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One Hundred Thousand

Today I’d like to say thank you.  As of today, I’ve passed one hundred thousand views.  I’m honored and flattered, particularly at the number of people who have become regular readers.  And to those of you who have taken it on yourselves to recommend fellow atheist friends on facebook, or to send links for my articles to your friends, I owe you a special thanks.  You are what makes this worthwhile to me, and what keeps me digging through the research for sometimes thirty or more hours a week in addition to my time writing.

As some of you may know, LWaN is not my first atheist endeavor, but it is my first real attempt at flying solo.  For several years, I’ve participated in various online forums in various capacities, attended atheist conventions, and even helped out with podcasts on The Rational Response Squad during its heyday.  (Kudos to Brian for reviving the site after an extended hiatus.)   I’ve been an “unapologetic atheist” for well over a decade now, and this blog is what I hope will become a launching pad into the next phase of my activism.

I’ve been known as “Hambydammit” in atheist circles for many years now, and if I’ve taken heat for one thing more than any other, it’s been my anonymity.  And to be fair, it’s a valid complaint since one of my platform issues is the importance of living “out” as an atheist.   In addition to my recent “soul searching” with regard to faith and its effect on humanity, I’ve also been thinking about my own future and what direction it will take.  While I can’t say I have all the answers, I do think that an increase in my own activism is in the cards.

It is difficult for me to explain my current anonymity without threatening it, so I will have to leave a great deal to the imagination, but suffice it to say that for the past several years, my real name has been associated with things that have nothing to do with atheism, and if it became known that I am “one of those people,” it could have had real financial and social impact on people who have nothing to do with my activism.   (And yes, it could have had very serious impact on me as well.)

For nearly the same amount of time, I’ve been telling myself that I’m going to publish a book.  At first, I imagined it being something in the line of “Atheist Universe,” only focused more on what to do after becoming an atheist.  That’s what this blog is about, after all.  I’m not really here to win converts to atheism.  I want to help people answer the hard questions in life from a scientific naturalist perspective.   However, after the last few weeks, I’ve been wondering if there aren’t enough books out there explaining things in a completely logical and rational way.  Going back to my epiphany while watching 30 Days, I’ve been thinking a lot about the emotional impact of getting to know atheists as real people.

So now I’m in a rather interesting position.  Sometime in the next year or so, it will be feasible for me to “go public” without worrying about boycotts from the Christian community or negative local press.   I’m really not a very public person, and the thought kind of scares me.  Sure, I know a lot of people, but the secrets of my Christian life, the mistakes I’ve made, the hurt and anger I’ve had… these are deeply personal to me and I don’t even share them with most of my friends.  But I’m beginning to wonder if it might be worth the effort and… well… vulnerability.

Suffice it to say that I’m not sure if I’m going to go that route, but I might start sketching out some autobiographical chapters to see how they read.  Maybe in a year or so that will be my “grand entrance” into completely open atheism.  In the meantime, I hope to be able to continue to provide you with interesting and hopefully entertaining insights into the life and mind of a godless Regular Guy.  Thanks again to everyone who has bookmarked me, followed me on twitter (see the sidebar) or found me on Facebook.  (It’s Hamby Dammit.  Two words.)  Special thanks to those of you who have taken time to send me private messages, words of encouragement, or really anything else regarding my blog.  (Facebook is the best way to do that.)  It wouldn’t be much of a blog without you.

Thank you.

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “One Hundred Thousand

  1. If you have been deep into the church et al, it is always a bold step to announce your disbelief.

    There are always risks to whatever degree you are still hooked into a religious group or community, but there are also benefits too.

    Congrats on 100,000 hits. Well done, not everyone makes that tally.

    Posted by Athol Kay: Married Man Sex Life | March 31, 2010, 5:35 pm
  2. You are such a kind person! AND I thought for a moment you were going to say, I am female…31 years old…blah blah blah. Damn. At least you wear the mystery well. 🙂

    By the way, last time I went bowling with the local heathen group, no one asked for my ID. If you call yourself George Scott, and your face isn’t on a cereal box, you can be an outted atheist for a bit before you have to climb back in the closet!!! Just a thought. As a newly outted Atheist (9months) I hate to see my friends in the closet. I have many of them. So hang in there Hamby! You are not alone in OR out.

    Hey? Are you NOT a regular guy? I mean, should I be guessing in the celebrity zone? Either way! PEACE.

    Posted by PaigeB | March 31, 2010, 6:25 pm
  3. You could write a book about “The Life and Times of an Atheist in a Christian Society”

    Posted by Evan Martin | March 31, 2010, 6:27 pm
  4. I wish you good fortune with coming out. You may know of books that have been written by recovered fundamentalists – Dan Barker is one such, and is the author of “Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists”. Perhaps he has nothing to teach you, but on the other hand perhaps his book can provide you with advice and perspective. At any rate, I hope it works out and will be looking out for any book that you might write.

    Posted by Elliott Bignell | April 1, 2010, 3:37 am
  5. Heya Hamby =]

    Long time no see. I used to be the misspelled dinosaur known as Archeopteryx back in the RRS heyday. I’ve been poking around the forum today after an almost 2-year absence, and I’m noticing an absence of some of my old favorites–you being one of them. I googled you and see that you made yourself a nice blog. I subscribed, of course, and look forward to checking in on your work.

    I empathize with your feelings of uneasiness about full-fledged open atheism. I went through the deconversion process in the midst of a still religious family and, while I never find it hard to tell people that, yes I’m an atheist, when asked, I still find it hard to just bring it up on my own. It’s the stigma, mostly. Not only the stigma I feel from society in general, but also the one I learned growing up.

    To say, “I’m an atheist” isn’t to say, “I have a perspective on the world I’d like to discuss.” It’s more along the lines of saying, “I’m a meth addict and I think meth is great.”

    That is to say, experience has taught me that many of the people close to me aren’t interested in my perspective at all, because they don’t believe I HAVE a perspective. They believe I have a symptom. I think this is probably why talking about my atheism still feels like a confession more than a testimony, if you’ll excuse the religious terms.

    Anyway, I’m glad to see you’re still hanging around teh internets. I wish you luck on your grand reveal, should you decide to go through with it, as well as luck in all your future endeavors. I’m sure I’ll enjoy them.

    Posted by Matthew | May 31, 2010, 3:37 am
  6. Thanks, Matthew! Great to hear from you again.

    I still try to poke my nose into RRS business from time to time, but I did feel like it was time to make my own voice into a recognizable meme.

    I really like what you have to say about the perception of atheism. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to communicate both atheism and a worldview in the space of a bumpersticker, but it’s really difficult. Mostly, the difficulty comes from the fact that atheism is just a roadsign near the last exit on the materialist/naturalist/rationalist journey. We begin with the premise, “all that exists exists as something, and is qualifiable and quantifiable.” At least that’s my starting point. Without all the theists harping about Jesus all the time, atheism would never be a going concern at all. It only exists as a negation of someone else’s belief. It really doesn’t have anything to say about what does exist.

    To say I’m an atheist is extraneous except when someone says they’re a theists. It gives a lot more information to say I’m a rationalist or natural materialist.

    Posted by hambydammit | June 1, 2010, 1:59 pm

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