000 vasectomies are performed in the United States each year. Another 40,000 are performed in the United Kingdom, with thousands more performed worldwide. Vasectomy is widely accepted as a safe procedure with acceptable short-term side effects (primarily bleeding or infection) and few long-term side effects. Chronic post-vasectomy scrotal or testicular pain is well described in the medical literature, but is not prominently featured on vasectomy consent forms. Testicular damage due to vasectomy has been a concern, but this information has not made its way into the pre-vasectomy consent process.

Testicular damage is well documented in all mammalian vasectomy models studied to date, including rodents (rabbits, rats, mice, hamsters, and guinea pigs), canines, non-human primates, and other mammals (sheep, horses, and others). There are studies in humans showing testicular damage (testicular fibrosis) after vasectomy that date back to 1985. See this reference from The New England Journal of Medicine.

“To determine whether there are any deleterious changes in the human testis after vasectomy, we obtained testicular biopsy specimens from 31 healthy men undergoing vasectomy reversal and from 21 healthy, fertile volunteers. Morphometric analyses of these specimens revealed a 100 per cent increase in the thickness of the seminiferous tubular walls (P less than 0.001), a 50 per cent increase in the mean cross-sectional tubular area (P less than 0.001), and a significant reduction in the mean number of Sertoli cells (P less than 0.01) and spermatids (P less than 0.01) per tubular cross section in the post-vasectomy group, as compared with the control group. Focal interstitial fibrosis was observed in 23 per cent of the specimens from the post-vasectomy group and in none from the control group.We conclude that significant morphologic changes occur in the human testis after vasectomy. The presence of focal interstitial fibrosis was associated with a high incidence of infertility in this series. There was a significant correlation (P less than 0.01) between interstitial fibrosis and infertility in patients who underwent a surgically successful vasectomy reversal (sperm in the ejaculate). None of the other measured characteristics correlated with infertility after vasectomy reversal.

Focal interstitial fibrosis is essentially scar tissue. The pressure-induced effects of closing off the sperm delivery system could cause this scarring by interrupting the flow of sperm through the vas deferens (the “tubes” that are cut during vasectomy). An alternate hypothesis supported by animal studies suggest that the fibrosis is caused by inflammation due to an auto-immune reaction to sperm or sperm components after disruption of the blood/testes barrier that is induced by vasectomy (see my other article on the immunologic effects of vasectomy).

There are many recent studies that report similar findings regarding testicular fibrosis and impairment of spermatogenesis after vasectomy. See this reference:

“METHODS: Testicular tissue was obtained by Trucut needle from men who had undergone a vasectomy >5 years previously or had OA from other causes and from fertile men during vasectomy. Seminiferous tubules were milked to measure sperm yields. Numbers of Sertoli cells and spermatids and thickness of the seminiferous tubule walls were assessed using quantitative computerized analysis. RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS: Sperm yields/g testis were significantly decreased in men post-vasectomy and in men with OA, relative to fertile men. Significant reductions were also observed in early (40%) and mature (29%) spermatid numbers and an increase of 31% was seen in the seminiferous tubule wall (basal membrane and collagen thickness) of vasectomized men compared with fertile men. Clinical pregnancy rates in couples who had had a vasectomy were also significantly reduced.”

And this also:

“Vasectomy caused a significant decrease in germ cells in the later stages of spermatogenesis. A significant 2.7-fold increase in total (peritubular plus interstitial) fibrosis was observed, which showed a positive relationship with obstructive interval. CONCLUSION(S): Vasal obstruction results in significant reductions in germ cells in the later stages of spermatogenesis and increases in testicular fibrosis, both worsening with an increasing obstructive interval. Testicular damage after vasectomy might impact upon the prospects for reversal.”

And this one:

“RESULTS: A significant increase in interstitial fibrosis was observed along with the obstructive interval (p < 0.001). Johnsen's mean score count did not associate with the obstructive interval. CONCLUSION: Interstitial lesions of testicular physiology and pathophysiology can be evaluated using the NIH-Image. Interstitial fibrosis, but not the intraseminiferous status, reflects the irreversible damage of vasectomized testes.”

And another:

“Testicular biopsy specimens from 21 consecutive men were obtained at vasovasostomy. Percent of interstitial fibrosis was determined quantitatively by NIH-image after Masson Trichrome staining. PCNA-labeling index (LI) was calculated on each testis. Interstitial fibrosis contributes to the irreversible damage of vasectomized testes.”

And yet another:

CONCLUSIONS. “Vasectomized men exhibit significant testicular histologic changes and increased autoimmune activity as compared with fertile control subjects.”

Why should you care? Well, fibrotic scarring of the testes not only affects spermatogenesis (formation of sperm, which most vasectomized men don't care about), but can also affect the autocrine and paracrine (hormonal) functions of the testes. You see, the testes synthesize testosterone, the main male hormone. Testosterone is necessary for normal male function and sexual function (erection and libido).

