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 Joan Denoo on April 8, 2014 at 5:32pm

I have an uncommon last name too. Denoo, the judge, that is, was a well known "hanging judge" one that virtually made paupers out of divorced women of Whitman County. He told me any woman who could not stay with the father of her children did not deserve any child support. He further told me that the thing that was wrong with this country was that "niggers and lesbians" got the vote.

My students at the Community College, one of the places I worked, who were from Whitman County asked me why I took the name Denoo back. I had left Joan Smith behind and took my family name back. Then I began to get conversations from students, phone calls from angry women, and realized the legacy the Denoo name had left in Whitman County.

Well! It is my turn to give meaning to the name Denoo. Ed Lindaman, the president of Whitworth University, told me "WHO YOU ARE GIVES MEANING TO YOUR NAME!

I define Denoo as strong, intelligent, determined, resolute, unwavering, steadfast, stable, able to meet challenges head on, and now, I will figure out how to get a humor gene implanted! 

Comment by Grinning Cat on April 8, 2014 at 3:55pm

I'm with you. I also have an uncommon last name, and I chose to be pseudonymous here, on Twitter, and a few other sites. (I don't do Facebook.)

(Your spicy guacamole sounds... heavenly! :)

Comment by Grinning Cat on April 8, 2014 at 3:46pm

"By the way, Loren, you are right about guacamole.  It's damn near holy.  Especially with a lot of garlic.  They should use it as a dip for communion."

Shhhhh! Don't give the churches any ideas... if they replace those tasteless wafers with tortilla chips and guacamole, attendance just might skyrocket!

(Then again, one of the consumer-created ads submitted to Doritos to hopefully be shown during the 2011 Super Bowl featured a priest replacing the wafers and wine with Doritos and Pepsi, to similar effect -- and to some people's outrage.)

Comment by Loren Miller on April 8, 2014 at 2:45pm

I seriously doubt that was you, Joan.  Mostly, I suspect it was Dan Merica, trolling around A|N and finding something to latch onto.  I'm over it and have no worries about it, so a pseudonym is not necessary in my case.

I have no problem with your retweeting my stuff, Joan, but I will speak for no one other than myself as regards this issue.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 8, 2014 at 2:41pm

Oh yes, I remember now. It could have been one of my postings because I always attribute your work to you. Perhaps you would want me to use a pseudonym when I quote you? Just let me know. 

As for myself, I want to be known. So no big deal on my part. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 10, 2012 at 11:31am

Idaho Spud, It does seem that an alias is semi-protection. Not foolproof. My son-in-law answers all personal questions with nonsense. As far as I know, he hasn't been revealed online. That sounds wise to me, except for me, I have an agenda. By the way, when I worked professionally in education, I wrote under Joan Smith. Well, just try to find anything I ever wrote using that name.
My son named his son John Smith. Can you imagine the problems that creates for genealogists of the future? It is one headache I won't have to overcome. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on September 10, 2012 at 11:20am

Joan, My real name search (especially when using my middle name) comes-up with a disturbing amount of detail, but they do get some things wrong, which I like.  And, I find no quotes from me under my real name.

Comment by matthew greenberg on September 10, 2012 at 10:03am

wow, i'm quite surprised that a quote from a Social Network would be used in a mainstream news network's piece.  it's one thing if an interview on a local news network gets used to spotlight some issue, but it's another thing altogether to take something from this site and use it without permission.  it's good that you're not sensitive, but even though i use my real name here i would not want the publicity that something like this could generate.  personally i've made peace with the fact that A/N is not entirely private, and if someone were so inclined to look up my background it would not be difficult to find.  however, for your words to be used without permission is a serious transgression and i wonder about it's legality. 

please keep us updated if anyone tries to reach you for comment or clarification. 

Comment by Loren Miller on September 9, 2012 at 9:33pm

Okay, let me be clear about something: this is fame I neither desired nor solicited.  For whatever reason, Dan Merica decided to take a comment of mine and blurt it out on CNN.com for all to see, and I am sorely tempted to give him a piece of my mind for doing so without my permission or consent.  This is the kind of excitement I can do without in my life.  That I CAN deal with it and any fallout from it does in no ways mean that I WANT or desire to have it.  Anyone who wants to "congratulate" me on this doesn't understand how I feel about the situation or what it potentially means.

The ONLY saving grace about this whole business is that I live in an area where atheism may not be the big deal that it could be in, say, the Deep South.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 9, 2012 at 5:53pm

I put in Idaho Spud and got this: 


He doesn't write like you. The one you found doesn't either.

Have you searched your legal name? 

Here we go, this is you. I put in "Atheist Nexus, Idaho Spud" and got:




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