To All the Lurkers… March 17, 2011

To All the Lurkers…

It’s been a while since I’ve done this and I think a lot of you have only started reading this site in the past year…

All new commenters have to be approved/moderated by me. After that happens, you’re free to comment whenever you’d like. It’s always nice to hear fresh opinions, whether you’re religious or atheist.

So consider this post an open invitation to say hello and introduce yourself! Tell us who you are, where you’re located, what you do, and what your blog is (if applicable). Whatever you feel like sharing 🙂

I’ll periodically approve the comments throughout the day, so let me make the most of my breaks!


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  • Hi,
    I’m atheist since birth (though baptized when I was little, but my parents aren’t really religious) and, from least religious country of Eastern Europe. I study biology (5th year)… I have been reading this blog for almost 2 years.

  • I think I’ve posted twice, but mostly have been lurking.

    31/f/Seattle

    Hi everybody!

  • Frederick Green

    Greetings from Orange County, Virginia. I have been involved with the freethought community on and off since 1998 but have been an atheist all my life. First Internet community I joined was the Military Association of Atheists & Freethinkers. Now helping to establish the new Camp Quest Chesapeake which debuts this July. Thank you for all that you have done to give the world a better view of the community of reason.

  • Another Seattl-ite here, I’ve posted a couple times, but mostly just rant and rave on twitter at @Heinlein_Fan

  • rabrav

    Hi
    I am from Bangalore. I have been an atheist since I turned 15. After reading Dawkins’ God Delusion in 2009, I have become a radical atheist (Douglas Adams’ term).

    I came across your blog recently (having read a post on Phil Plait’s Bad astronomy site) and RSS’ed it to add to my daily dose of vital science and reason nutrients.

    ?_?
    `

  • @ranton1

    Hi Thanks for the invite, first time since school ive been called a Lurker, but it rings true.I am 51 been an atheist for 46 yrs. I am interested in how Atheism has developed the arguments through both science theory and human behavior. Have started reading the subject again but see little evidence of “what works in supporting believers through change” I have no interest in attacking believers however deluded they may be, in fact I think that their followers grow post attack. I also feel that the use of terms normally associated with Mental illness is nothing more than a slur on those who struggle with sanity and deserve support. Many believers are of course unwell and vulnerable to the those who prey/pray on them, an attack on them is counter productive driving further towards exploitation from the church. Thanks again for invite.

  • Hey everyone,I think I have posted a couple of comments, not sure how many. In any case, my name is Dale. I keep a semi-updated blog and am attempting to become more active in the atheist and skeptic communities. Currently residing in Vancouver. That would be British Columbia, Canada. Raised in a secular home and never was converted to a religion, so life long atheist.

  • I’ve read for years, and commented under my real name maybe a dozen times, but recently I’ve changed my personality. (The web is a wonderful thing–it’s socially acceptable to be a little schizophrenic.) As an atheist mother, I have growing frustration. Posting my opinions on Facebook and in other social media has gotten me in too many uncomfortable situations, so I’ve begun to blog and to comment anonymously. I’m hoping this will help me get my frustrations out.

    I live in the DC suburbs in Virginia. I am surrounded by Baptists. I’ve been ‘out’ for a few years. I’ve been ‘in’ for at least 10?

  • ehoff

    I haven’t posted much yet. I’m a science teacher in Wisconsin. Just happy to be here 🙂

  • Arachobia

    Hey everyone. I am 22, male, from Grahamstown, South Africa. I’ve dropped a few thoughts here and there.

    I am an atheist. Was raised in an agnostic family. Acknowledged that I was an atheist after reading Douglas Adams ‘puddle’ essay and became comfortable with telling people I was one after reading The God Delusion

    Been a regular reader of The Friendly Atheist and Phyrangula since I came to university in 2009. Both have made me even more comfortable to be a non-believer. Started reading things like Greta Christina’s blog more recently.

  • Hi

    I _think_ (hope?!) I’m a long-time-ish lurker. I work at a startup and live in Chennai, and am generally interested the sort of stuff you post about, because it gives a sort of daily snapshot of life and times in the US and specifically I am interested in popular science and popularizing science in India, and also the role of religion in Indian legal and constitutional matters, and apparently I am also deeply interested in writing the longest possible, most disjointed sentences ever.

    Great blog, keep it up!

    Cheers

    Ludwig

  • Hey there! I’m a married, working mom in my late-30s in the Chicago area. I blog at http://liberalatheisthippie.blogspot.com. I’ve been reading Friendly Atheist for years and may have commented once or twice. I enjoy reading the comments here because it offers a varied perspective instead of an echo chamber. I am active in the local atheist community and founded a local secular parenting group. I wish I lived closer to Chicago so I could attend some of the larger events. I’ll try to de-lurk more often. Thanks, Hemant! 🙂

  • Ron in Houston

    I never knew you had a moderation policy. I hope you can get more folks to join the healthy discussion at your site.

  • libratheist

    Hi, I’ve been reading your blog for a while and left a couple of comments from time to time, but generally I’m more of a reader than a contributor. I’m UK-based, was raised Catholic, did 14 years of RC schooling, spent a year living in a monastery in North Dakota, with real monks and everything, then went to do a theology degree at Cambridge University. I think studying religion in-depth is what turned me into an atheist!

    I’m also a librarian, and really into education and effective communication of ideas and knowledge.

