I use a nom de plume because I have family members who are devout Christians (yes, they are fed the "good parts" of the bible and are unaware of the violence and hatred in both testaments). I don't want them finding out that I write very caustic pieces against religion. (On works not about religion I use my real name.)

So - do you use your real name, or a nom de plume when writing about religion?

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Thanks, Therese. I'm glad to see more and more people observing the rising tide of atheism. I think the Christians are scared; their god never existed and they're having to defend him with utterly no proof.
I use a screen name online for similar reasons to the ones you cite. However, my kids are, by their own choice and not by any parental pressure, atheists and so I have no long term reason to hide my rational mind under a bushel, or to mix it in a large vat of metaphors.

As I move towards retirement, I will probably go over to using my real name since it is only in employment that I have had problems. I'm a very specialized type of engineer and work as a consultant. As result, I can be terminated with no notice and with no reason. I lasted through a two years working for a hard right militarist-christian (which should be an oxymoron but isn't) and managed to maintain a low profile throughout that ghastly experience.

Ian - which maybe my real name ... or not.
Good point, Ian. I would not want my co-workers to identify my writings with me (several seem to be devout Christians). One co-worker is a Jewish man who would not be offended. So it's not just family I have to worry about; come to think of it, a friend of mine attends Catholic mass on Sundays and while he's a really nice guy, I'm sure he would not like what I have observed about the bible (it pains me to capitalize the name of that book) and Christendom.
Thank you, Bruce. I agree with you 100%. Your words are well thought out and Faith does not deserve respect.

I suppose my audience, the people I would like to enlighten, consists of anybody OTHER than co-workers, religious friends, family. Not because I would not like friends and family to think freely and break the bonds of the absurd, violent myth that Christianity is; it is true that people can believe two things at one time. This much we know. And these deluded friends and family members are not going to strap on a bomb or fly an airliner into a building. They just have an imaginary friend that seems to give them a feeling of peace. Sad, but true. But not as sad as Jihadist mass-murderers.

I know of the things you warn about. I have been honing my debating skills at various web sites, and you are right, "But Jesus said 'turn the other cheek' and 'love thine enemy'" are their first lines of defense. Fortunately I have read the bible and am able to counter with wicked screeds therefrom, and not just the OT: Jesus was a silly, violent, racist, evil bastard to according to what we read from the fictitious tome. So, I challenge them to read certain passages they have not been preached.

I also am able to battle their religious slings and arrows with evidence from history: MUCh more than people realize. The Inquisition and Crusades are but the tip of the cold, pious iceberg.

After citing many evil and violent verses in the NT, one Christian woman responded: Why do you have to ruin everything?

I replied: I don't. It was ruined before I got here.

Then there is always the temptation to say, "Sorry, your god never existed" or (as Dennet said) "so sorry, you've wasted your life."

I'd hate to say that to my reborn Christian sister and her husband, who attend Bible Study on Sundays (rife with obscurantism; I've read the pages, quoting scriptures, that they bring back home.)

But I gladly say it to strangers who are Christians! That's the nature of this task, I suppose. Besides, I only see my religious sibling about twice a year, living several states away.

On the other hand, I do understand what you are saying. Julia Sweeney's "Letting Go Of God" was just on (again) today (LOVE IT) and she goes through this stuggle with her parents. Eventually they "allow" her to be an atheist.

One other -- and more difficult -- task is finding journals, magazines to submit essays on the absurity and ultimate liabilities of religion, where you are NOT preaching to the choir, but which would indeed publish your work. Talk bad about God to Free Inquiry, Skeptical Inquirer, American Atheist, Wittenburg Door, History of Religions, Critical Inquiry, and your audience already consists of freethinkers ("brights" as Prof. Dawkins wants to call us).

Are there any other venues that accept such critical, apparently politically incorrect thinking on religion?

I forgot to say, I adore Pat Condell. I don't know if there is a THING he has ever uttered that I disagree with.
I use a pen name, which is the same as my 'internet presence' name. I suppose if someone really wanted to figure out who I was, they could, though.
I use a pen name for everything, not because I'm concerned about people discovering my true identity but simply because my legal name is boring and completely unmemorable.

That's my pic off to the left, that's my name above the comment; in short, that's ME.

As I've said elsewhere here, I'm at that point in my arc where I really don't give a good damn WHAT someone else thinks of my atheism or any other facet of who I am.  If someone doesn't like it, that's their problem.  Should they attempt to make it MY problem, THEIR problem just got a whole lot worse.

I use a nom de plume, simply because I want to keep my identity as an author separate from my workaday identity. 


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