Testosterone deficiency as one might expect with fibrotic scarring of the testes can cause symptoms of “andropause”. What is andropause? See this reference:

“400 men attending a private clinic in London complaining of symptoms which they or their GPs attributed to the male menopause, were studied. The nature of the complaints and their frequency were remarkably similar to those reported in the Heller and Myers study. These included fatigue 82%, depression 70%, irritability 61%, reduced libido 79%, awareness of premature ageing 43%, aching and stiff joints in the hands and feet 63%, increased sweating especially at night 53%, and classic hot flushes 22%. Last but not least, 80% suffered erectile dysfunction, reduced early morning erections often being an early warning sign. The age range of 31-80 (mean 54) was wider than that of the menopause in women (45-55) reflecting the importance of the wide range of factors influencing its onset. The overlapping associated factors appeared to be psychosocial stress (59%), alcohol (35%), injuries or operations, particularly vasectomy, (32%), medication (31%), smoking (26%), obesity (22%), infections (such as the orchitis caused by mumps and glandular fever, and prostatitis) (11%) and impaired descent of the testes (5%).”

Notice the mention of vasectomy as a factor in one-third of these men with symptoms of andropause. These symptoms strike at the heart of masculinity and can include: decrease in erectile potency, decreased libido, fatigue, and reduction in muscle mass and strength, change in fat deposition patterns (to that of women), poor concentration, irritability, and reduced bone mass.

The studies of testosterone levels after vasectomy have led to conflicting data. This is partly due to reliance on "normal ranges" that are very wide (300 to 1200 ng/dl) and lack of pre-vasectomy levels for comparison purposes, as well as lack of testing for free (bioavailable) testosterone levels. In addition, the studies that show transient increases in testosterone levels reflect damage as opposed to health, and declines in levels surely follow. How could a transient increase in testosterone levels after vasectomy reflect normal function? It is more likely a reflection of damage and after the inflammation subsides you are left with inadequate testicular function in some men.

So, vasectomy causes testicular damage, scarring, fibrosis, and inhibits spermatogenesis in some, but not all men. This can cause enough damage to induce relative decreases in serum testosterone and can cause the symptoms noted above. For example, say your pre-vasectomy total testosterone level is 600 (normal range 300ng/dl to 1200 ng/dl) and several years after vasectomy, it is 350. (still in the “normal range”) Perhaps in your case, you would develop symptoms and require testosterone supplementation, for life. This seems like something that bears mention in the vasectomy consent process.

My purpose in writing this article is to inform men and their partners of some of the risks of vasectomy that are well represented in the medical literature, but are not mentioned in the vasectomy informed consent process. I think this is wrong. The idea that vasectomy has no effect on sexual function (libido, potency, and ejaculation) is not true for all men. If you did develop symptoms after vasectomy, you might be told it is “all in your head” or that “vasectomy can not do that”. At the least, get your total and free testosterone levels checked before you accept this explanation.

If you are considering vasectomy, please read my website first, then you will not get any surprises. If the vasectomy informed consent process were complete and fair, I would not need to write these articles, but it is not generally and this is wrong. If after you accept all of the potential outcomes, you wish to proceed with vasectomy, good luck to you.
Comment by Reverend AtheiStar on June 19, 2009 at 10:28am

I'm glad you made it through your butchering unscathed. Most men seem to do just fine. I'm part of the minority that Big Urology wants to keep a secret. I'm sure, though, that we're much bigger than they would ever admit. I mean, who is it who takes these statitsics, anyway? No one has ever asked me and my asshole doc treated me like shit the whole way. I'm sure he's reported nothing. It was seriously the worst mistake I've ever made -- and I've made a lot!
Comment by Nate on June 19, 2009 at 9:44am
An estimated 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse exist in America today.

Abel, G., Becker, J., Mittelman , M., Cunningham- Rathner, J., Rouleau, J., & Murphy, W. (1987). Self reported sex crimes on non-incarcerated paraphiliacs. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 2(1), 3-25.

1 in 4 girls is sexually abused before the age of 18.
1 in 6 boys is sexually abused before the age of 18.
ACE Study - Prevalence - Adverse Childhood Experiences

More than 20% of children are sexually abused before the age of 8.

Snyder, H N. (2000). Sexual assault of young children as reported to law enforcement: Victim, incident, and offender characteristics. National Center for Juvenile Justice, U.S. Depar tment of Justice.
Comment by Nate on June 19, 2009 at 9:33am
Very sorry that you experienced that, Jacqueline.

The 1 in 5 statistic does seem high, but if we factor in sexual abuse/assault experienced in childhood, I'm not so sure. Thanks for those statistics, Felch. But don't they show the number of rapes/year/population? Clearly, 1 in 5 women are not raped every year. But what happens when those numbers are applied to an entire lifetime? Doesn't the possibility of being raped increase?

Again, at first glance, I agree that the 1 in 5 number seems high. But I have heard similar numbers used in relation to childhood sexual abuse/assault.

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