    Love your website, keep up the good work!

  • El Bastardo

    I thought I was a frequent reader, not a lurker. Am terribly offended now (joke).

    Not that it matters but I’m an Irish male, mid-30’s and currently based in Dublin but soon to be moving to the U.S.

    Now I feel like I’m at an AA meeting or something (minus the God part) “Hi, my name is Bob, I’m 58 and I’m an Atheist”

  • I’ve posted a time or two, I think, but mostly I lurk. I’m 47, I live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and I blog at http://ckbep.blogspot.com. I’m pretty much a life-long atheist but have been “out” for less than 10 years.

  • I believe I’ve posted a couple of times, but here it goes:

    Most people call me Rubbs. I’m a male turning 25 in a week.

    My blog, which is nearly empty at the moment is http://www.wellactually.org.

  • daakujc

    Hi everyone

    Currently I am a graduate student, in Texas. I am from India. I’ve been atheist ever since I can remember. I hope to have my own blog someday.

    BTW, love your posts. 🙂 Good job Hemant!

  • Zuzkafuska

    Greetings from Europe! I live in Brno, Czech Republic (that’s some 100km north of the Austrian capital Vienna) and I work in research. Raised secular (here most people are) but went through a short quasi-religious period when a close relative was gravely ill.
    Here most people don’t give a damn about religion – Christians of all flavours amounted to about 30% in the last census – and, if anything, they admit they vaguely believe “in something higher”. It is at these people the Christian propaganda is aimed now, using all sorts of (the usual) false lures to win them over to their side. This is why I follow your blog, Hemant, and a few others including Pharyngula, to see what the situation is elsewhere and how others fight the nonsense.

  • Heya! I’m Shawn. I’m a 30 year old atheist in Jacksonville, Fl. I read every post but I seldom comment. And my blog is http://beliefinpeople.wordpress.com. Thanks for the invite!

  • Hello everyone,
    i guess i commented a few times, just can’t remember when 😉

    Male, late 30s, living in Germany, being of German/Arab origin and a Murtad.

  • Hey,
    i’m a 20 years old computer science student from germany (my parents are from turkey). I’m an ex-muslim (now an atheist) since approximately 2 years. I told a few of my close friends that i don’t believe in the quran, and then i made the experience, that they avoid/ignore me now (even after long friendship). Since then, i’m a “hidden” atheist (in real life), who criticizes religion now and then.

    Your blog is in my RSS feeds since a few month now and i like the content; i wish i would have found it sooner 🙂

  • JackSpadesSI

    Hello Hemant and fellow atheists!

    I’m an engineer living in Michigan. GO STATE!

  • Bud

    I’m from Illinois, I’m in my mid-30s. I’ve commented on Friendly Atheist a few times, but usually I just read.

    I always enjoy posts like these that let people introduce themselves, not just because it allows me to plug my blog shamelessly (My blog is Dead-Logic.com, you must read my blog now!), but because it gives us an opportunity to meet other bloggers and thus discover new blogs. This post has already introduced me to a couple interesting blogs, and I can’t wait to read more. Thank you.

  • Matt H.

    I’m a 29/m atheist from lower Michigan. I like to work with software and computers. I’ve been reading for a couple years (I think), and have commented on a number of occasions. I don’t currently maintain a blog though, sorry. Keep up the good work!

  • Christine

    Hi everyone. I’m Christine from Rhode Island. Love reading your blog and have commented a couple of times. Was raised Catholic, and really tried to believe for many years. After much questioning, exploration and thinking, I came to realize, accept and finally celebrate that I am an atheist.

  • KimchiGUN

    30/M/East Coast… Fresh Coast… recently deconvolve fundamentalist baptist. Southern Baptist.

    I’ve been reading for about 3 years now, but only posted a few times. I enjoy reading the comments more than anything. See people debating like civil human beings is a wonderful thing.

  • Christopher

    I’m a relatively new lurker (I don’t mind the epithet, either). I’m 32, male, from the Hudson Valley region of New York. I can’t even recall how I stumbled across this blog, but I have enjoyed learning more about the atheist/secular/humanist community of thought.

    I was raised Catholic (briefly), then United Methodist, but became increasingly disenchanted with the church as I struggled to come out as a gay man. Because the United Methodist Church still labels homosexuality as incompatible with its teachings, I began to question religion as a whole. I became agnostic for a while, as I realized organized religion “just wasn’t for me.” Eventually I realized it wasn’t for me because I didn’t believe in a higher power at all.

    I’ll admit to being a quieter atheist; I don’t really talk about it much, although my family and close friends are aware of my feelings. My father and sister are both very religious, but accepting of my non-belief.

  • SailFanatic

    I’m from the Tampa, FL area and have never posted before but have been reading (lurking) for a year or two. I’m only “out” to those that have brought it up and that I think are open minded enough.

  • Steve Liska

    I’m a 45 year old athiest/life-long skeptic, librarian working in Minneapolis, MN and living in St. Paul, MN.

    I believe I’ve commented a couple times and have “faithfully” been reading your blog for approx. 2 yrs.

  • Nakor

    I’ve been reading and posting for a while now though I don’t comment super often, I suppose. I don’t remember having come across a thread like this yet anyway.

    I’m 26 and have recently gone back to school. I’m now attending the University of British Columbia in my first year. I intend to apply for the honours mathematics program at the beginning of my second year in September. I’m also studying German and Japanese.

