You’ve held an honored spot in the Inspirational People section of my Facebook page since its inception several years ago, and before that on whatever the equivalent section of MySpace was. I’ve been an Atheist since I was seven or eight, give or take, when I realized that talking to “God” was entirely one-sided, and that church was not nearly as interesting as Sunday morning cartoons. Fortunately, my Agnostic (read “Closet Atheist”) father was only exposing me to Christianity (Presbyterianism to be specific) in an attempt to make me well-rounded, so he did not complain vehemently when I humbly declined (I prefer my blocky body shape). I’ve always taken the view that trusting verifiable evidence is more important than wishing faeries live in mushroom circles, which led to some tumultuous interactions during my teen years (the community I lived in was of the Latter Day Saints variety, a very tolerant and understanding people), including being banned from public school for wearing a pentacle and audaciously prancing to and fro in a black heavy metal shirt (don’t get me started on the sin that was reading Dungeon’s and Dragons books in the library). My charter school wasn’t much better, being populated still by Mormons, albeit the kind with a predilection for delinquency and teenage pregnancy, but at least I was able to write book reports on “A Brief History of Time” and “The Selfish Gene” without receiving detention. I’m now a proud, thirty-something Atheist in my prime, and very excited to live in this age when theorem supported by empirical evidence are flush across cosmology, quantum physics, biology, and mathematics in general, that demonstrate how Gods and creatures of the Aether do not need to invoke legerdemain in order for life, the universe, and everything to exist. Your work has always been a refreshing reprieve for ardent supporters of logic and reason, and we absolutely need more brilliant minds like yours to do battle in the arena of cognition against the pandemic of ignorance that seems to have run amok across the breadth of the hominid timeline. My wife is devoutly Christian, but she loves me anyway (most of the time), and I have very good friends that are deeply religious as well, yet somehow we manage to maintain respectful relationships as adults (something that seemed impossible during the intemperance of youth), which I attribute mainly to the fact that we are all computer engineers in some form or another. I’ve never been particularly vocal in my Atheism, however, partially because it was always obvious to me what I thought about God and his flock, thus I wrongly assumed it was clear to everyone else, but then it occurred to me that part of me was afraid of being reviled by my peers and neighbors (as many apostates are), who actually did not realize just how anti theist I really am. There was a confluence of events that sparked the publication of my apatheist demesne: I came across the brilliant outcampaign.org website, engaged in some ardent existential conversations about religion and Atheism with my Pagan LGBT eldest daughter, and witnessed the debate between Ken Ham (of the soul-crushingly insipid Creation Museum) and Bill Nye, all of which magnificently converged to spark my puissant outrage of those trying to bring Religion into the public school system, where I have three impressionable children that have no business believing that invisible sky people vomited up glitter and rainbows to create heaven, earth, and we naive primates. This potent amalgamation of forces led me to announce, loud and proud, that I am Atheist, I am not apologetic about it, and I won’t be intimated by those who fear shadows and the moon (and neither will my children). I fully intend to expose them to your writings, and cram as much logic, rhetoric, science, and mathematics into their heads as their developing brains can hold, before the pious majority can taint their fragile outlook on the deliciously rule based, Tetragrammaton-free, model-dependent realism comprising our universe.
My children and I thank you for everything that you do.