Often when I reflect upon my day, I am amazed how much of my time is wasted going through hate mail. No, I'm not talking about those "my god loves you and enjoy the fires of Hell" letters I get from those wacky and kooky theists. I'm speaking of the emails I get from other atheists. Yeah, I actually get more from our team.
The last four emails I have received could be boiled down to this:
"There is no such thing as a new atheist!"
"Once a preacher always a preacher!"
"Stop trying to herd cats you asshole!"
"How dare you ask for donations!"
I used to take time and answer each one, but have learned it is best to ignore them. Yeah, I have good answers, but it all simply adds to the time I've wasted.
If I'm completely honest (which often is not a good thing for me), I have to admit it is easy for me throw a pity party for myself. This was exactly what I was doing this evening. I had just closed a 10 hour day of working on the Bylaws for our nonprofit, and had a headache. My wife was pissed at me because I just had knee surgery and wasn't supposed to sit at my desk for more than 30 minutes. Blah, blah, wha, wha. I know. The martyr thing is so last year's Christian and I need to drop it.
As I was about to go to bed, I came across this YouTube video of a typical Youth Pastor calling out homosexual young people to repent.
How disgusting. These freaking kids are being abused. Period. End of discussion. We can fight and argue all we want about semantics. Who cares? We can complain whether Atheist Nexus, or American Atheists, or American Humanist Association should ask for money. Who gives a crap? All of the money our groups make combined wouldn't equal half of what one mega church brings in. And we're the ones who have open books! Big Whup.
It is so easy for us to be proud about how brave we are to "come out" (at least online) to our friends about being a nonbeliever. But what about the kids in this video? They are suffering? Look at their faces. They are not simply full of shit and need to get over their deception.
Who is going to provide a safe place for them? Who is going to provide the communities and friendships needed to fill the emotional gap and mend the mental abusive they have been forced to endure. Are we providing this? We, the "atheist" community? Perhaps on a very small scale we have. But it's not enough. Not yet.
Frankly, whether you love or hate me, I don't care (or I'm trying not to). Whether you join or leave Atheist Nexus, so be it (I probably need a real job anyway). But I can no longer apologize for being who I am. Perhaps my training as a minister did give me a lot of baggage. But it also fostered an oversensitive and caring passion for my fellow human beings. It's who I am.
Any way, sorry for the rant. I hope it wasn't too over-the-top. I blame the pain meds. Perhaps, I should go back and edit before I post this? Nah. I'll roll the dice. Those kids don't get to redo their time wasted.