    I don’t keep a blog — I doubt very much that I’d have the time to update one as of late — though I have considered the possibility before. Perhaps over the summer, when my time is my own, I will consider trying one.

  • Hey there, folks!

    Aging, insane IT professional out of Chattanooga, TN, here, and a recent discoverer of the ‘blog. Good to meet the lot of you.

  • Jasel

    Been reading for maybe a year and a half now. Think I’ve posted once or twice and sent an email once. I’m 26 and live in the suburbs south of Chicago. I’m a nurse and an atheist:)

  • AW

    Long time lurker, maybe commented once or twice. 26, CT, stay at home mom (wonder how many readers here fit that description) & student working on a 2nd bachelors after being laid off 2 years ago. Grew up in a Catholic-lite family but I stopped believing in that when I stopped believing in Santa. Or not so much that I stopped believing, more like they never convinced me.

  • Matt Foss

    I’ve commented a couple of times. I’ve probably been reading this blog for close to a year by now.

    I’m a 26 year old male living in Columbus, Ohio. Right now I work at a university and am considering grad school.

    I was raised to be a nondenominational Christian, but never believed the theology. My parents taught me that the way you treat others is more important than how pious you are, and that idea is the foundation for my humanistic worldview. For a number of years I considered myself an agnostic, and only recently admitted that I’m really an atheist.

    I follow a number of atheist blogs; so far this one and BlagHag are my favorites.

  • Hi, I’m Leoal, I live in Nova Scotia, and I have a blog about my kids. I am an atheist raised by atheists, married to an atheist raised by atheists. I am also lucky to live in Canada where I have never had any problems saying I was an atheist to anybody. People are pretty easygoing here. It always makes me sad to hear some of the stories people post here and it makes me appreciate how easy I have it.

  • Thorny

    I’m Adam from Bristol, England, 17 years old and have been lurking for a while now and commenting now and again. I went to a church of england primary school and despite being read hymns everyday, having the local vicar in every week and graduating in a church. I have never believed in god and treat relgious people as simple minded which got me quite a lot detention when my 9 year old self talked down to my christian headteacher. Also glad to say that there was not a single religious student in my graduating class or as far as i know my school.

  • Hello everyone.
    I’m a forty-something male, Scottish and work in the games industry as a Game Director making Apps.
    I was an agnostic from the age of twelve or thirteen, but after reading The God Delusion realised that I should ‘get off the fence’ and come out as an Atheist. My Blog has recently been purged, but I have started posting my illustrations and sketches on DeviantArt.
    I’ve been a long time lurker, and figured I may as well start posting.

  • Jay

    Greetings all,

    Lurk one or more times a day post when it moves me. Somewhat militant in that I don’t pull punches but I can adjust to the situation and tone it down. I’m out to anyone who knows me – especially the Jehovah’s who grace my doorstep on a regular basis (lol). Legendary in the neighborhood when they do come – some neighbors sit on their porch and listen for the sheer entertainment value of it. Anonymous poster online due to a public facing job where I deal with a fair amount of conservatives. Yea, I know. Kill me now. Blog when I can and troll on occasion for the therapeutic value. Likes: Family, Science, Reading, Tequila and eating babies if you listen to the faithful. Washington DC area.

    -Jay

  • Hi…

    My name is Denise and I hail from the Atlanta metro. I’m SO glad to have found this site, and yeah, mostly I luuuurk. That said, I’ve made comments here & there. *nod*

    I’m currently a full-time student working toward my doctoral degree, and am enjoying the rare pleasure of being able to stay home with the kids while doing so (worked full-time outside the home with the previous degrees).

    Hobbies – reading, writing, sporadic bursts of afghan crochet, various handicrafts like making soaps, lotions, and greeting cards. Oh, and I LOVE cooking…I just detest the clean-up.

    (blog pimped in link)

    Cheers! 🙂

  • sillybit

    Hihi…31, female, atheist. Houston, TX. Raised Baptist but not aggressively so, got into Wicca and paganism a bit, have drifted into atheism from my husband’s influence over the years (he’s also a regular reader but I doubt he’ll delurk). Recently unemployed legal assistant, no kids, one fat old cat. Love purple. And socks. Purple socks are the best!

  • Hi all! I mostly lurk, but have posted a couple of times. I’m 48, male, live in Southwestern Pennsylvania, and work in law enforcement. I rant at my blog, Froth Slosh B’gosh, mainly about things that annoy me.

  • Hi! I’m a graduate student in mathematics. I’ve commented a few times before, but mostly I just lurk.

  • lilymarlane

    Hi,

    I am Elizabeth from Ohio. My husband and I were both raised in Catholic households but we both remember having strong religious doubts since childhood and we are both (for the most part) ‘out’ atheists. We are both regular readers of ‘Friendly Atheist’- and of other atheist/science/skeptic blogs. I have posted a couple of times, but I am mostly a reader.

    My husband and I have raised our 3 children (1 still at home) as non-religious and I like to hear how other families deal with issues that crop up when raising freethinkers in a predominently religious society.

  • Mike

    I don’t remember if I’ve commented before or not, but just in case.

    I’m Mike, 21-year-old college student who just gave up the faith in the past year. I’m still making a lot of adjustments, but on the whole I have never felt more in tune with the universe. Ironic, and I love it.

