I Want To Be
About My Atheism
Reading the latest letter ("I Copied All Your Hard Work And Will Trade It For Personal Gain") in your updated letters section really pissed me off. I don't have a big enough vocabulary to express how much your site has meant to me. So when someone like this comes along and wants to rip you off of all of your hard work, it really bothers me. Especially when you begin having doubts about having the site up any longer.
I've always been an atheist because I never really had a reason to believe. But, after the atrocities of September 11th, with Christianity being shoved down our throats everywhere we look, I began visiting your site more frequently. I wanted to be more comfortable about my atheism. I found all of the resources I needed on your site. As a matter of fact, someone can fully educate themselves on the subjects of atheism, American history, and some branches of science without ever leaving your site.
So, with that said, I want to send you a check for all of your hard efforts. Also for teaching me (and several friends that I've sent to your site) so much. In the four months since the atrocities I've learned more about our origins than I ever did in my 26 years of existence. For this, I owe you.
Where do I send the check to?
Thanks a lot!
Just another P.A.M. reader
with no reason to believe
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Hector Lopez"
Subject: Re: Positive_Atheism_Letters_Section
Date: January 06, 2002 5:33 AM
when someone like this comes along
Now that I've huffed and puffed and all that, I'm still not so sure what the guy's motives are. Perhaps he's just an eccentric. The inconsistency of his message is what bothers me the most, plus the "stroking" (as they say in the field of consumer sales). But, until I know more, I must act as if, "If it looks like a hustle and waddles like a hustle and quacks like a hustle, I'll go ahead and treat it like a hustle.
after the atrocities of September 11th, with Christianity being shoved down our throats everywhere we look, I began visiting your site more frequently
Our stats were already on the rise, but they shot up after the Day of Atrocity. Now they've settled, but they certainly have not "settled back down" because we're still looking at almost twice the traffic we previously enjoyed.
It looks like you're not alone: many of us become comfortable with our atheism as we spend time with it (that is, as we spend time actively thinking about it or exploring our heritage or working for separation -- things like that). Almost as important, though, is the fact that others get more comfortable with our atheism! I'm not just talking about someone like my new landlord getting comfortable with my atheism as much as I'm talking about the public in general getting more comfortable with the fact that "We Exist. We're Atheist. Get Over It!"
In the four months since the atrocities I've learned more about our origins than I ever did in my 26 years of existence. For this, I owe you.
Well, I'm not sure about being fully educated, especially considering that I'm just now beginning to start to learn just a little!
I thank you in advance for your support. Although I get frustrated and get these "feelings," I really don't know what I'd do without this project and the people who share this experience with me. I've been an activist of one sort or another my whole life, and though this isn't all I know, I keep going back to it. Still, I get these "feelings" and what it feels like is, "Why am I even doing this? It's one thing to give to the readers: I want to give to them! That's what it's all about! But now it looks as if I'm giving to commercial efforts as well!" That's what it feels like.
But, I still make the magazine each month, although it's been running about a month late for almost two years (from when I was going to get married -- remember?). The magazine is the only source of income I will allow for this project right now. If you wish to support us financially, subscribe to the magazine. If that's not enough, then either get subscriptions for your friends or keep extending your subscription until long after we're all dead. (Some people do that!) Currently, I'm still running between $50 and $75 per month below covering the operating expenses.
That doesn't count the fact that I like to log onto EyeWire.com and buy us a fancy new headline font every month or so (when I can -- just to make it look pretty and to make me feel pretty inside). That doesn't begin to count the cost of keeping up a computer and software, or paying for the electricity or paying for a place that's (hopefully) high class enough that I can feel safe and actually concentrate on my work (and none of that would matter were it not for the work).
So, just to break even, I'd have to sell two or three more subscriptions each month. However, I can still afford to pay the freight for the whole project if I have to. That's frustrating, too, and last year when we went (I think) four months without a single subscription coming in, my composure was down there in the mud.
Next month, I will have been making the magazine on my own for longer than I made it for the group. That's quite an accomplishment for me. The toughest part has been that I moved last month due to intolerable noise combined with antiatheist bigotry. Now I have moved to a place that's much noisier than the one I just moved away from. This makes sleeping and working difficult. Worse, it makes just plain existing very scary, because once again I've had to step on a few toes just to get the noise levels down to what the city zoning laws allow.
We created a page for subscribing to the print edition. The magazine is the bottom line around here. The web site was created to support the magazine and simply got way out of hand -- believe it or not!
As for the e-text conversions, this is part of the reason I don't do much of that any more: I kept seeing them pop up on other atheist web sites. Just last week I had to confront someone about Letters from the Earth -- and their version ranked higher on the search engine than mine did!
Conversions are a lot of work and don't get very many "hits" at all. However, if 15 people read "The Ten Commandments" each month, I'd be overjoyed. I'd be satisfied if 15 people read that book each year, but I got to read it three times while I was making this e-text version! That's the main reason I did the conversions, it forced me not simply to read the book, but to read it three times and to pay attention the whole time.
Positive Atheism Magazine
Six years of service to
people with no reason to believe
Added: January 8, 2002
I for one appreciate the books that you've converted to html. I just finished reading part one of Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason." It's amazing how clear a thinker he was, especially for his time.
I'm going to order the Positive Atheism magazine today. Thanks again for all of your hard work! You're truly making a difference.
Material by Cliff Walker (including unsigned editorial commentary) is copyright ©1995-2006 by Cliff Walker. Each submission is copyrighted by its writer, who retains control of the work except that by submitting it to Positive Atheism, permission has been granted to use the material or an edited version: (1) on the Positive Atheism web site; (2) in Positive Atheism Magazine; (3) in subsequent works controlled by Cliff Walker or Positive Atheism Magazine (including published or posted compilations). Excerpts not exceeding 500 words are allowed provided the proper copyright notice is affixed. Other use requires permission; Positive Atheism will work to protect the rights of all who submit their writings to us.