Bear with me now. This is not going to seem relevant for a while, but I do have a point.

The Melbourne Atheist Convention is just two weeks away and there is a flurry of dieting (not just women either!), clothes buying and hair fluffing going on in anticipation of meeting people we've only met on line and who, we fear, think we are a lot more attractive than we actually are! I have a feeling that Australia's spanx sales have gone through the roof!

I admit, I've let myself go a bit feral over the last few years, sitting on top of my mountain and not socializing as much as I should, Knowing I had to go to Melbourne and meet with 2,500 of my fellow atheists, I've been doing my own share of pre-Convention primping.

So, (abandoning my Naomi Wolfe sense of rationality), I decided to take a stab at a 'miracle cream' from the Avon catalogue that would 'minimise the appearance of fine lines' and make my skin appear 'more radiant'. Whoopee! Ordered the cream and mentioned to the Avon lady that I needed it URGENTLY because I was attending a Convention in two weeks, and I had to have my wrinkles minimised and my skin radiating like Dr Who just before his regeneration by 12 March at the VERY LATEST.

Avon lady emailed (sadly, they rarely 'ding dong' these days) and said my cream had arrived and if I really wanted it URGENTLY I could pick it up from her house.

So, off I went to retrieve my cream. (Are you still with me - this does have a point!)

When I arrived, she gave me my miracle cream and said, "So, what's this convention you're going to in Melbourne?"
I waited two beats, took a deep breath and said, "It's the Global Atheist Convention".
Dead silence.
"Yes, I'm afraid I'm one of those dreaded atheists," I said with what I hoped was a winning smile, thinking, bugger, just when I find a good Avon lady I'm going to have to expose myself as a godless infidel.
Blank look, then, "Atheists?"
I decided to take a different tack.
"We're people who object to the intrusion of religion into government and state education."
"Oh!" she said. "Good on you! I agree completely! And you're getting together to oppose that? Good on you!"

She was really interested in the Convention and completely onside with the idea of keeping religion out of politics and the religious from imposing their ideals on to her BUT she hadn't a clue what an atheist was.

While I don't agree with Harris that we should shy away from calling ourselves atheists, I do think perhaps we should identify ourselves more with our stance on secularism than on religion per se. We might just find that we have a whole lot more support than we imagined.

Perhaps if more people actually knew what atheists were on about, we'd find that there are a lot of people who are atheists but haven't really thought about it.

And about the miracle cream? I'm only on day two. I'll let you know whether I look 10 years younger when I've passed the magical 7 day mark. ;-)

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Comment by DanDare on March 11, 2010 at 6:04pm
Couldn't agree more. Atheism is kind of nothing, and the dictionaries all have atheists down as rejecting god. I don't care if other folks believe silly things, I do care if they impose that on others, use silly things to run policy and refuse to allow criticism of those beliefs when they are promoted publicly.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 24, 2010 at 4:08pm
Thanks Ford, I'll buy you a drink at our next dinner!
Comment by Stafford Ray on February 24, 2010 at 6:49am
Chrys, having met you, I wonder; 'what would you want to change?' Anyone who is really worried about their appearance, perhaps a Burkah is the go! Now wouldn't that cause a stir at the convention... (Looking for laughing icon)
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 23, 2010 at 10:16am
Considder the one on the left the 'before' photo.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 23, 2010 at 7:00am
As long as the IV contains a good New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc Thisbe, you can hook me up and I won't care less what I look like.
Comment by Little Name Atheist on February 23, 2010 at 6:46am
Heh. You guys gave me my first laugh of the day.

Secularism, the dangers of rampant woo, etc...

Only knowing people by their writing, I don't expect everyone to look like fashion models. I'm certainly hoping that people don't expect me to look like one when I show up at a convention.
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 23, 2010 at 6:32am
Minimises the appearance of religious delusions after just one treatment!
Comment by Chrys Stevenson on February 23, 2010 at 6:29am
Awww, shucks, Roy!
Comment by Roy The Infidel on February 23, 2010 at 6:24am
With or without the cream, you already exude that radiance Chrys. :)

Now then, if only deconversion were as easy as buying a cream or perhaps reason and logic could be made into a magic cream. Reason cream by Logic. "Godless and Free in 7 Days!"



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