  • Kristi

    Coming to you from Sarasota Florida. 31 mom of 3. I mainly just lurk around here, but I like to add my 2 cents every now and then. Nice to meet you!

  • Lena915

    Hello! I’ve posted only once before, but I think I count as a lurker. I’m a 22-year-old woman from Lansing, MI. Just slowly working my way through school.

  • Kerrie

    I’ve posted a few times, but mainly just read. Anglo female, 35, Vermont transplant to Albuquerque. Luckily raised completely secular and have been an atheist since grade school. My boyfriend is also an atheist, finally jumping off the agnostic fence after reading God Delusion. I read atheist blogs to counteract the frustration I feel when interacting with a religious person and I casually mention my atheism. I immediately get the defensive “I believe what I believe” shutdown response as if I’m trying to convert them, when I haven’t said anything other than “I’m an atheist.” It’s almost like my existence is a threat to their fragile worldview!

  • Lena

    Hi everyone,

    I was raised in a non-religious household among the collapsed ruins of the former USSR. My family was not skeptical, however, and instead of God they eagerly bought into alternative medicine and local superstitions. That is probably why despite having been an atheist for just about my entire life, I am only now growing the backbone of the necessary solid logic and rational thought required to back up my lack of faith.
    My husband and I have been living in North Carolina for about a year, and my interest in all things religion has been reignited. It is no fun being a minority among rampant irrationality. Your blog has helped to keep me sane. 🙂

  • Sind

    23/F/Finland

    I’ve been calling myself an atheist since I was about 11-12. Officially I left the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland when I was 17.

    Been lurking here for quite a long time but commented only twice or so.

  • Joel here, 45 years old, living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, a rather conservative and white-bread kind of city. I’ve been an atheist since I was a child and wondered why something omnipotent would be so insecure as to require constant weekly reassurances from its creations. From there everything simply unraveled.

  • Traci

    I’m a 28yo nurse in OK, grew up Assembly of God (with the speaking in tongues) and gave it up about 3 years ago. I’m not “out” all the way yet, but it does seem to get easier as I go. Thanks for doing what you do!

  • Jon Peterson

    Huh. Never knew I’d gotten a stamp of approval! Halfway wish I could track down that post and frame it. 😛

    Some of you have seen me before (and I’ve had some, err, “heated discussion” with a couple of ya), but I don’t think any of y’all know anything about me. So quick summary:
    I comment under my actual name. Don’t have anything to hide, so privacy is kinda one of those things I don’t worry about.
    I am (at this time) 22 years old. I was raised ignorant of religion, and discovered theism (and by virtue of it, my atheism) only in about 6th grade. I’ve never closeted it, for better or for worse, and I’ve never experienced any personal discrimination for it. One could say I’ve been rather a lucky fellow. I’m also a computer science major in my first year of college (took a few years off to save up the requisite money first).

    I married my highschool sweetheart, who then proceeded to cheat on me within the first year of our marriage. It’s been just shy of a year now since I filed for dissolution, but I’m still more than a bit bitter towards her, and that’s bound to come through when I discuss relationship issues… so I try to avoid sharing my thoughts on those topics if they come up… but if I fail to resist the urge, at least now you know where I’m coming from. Feel free to tell me that I’m being biased. Sometimes I just need that smack upside the head.

  • Welcome to all the newbies! I’ve been around a while – never introduced myself officially:

    Kevin (or Katherine) – bisexual, genderqueer living in DC. My blog – Critically Skeptic – is linked to my name, it’s a critique blog about video games, movies, and TV shows and also has posts related to what my life is like now that I’ve become a skeptical atheist.

  • Hello to all from Ireland, and happy St. Paddy’s day. I’m a South African living in Dundalk in Ireland since 2005. I’m 40, and was a Christian for most of my adult life (thus far), even preaching in church on occasion. I lost my faith in 2008, when I realised that I just didn’t see God in anything that had ever happened to me, good or bad. And I started reading books about Christianity that weren’t written by Christians.
    My partner Nadia and I have a blog called The Devil’s Advocates. Keep up the good work!

  • Erik

    I’m Erik, from one of the many suburbs of D.C., and I’ve been lurking for a long time. I think the first time I really started reading this blog was after PZ linked an article and I’ve been hooked ever since.

  • Centricci

    Hi.

    40/male/Denmark/lifelong atheist.

  • Hello. I’m a 30 year old post bac student in San Francisco. I have a blog at http://reading-frame.blogspot.com, but due to an injury and subsequent illness I am a bit behind in my blogging. I tend to blog about science and atheism, and I have a section devoted to concerns for the average medical student as well as my experiences related to applying to grad school.

    I’ve posted here a couple of times, and I appreciate the opportunity to say hello! I’d be thrilled if you check out my blog and hopefully you’ll like what you see.

    Stay reasonable,
    -RF

  • CelticWhisper

    Okay.

    *ahem*

    Hello and introduce yourself!

    (C’mon, someone had to do it.)

  • Nordog

    …oh, and I’ve been reading this blog for awhile and post occasionally.

  • Bonnie

    Hello from the bible belt. My name is Bonnie – I’m a 48 year old former believer living in Oklahoma City. I’ve been reading this blog for about 3 years. I’ve posted a couple of times. It is so good to know there are scores of others around the world who think freely and clearly. I am ‘semi’ out – my husband and I were very involved in the charasmatic christian community for most of our lives but we finally walked out of the fog of faith into the light of reason.

