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This issue completes two years of me editing the "Critical Thinker." In the first issue (September, 1995), I made a remark that the "Critical Thinker" gets a new editor every year or so. Yet I have stuck with it for two years now.
Once again I am reminded of just how much time and effort and concentration is required to publish and distribute this magazine. Being semiretired, I have the time I need to produce a magazine I can be proud of; one that approaches my standards. While I pride myself on how the "Critical Thinker" comes out each month, a medical condition forces me to spend more time than others to accomplish the same work.
However, I recently embarked on some exciting projects and wonderful new friendships that demand huge chunks of my time. While this new direction has revolutionized my life, here I sit having used up much of the two or three days I've set aside for this month's issue, which just might be late.
So I reevaluated the role CRT plays in my life. This is important because I can't do effective work unless I have a clear awareness of my motives.
Probably the most prominent feeling is my friendship with Jerry Billings. While I'm on friendly terms with other members, Jerry means the world to me, and it is this relationship that provides the bulk of my stimulus. This is not to say we always get along: we have major cultural differences between us. But I must admit that "the cause" is no longer my main motive for being involved in the Center. Then again, I first got involved with the Center with the hope of making some friends.
My first contact with CRT came from my work with Rational Recovery, the secular answer to Alcoholics Anonymous. The Center has graciously allowed us to meet for free for several years, now. But the RR group owes me about $200, and I don't know how much longer I can continue hosting RR.
But I still need CRT for what CRT is supposed to be: an organization for Atheist activism. At CRT I make important statements and I have a powerful forum for self-expression. But potential friends, fearful of my atheism, write me off for my views and my ouspokenness -- not that this means much to me. At CRT, I have learned how better to cope with all this. It's not that we teach these skills at CRT, but that I get to hang with others who go through the same things.
So with that, get ready for Year Three!
Copyright ©1997 Cliff Walker; Portland, Oregon