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.