  • I might’ve posted here, but it must’ve been long ago since I can’t remember the instance. I hail from North Carolina and am currently trapped in a conservative college waiting to be set free.

  • JoeBuddha

    From the ID hell-hole of Seattle, Washington (well, Renton, actually, but that only means anything to locals). 55, Buddhist for 35 years or so, atheist forever. I don’t blog but do post on occasion.

  • configt

    Hello from Canada just outside of Toronto. I’ve been lurking for about a year now without posting but really love this site. I haven’t been able to find much out this way in the form of Atheist organizations so it is nice to have sites like this at least.

  • Hey there! I’m a 27/f from Dallas, Texas. I’m a CPA and also recently became a Realtor. It’s not easy for my husband and I, being atheists in the state of Texas, but we’re doing our best to show that we’re calm, kind, generous, and open-minded people. Love your site!

  • John H.

    I think I’ve commented here, before, but I generally just lurk. Good blog, BTW. I am not as … [insert emphatic adjective here] … as some people, but I have no need of the god hypothesis. Atheists who speak out don’t offend me. God-botherers do offend me, often.

  • NotYou007

    I do most of my postings on the friendly atheist forums but I do sound off in here now and then. I will be 41 very soon, live in Bangor, Maine and I’ve been an atheist for many years.

    As you can tell from my avatar I also enjoy firearms. Weird to be an atheist and belong to the NRA but I enjoy my right to concealed carry.

  • Adam

    Hello! My name is Adam and I’ve been lurking around here for ages. I’m a happily married 30 year old father living outside Washington DC. A graphic artist by trade. Mostly web stuff, but I also do illustration and painting in my spare time, which due to my one year old daughter and my rambunctious dog, is very limited!

    My wife and I are both atheists just trying to make sense of an increasingly nonsensical world. While enjoying the fun of raising our daughter to be good without god.

    Friendly Atheist is a constant source of encouragement, education, and entertainment for me. So keep up the good work!

  • Kali

    Hello, Kali here from the Mormon state of Utah.

    I was raised in the Mormon church. Being female, I was put into a lower position than my male counterparts, and the scary thing was that I was okay with it. I was adamant in my faith, and whenever something contradicted my beliefs I did mental gymnastics to justify my continued belief. I was using doublethink.

    When I started college I started losing fervor in my faith, I blamed it on my lack of trying and never considered the possibility that the religion wasn’t true. After months of doubt and guilt I stumbled upon this blog and it served as a gateway to my atheism. I am still trying to overcome the years of indoctrination and blind faith that the Mormon church has instilled in me, but knowing that there are other like-minded people out there I feel confident that soon the damage done by the church will heal.

    Thank you for your blog.

  • AndrewS24

    Hello, I’m Andrew. I’m a 22 year old recent graduate and I live outside of Toronto. My parents have a mixed-marriage where my dad is Muslim and my mom is Catholic, yet neither are very serious about it. I’ve been an atheist for a few years now, probably since I was 18.

  • Thanks for the invitation to comment! I run http://www.atheistattorney.com It’s a project continually in need of more attention. I read this blog every day.

  • Hi everyone,

    I’ve been lurking for years but probably only posted a couple times.

    I’m an atheist (by default maybe?) since I don’t see the point of a God and never believed in one anyway. My parents are also secular, minus a few Chinese traditions which seem to involve revering more the memory of your ancestors than actually praying.

    I’m 22/Canadian/Law Student. I also have a degree in geophysics and applied mathematics so . . . shout-out to all mathematicians! 😀 I swear every time economics comes up in law I think “BLACK-SCHOLES.”

  • sandy

    Thanks for this blog. Never posted before though I emailed you. Greetings from Miami.

  • I like mud

    Hi,
    I live on a small farm near Mt. Rainier in Washington State. I am 45 and female and a farrier. I’d been a closeted atheist until recently my parents began trying to interest me in their favorite woo. I politely challenged them with the actual science. My dear mother said “Well, I can believe it because I have an open mind.” Now they feel uncomfortable around me but they no longer spout their quantum woo.
    I know there are a lot more people like me but I just don’t know any. I enjoy the blog because it keeps me in touch with like minded people.

  • Been lurking for a while. I’m an atheist living in North Carolina, but am a fairly recent transplant from New England. I was looking forward to the event at Fort Bragg and am disappointed it didn’t work out. I blog at http://cdogzilla.blogspot.com on a wide range of topics, basically whatever strikes my fancy, from atheism to sports to whatever.

  • Lai

    Hey howdy hey from England. Moderate atheist, grew up agnostic but made to think/identify I was Muslim (mum’s side of the family). Still in the closet with a lot of friends and family, and only really actively stopped calling myself a Muslim in earnest in the past year, which incidentally was when I started reading Friendly Atheist and other blogs. 🙂 Thanks for helping me feel that bit more comfortable in my skin.

  • David Magno

    Encantado. I’m a shrill, strident, gnu atheist from Galicia in Spain :)There are more atheist in Spain than many people realize, especially Ratzy.

  • 31/m/Western Australia here! brought up a catholic, haven’t been to chuch since I finished highschool, currently working at a petrol station while studying Conservation. learnt through this site that being an atheist is in fact a perfectly valid choice! Thanks Hement!

  • Siobhan

    I can’t remember how long I’ve been reading this blog or if I’ve introduced myself before so I’ll just do so again.

