I was browsing CNN.com's home page when I found a link: Conventions turn atheists off.  Considering my interest in the Democratic convention at least, plus my awareness of the whole fooforaw about the god-language in the Democratic platform, I decided to have a look ... and five paragraphs down, I just about dropped my teeth!

After word spread Wednesday that Democrats left God out of their platform, atheists rejoiced. “Truly amazing news,” wrote Loren Miller on Atheist Nexus, a popular atheist blog. “The Republicans remain in the firm grasp of right-wing Christian religiosity, and I really don't know what it's going to take to free them from it.”

I have to say, I'm of two minds about this.  Yeah, I'm STILL an atheist and very much OUT, and if there is fallout from my being more publicly outed, I think I can manage that.  On the other hand, I think I would have liked to have been ASKED FIRST about whether I wanted to be quoted, if for no other reason than the sake of courtesy.  Yes, my words are in the public domain, and it is all too easy to cut-and-paste something and publish it, with or without permission.  I also sort of wonder if they grabbed my comment and not someone like sk8eycat's or someone else's BECAUSE I use my real name.

Sometimes we may be tempted to think of Atheist Nexus as a private club, someplace where we can say what we want to and not worry about repercussions from within the site itself.  For the most part, it is ... but that didn't stop Dan Merica from diving in here and coming up with something for his blog, any more than it stopped him from going on the American Atheists' site and quoting Mark Musante or David Silverman.

Point being: if Dan knows we're here, others will very likely follow - perhaps a cautionary tale for all of us who enjoy the environs of Atheist Nexus.

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Comment by Idaho Spud on September 9, 2012 at 5:06pm

Thanks Joan.  How did you search?  I searched "Idaho Spud Atheist" and came-up with what looks like all I ever said, but it did come-up with a blog that is not mine, but has good things to say about atheists:

http://godsrbored.blogspot.com/2011/10/sacred-spud-idaho.html

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 9, 2012 at 4:49pm

 Idaho Spud, this isn't a matter of cowardice, it just good sense. Know how and why you are vulnerable and then chose what works for you. Your search is delightful and inspiring to follow and I really respect you. Good job!

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 9, 2012 at 4:40pm

Thanks for the caution reminder Loren.  I'd like to be like you and Joan Denoo, but I'm still a bit of a coward.

Comment by Loren Miller on September 9, 2012 at 3:49pm

Well ... SOMEBODY named "Loren Miller" may be legion ... but it ain't moi!

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 9, 2012 at 3:14pm

I just Googled you, Loren, and you are legion! 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 9, 2012 at 3:08pm

Holy Guacamole! I've Been Found!  I just looked me up on Google and I have no secrets!

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 9, 2012 at 2:30pm

Loren, I am not being critical of you in any way, shape or form. You know how fond I am of you and your thinking. But you surely gave me a chance to vent my spleen. Thanks. 
I'm lucky, I am the only Joan Denoo on earth that i know of. Married, I was Joan Smith! Bank accounts, utility bills, inheritance hunters, strangers contacted me frequently or billed me incorrectly. I like Joan Denoo for other reasons as well. 

Yes, we should all be aware that what we write is or may be available to 7 billion people or whatever number you want to put on it. That was the caution I received when I started telling my story on the internet. People were concerned for my safety. I was more concerned about getting my story out to the public. There have been some vicious calls to my home phone trying to intimidate me, but that doesn't work; it just makes me more determined. 
Your experience with this incident offers a cautionary tale to those who don't understand they may be vulnerable and I am glad you called attention to it. For that, too, I thank you. 

Comment by Loren Miller on September 9, 2012 at 6:44am

@Ruth:

I've Googled myself a couple times, Ruth, and it would seem as though there are a LOT of "Loren Millers" out there beside me.  I just did another search and NONE of the hits on the first page are me at all, nor does that CNN article show up.  I found it interesting that the negative comments on the article never mentioned those quoted, but just took cheap shots at atheists in general.

@Joan:

I have a vague idea of where you've been, Joan, and I shudder to think of it.  Religion has been nowhere near as hard on me, though that doesn't stop me from being hard on it in the appropriate venue.  Mostly, I just wanted to make that point that A|N is not so insular as we might think it is, and likely to become less so as time moves on.

Comment by Steph S. on September 9, 2012 at 1:02am
Congrats Loren! Way to go! You are so popular now that the news sites quote you! : )
Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on September 8, 2012 at 11:29pm

What we say here pops up in searches quickly. I've found my own words near the top of a Google search more than once. It's always wise to speak clearly and avoid harsh language.

In a way it's validating that your words flowed into mainstream media. More will hear what you think. I agree that using your real name makes you a more credible seeming source.

How did we get demoted to a blog, I thought we were a social network. "Blog" sounds like n more than a handful of contributors. At least we were deemed popular.

A few people may never have heard of Atheist Nexus before reading that, so you provided a drop of free advertising.

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