You've seen the interview, right?  The one after that massive EF5 tornado that literally LEVELED Moore, Oklahoma, where Wolf Blitzer is interviewing a woman in the aftermath of that horror.  He asks her, probably thinking that this is bible belt territory and EVERYONE believes in god, if she feels as though she has to "thank the lord" and gets an answer he NEVER expected.

Well here, as Paul Harvey would say, is the REST of the story, told by Rebecca Vitsmun herself.  She describes what happened, what she was thinking and doing in the face of that seemingly impossible event, her clear desire to survive and to protect her son, her clear thinking even in the wake of that disaster, and most notably, her refusal to lie in response to Blitzer's specious question.

Here also is the beginning of something new and important: the organization of a secular support group, sponsoried by the Foundation Beyond Belief, which can provide aid and assistance after natural disasters, even as church groups have for years and years.  About. Damned. Time.

As for Rebecca ... they don't come tougher.

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I liked that story.  I figured the cats would make it :) 

Would they have even MENTIONED the cats if they hadn't???

She might have.  I was half expecting a sad story with squashed cats.  

If the story had been told by the illogical religious, the Lord would have been praised for miraculously sparing those kitties, just as my illogical relatives praised the Lord today for providing them with Sunday dinner even though the same lord forgot to feed people in Syria.

The Lard "forgets" to feed a LOT of people; more than 25% of AMERICAN children come to school so undernourished, or malnourished, that their brains aren't up to speed; they can't concentrate...and our fearless leaders keep cutting funding for nutrition programs for the youngest and most vulnerable whenever there's a budget "problem." (When a child's brain is growing the fastest, malnutrition can cause permanent damage.)

But they keep on feeding the Pentagon et cie even though we have no real militarily aggressive enemies anymore...except maybe North Korea  Maybe.  (And a lot of what we thought we knew about the late USSR's capability was crap.)

Loren, I am reposting on Twitter. This powerful piece says so much and touches deeply into the heart of what being an atheist involves. It is not an easy choice to be public about this, yet she reveals the courage, wisdom and fortitude it takes to stand in the bible belt and state her status. Thanks for the post. 

My question is, do you want me to post to Twitter from this site, or do you want to be left out of it? Or do you want to post yourself? 

I thought listening to her, I wouldn't have the same conflicts.  I would just tell Wolf Blitzer that I'm not religious - but I've never lived in the bible belt or had religious relatives who would Seriously Disapprove of me.  It makes my head spin to think that our supposedly so wonderful USA is like that in places. 

Joan, post it however you wanna post it.  I'm just letting the gang here at A|N know about Seth Andrews' excellent video, and throwing a thought or two of mine in on the side.

I have neither Twitter nor Facebook accounts, so rock it as you see fit!

Great lady.  Loved her answer to Wolfie.

I had not heard of Foundation Beyond Belief, or if I did, it slipped my mind. After the Hatian earthquake, the Richard Dawkins Foundation started up NBGA, Non-Believers Giving Aid, but I think what they do is fund relief organizations.  Secular ones.  FBB actually organizes first responders and other volunteer activities.  I'm IMPRESSED!

I tried to edit "Hatian" Haitian ("I left My Hat and My Brain in Haiti")...and everything froze.

Oh, well.

Also, I'm curious, how many us in here have heard, "But...but...but you're so NICE!" when we tell people we are atheists?  I need to take my shoes off to count the number of times I've heard it, and I've been outing myself to friends and co-workers since the early 1980s.

My crowning moment came when I was working for JCPenney Advertising in the downtown Los Angeles garment district.  I went out on the afternoon break to buy cigarettes (the olden days when we could still smoke at our desks), and all the places where I knew I could get them were closed.  It was not only Passover, it was Good Friday. I stormed back in the office and said rather loudly "Where the *bleep* can an atheist buy some smokes around here today?!!!?"

Many jaws hit the floor, but the three guys in my department, who knew me well, fell about laughing.  I will cherish that laugh forever.

I loved her answer.  Never expected it.   If we keep speaking out openly will we ever get respect and a place in the world?  Politics and such?



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