    I was born in 1965 in Ohio. While I was a child we moved to Indiana, then Michigan, and then Iowa. When I graduated high school I went to college for a year in Minnesota, then moved home, then Minnesota, then home, then to Alaska. Lived there for four years (met my husband online and moved him to Alaska, this was 1988), then moved to Vermont in 1992 and have been here ever since.

    I think I was baptized in the catholic church because my Mom’s folks were catholic. I wasn’t raised in it, except I had to go with my grandparents when I was visiting until I finally told Grampa at age 12 I didn’t feel comfortable going. Tried Episcopalian because my parents were looking for some sort of community to belong to and my mother missed the rituals of the church. I went to one summer camp once for a week.

    Oh and one time I went to what i think must have been a baptist church when I was, uhm, 7 or 8. It was just me. I caught a bus that went to the church and I’d started going because they were going around the neighborhood offering plane rides to people to join their church. I wanted a plane ride, so I went. I kept going for months and months, every Sunday, because that was the deal I’d made. Once I got my plane ride (many months later), I stopped going to the church. I think my parents thought it was cute that I kept sticking by my deal with them so I could get my plane ride. I have two really vivid memories from that church.

    First, I was in bible class and asked the teacher something like “scientists have lots of explanations for why rainbows happen, that it’s water and light and stuff, how does that relate to what you’re telling me here?” and she got all smug and proud, I could feel it coming off her in waves (as well as a bit of contemptuous) and said “Who do you think created all those conditions in the first place? God!” I felt wholly unsatisfied with that answer, but I was only 7 or 8, so I couldn’t respond very well. It stuck with me, though. Especially her smugness.

    Second, it was one of those churches with a baptismal dunking tank behind the altar, and one Sunday one of the little girls from my class was rushing around the bathroom trying to figure out a way to make her hair wet without getting her clothes all wet so her mom would think she’d been baptized (she’d chickened out). Her panic really puzzled me, I wondered why she just couldn’t say “I didn’t do it” or something like that.

    I have a blog that I post on when I feel moved by a situation in my life that suggests a sort of “life lesson”. http://meanderingthepath.blogspot.com/

  • AmyB

    Hello! I think I’ve posted once or twice but more often than not I’m just a lurker. I’m from Kalamazoo, Michigan but two years ago moved to a small town in North Carolina. Up until two years ago religion was such a NON-issue…Now I am so glad to have this site and others to keep me grounded and up to date. Thanks so much for all the great posts!

  • Annie

    Hi All. I’ve posted a few times, and found my way here via Blag Hag. I’m a K-5 science teacher who sometimes moonlights at the local university teaching science methods. Raised Catholic, though never bought into it. Never had to come out to my family, as they always knew. I follow these blogs because I’m raising a rather feisty, outspoken atheist 11 year old daughter who has already experienced how un-Christian Christians can be. Love your blog, Hemant!

  • Liz

    I’m a stay at home mom with 2 young daughters, living in the Minneapolis, MN area. My parents raised me in a non-practicing Christian household, but their belief was that I would choose my own religious path. I was never baptized and my daughters will never be as long as they live in my house. They too will be free to make up their own minds. My husband shares my views and we are a happy household.

  • Jason

    Hi, I’m Jason and reading your posts is some of the first things I do to start my day.

  • Nordog

    My follow up post is here, but not my original.

    So I’ll repost (and then the original will probably appear).

    I’m a former agnostic-almost-atheist and current Roman Catholic. I live in California.

  • Kat

    Ex-Catholic Atheist. 23 years old. Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada. Started reading late 2010. I love it here! Your posts are positive, thoughtful, and interesting. When I reference your blog to someone, I don’t feel like I am associating with someone widely considered to be an ***hole. We need more athiests like you!

  • Joules Taylor, UK (another Bristolian – nods to Thorny), author, eco-ninja. Atheist (actually, becoming more anti-theist as time goes by) since I read the bible cover to cover when I was about 15, although even prior to that I was never terribly committed (not many of us are over here, in my experience).

    Never commented, but I check the blog daily: it’s interesting – and sometimes horrifying – to get some idea of what’s happening on the other side of the Atlantic.

  • adi

    Long long long time lurker.

    Former Hindu, Deist, Agnostic and now pretty firmly atheist.

    I’ve been reading this blog for ages but never really commented.

    This blog has been a nice release from the overt daily religiosity of the people around me ever since I moved to Atlanta last year

  • Holly

    Hi everyone! I’m unemployed from New Jersey (with a degree in Physics, yay math!). Raised Catholic in Catholic schools for many years, became and atheist during/after college when I finally realized no one could provide me with acceptable answers to my many questions. I found this site thanks to the Atheism bundle on Google Reader probably about a year ago. Being able to follow these discussions and know there are plenty of like-minded people out there has really meant a lot to me. Last year, while we were planning our wedding, my husband and I were under a lot of pressure from our religious families to get married in a church or at the very least have a religious ceremony. I’m proud to say we were able to stick to our convictions, and a very dear friend performed our ceremony on the beach, it included absolutely no reference to god. Thank you Hemant and Friendly Atheist community for being a source of support for me. =)

  • Mark C.

    I’ve posted several times, but I’m not a regular.

    I’m a 24-year-old, recently graduated from Kansas State University with a B.S. in mathematics, and minors in computer science and physics. I still don’t know exactly what I want to do, though my course work was mostly theoretical as opposed to practical math, so I will be prepping to go to grad school for math in the fall of 2012.

    I love learning about math and philosophy, and how they are connected with human psychology. Thus, I like reading about the foundations of math, including the different schools of thought concerning what exactly math is or should be construed as. Perhaps this interest will determine what I do during grad school.

    I have been an atheist since around my sophomore year of high school, though as far as family goes, I’ve only told my parents, but a few of my cousins are sure to know due to Facebook. I’ve read a few books on evolution — mostly by Dawkins — and I took the intro biology course at university, as well as read plenty of atheist vs. theist conversations and watched similar videos. I’ve forgotten almost all the genetic mechanisms of evolution, but natural (and probably also sexual ) selection is pretty easy to understand, so I like to explain it to people who think we all just popped into existence 6k-10k years ago. Given DNA’s malleability and the forces of nature, evolution via natural selection alone is guaranteed.

    At the moment, I don’t do anything. There aren’t any interesting jobs in my area for what I have training in, it seems… not to mention the fact that my study habits while in school were horrendous (due to a huge procrastination problem), causing me to forget a lot of the math I did learn. The latter is about half the reason I’m waiting a year before applying for grad school: I need to pore over my math texts.

    Anyway, I suppose that’s me in a nutshell. Do I get free Friendly Atheist Points (oh great Athe in nowhere, the acronym for that!!!) for being a math person? 😛

  • Tom King

    Hi from Aurora Il. I was raised Catholic but when I was 15 I saw Madeline Murray O’Hare on some late night talk show. It changed my life. I started to ask questions but found no answers. Friends said to “talk to the priest he will set you straight”. I thought that was like asking the car salesman if the rust proofing and extended warranty were really good ideas. I kept my lack of belief to myself for the most part because of the prejudice attached to it. Today however I am not afraid to let others know my position. I finding out there are more of us then I thought. I check your site a couple times each day and find it very entertaining. I’m a retired policeman. I teach Information Technology classes part time at a local community college and I am a photographer/starving artist.

  • DaveP

    I think I’ve posted a couple of times but mostly lurk and have been reading your blog for about a year. I’m 50, an athiest for most of my life, living in Texas.

  • I’ve been reading your site via RSS for a little while, very much enjoy it. Keep being awesome!

    Also, greetings from southern Ontario. 🙂

  • Natalia

    I initially found your blog while googling the first LGBT pride parade in my hometown, Spartanburg. Thats when I noticed your coverage of that b*tch councilwoman Dogan’s religious propaganda remarks putting us LGBT folk down… and her rant on being black. Yeah, that was definitely some self-hate in that speech too…

    I have to say, Spartanburg is a pretty religio-fascist town with no genuine visible culture and diversity going on here. I just found out about the first gay bar here a few months ago only to pass by it the other day with an ‘available’ sign on the building. I wonder how much bureacracy was involved in that because that history making parade is a testament to the fact that there are blossoming subcultures here that are repressed by people in power like this spewing their pathetic propaganda. I had no idea some rally like this was literally happening in my own back yard.

    I’ve always been an intellectual/atheist too but unaware of any social organizations until I saw a lil’ news snippet on the American Atheist’s convention in Alabama. A few months later, as I complete a book purchase from the website and am reminded of your blog with a link. So here I am now taking the time to connect and say hello and following you on Facebook. Keep up the good work informing us.

  • I’m Stephen, 38, and an Atheist in a Foxhole. I have been visiting this site for 3 years and I think it is the first one I started reading. I was on a long road to Atheism from about the age of 20 or 21 and finally realized I was an Atheist during a pool-side discussion about Richard Dawkins scale of 1-7 in The God Delusion.

  • Blacksheep

    I’ve had great conversations with people here over the past year, and as a Christian, have mainly been treated with decency. (aside from the few angry people).

    I have also learned a great deal about the atheist perspective in the process.

    I have to say – I’m amazed that you will begin censoring and banning people from the forum!
    I will most likely be one of those who are banned, since I tend to (repectfully) disagree with the atheist position on most things. I was hoping that this site welcomed dissent as opposed to embracing the left’s habit of policing thoughts.

    so assuming that this is my last posting, goodbye to those that I have engaged with. I have learned a lot, and I have brought those new perspectives back into my own community.

    (Hemant says: I’ll approve just about everyone as long as they’re contributing to the dialogue. I moderate First Comments to weed out spammers and proselytizers.)

  • Hi, I’m in Charlotte, NC, I’m a lifelong atheist. I’m a software engineer with a Christian wife and two kids. My blog is here:
    http://jfinite.blogspot.com/

    Not much there yet, but I plan to update it more frequently.

  • Sam

    Living in Auckland, New Zealand, originally from the South West of England. I can’t remember ever believing in a deity of any flavour, despite attending a private religious high school.

    I’d generally describe myself as a right wing atheist, but having followed this blog for a while the description doesn’t appear to translate properly for the US.

  • aellyele

    Hey there, I’m Alyssa. Currently a sophomore in college studying art education. I spend most of my time in Virginia, and my summers in New Jersey. I was raised Catholic by very Irish and Italian parents, and was agnostic for a year or two before realizing my atheism the second half of high school. And I guess now I’m an official Friendly Atheist commenter!

  • aellyele

    also…

    Blacksheep: I don’t think Hemant mentioned that he was ever banning or censoring commenters, especially ones that respectfully disagree and promote discussion. If I understood the post correctly, he only approves people that have never commented before and then they are free to post as much as they want.

  • Jon Martin

    I’m from Oceanside, CA and Lurk here everyday. My name is Jon and I’m an atheist. Grew up born again christian but thought my way out of that!

  • Suzanne

    Hey! I guess I haven’t commented yet, but I’ve been an avid reader for.. nearly a year? I’m 21 years old, working on my B.Sc in biochem. I live in Winnipeg, MB Canada. I was raised Roman Catholic, went to Sunday school, asked lots of annoying questions to which I got unsatisfactory answers, got confirmed anyway, then stopped going to church. I guess I’ve been quite skeptical for as long as I can remember, but I figured maybe I was missing some key information, otherwise why would these people all be so confident in their beliefs? But anyway, my parents really aren’t particularly religious, they don’t go to church, so I don’t have any problem stating my religious beliefs (well.. lack thereof) and I never get any hassle from anyone I know. I’ve read about so many people on this blog that are in such awful situations, that I feel greatful for my circumstances. 🙂

  • ACN

    I have to say – I’m amazed that you will begin censoring and banning people from the forum!
    I will most likely be one of those who are banned, since I tend to (repectfully) disagree with the atheist position on most things. I was hoping that this site welcomed dissent as opposed to embracing the left’s habit of policing thoughts.

    Where are you getting this from?

    No one is talking about censoring or banning anyone. All the OP is about is moderating first time comments, and that is probably only to prevent drive-by trolling which can de-rail perfectly good, if occasionally intense, discussion. It insures that anyone who gets comments through is at least

  • Peter Millington

    I’m 67, male and a retired civil servant living in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Cool, that’s 3 of us from Nova Scotia in this line-up. I was raised catholic but threw off the yoke in my early teens so I’ve got about 50 years of atheism under my belt. Strangely enough I have never spoken directly, eye to eye, with another atheist. I have enjoyed this blog for about 2 years but prefer to lurk. I am a lefty and survived nuns tying my left hand behind my back and other tortures at age 6 in the early 1950s. At that point I refused to write period. LOL I get along fairly well with christians because basically I don’t care what their beliefs are just don’t try to impose them on me.

  • Blacksheep

    Where are you getting this from?

    No one is talking about censoring or banning anyone. All the OP is about is moderating first time comments, and that is probably only to prevent drive-by trolling which can de-rail perfectly good, if occasionally intense, discussion. It insures that anyone who gets comments through is at least

    From this:

    “All new commenters have to be approved/moderated by me.”

    “I’ll periodically approve the comments throughout the day”

  • Nigel not-my-real-name Patel. Small “a” atheist.

  • Shaun in TX

    Hey, I’m a 24 year old atheist in Houston, TX and a long time reader of this blog. I was never raised with any strict religion due to the fact i come from a household with mixed religions, my father is a Muslim and my Mother is a Catholic leaving me as the only atheist in my extended family. I am currently working on my BS in geology.

  • Tom

    Hello Hemant,

    Viewing from Leesburg/Ashburn, Virginia just outside DC/Metro. Been an agnostic-atheist for pretty much most my life, but only in the last 5 or so years of my 33 year life have I actually sought additional knowledge to back up my beliefs or lack there-of when questioned by the many religious folks around me. Very much enjoy your blog among others on my google reader; feeds me a nice dose of daily reading of blogs and articles written by like-minded people.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Bill

    Greetings from the mountains of Western North Carolina! I’m a 57 y/o unemployed Atheist living in the midst of fundamentalist insanity. Final nail in the religious view was the ten months I spent working the World Trade Center clean up. So much intolerance made me examine my thoughts and come to the conclusion that it wasn’t anything there to believe in.

  • ACN

    Did you not read the next sentence?

    After that happens, you’re free to comment whenever you’d like. It’s always nice to hear fresh opinions, whether you’re religious or atheist.

    It is possible I’m grossly misreading here, but I don’t understand how you parsed the OP to get what you did out of it.

  • Nyuu

    Hello! longtime lurker, atheist from a family of atheists. Not sure what to say but I’d like to be able to comment later!

  • Nick

    Hi all,

    I’m Nick, just discovered this site a couple months ago. I’m an atheist living in PA.

  • Leah L

    Hi, I’m Leah. I was raised in Judaism but am currently an atheist. I’m a senior in high school in New Jersey. I don’t actually have a blog, but I read yours religiously (no pun intended).

  • Blacksheep

    ACN,

    It is possible I’m grossly misreading here, but I don’t understand how you parsed the OP to get what you did out of it.

    Good point, and now I feel that I probably overreacted.
    Thanks.

  • Mandarb

    Hi from behind the boerewors curtain, also known as Pretoria, South Africa.
    Posted once or twice before, been reading for I think something like 3 years.
    Skeptic, atheist, local organiser of the Skeptics in the Pub. I’ll plug the SA Skeptics forums, since my blog is useless.

  • ACN

    No one is trying to beat anyone with the banhammer yet 🙂

  • LG

    I am a 20-something grad student who studies (among other things) the neurological underpinnings of morality. Long-time reader, first-time poster (though I’ve submitted several links and even got a shout-out once!). I was born and raised in the bible belt and for a long time I was the only atheist I knew. I still don’t know many real-life atheists but I know lots of e-atheists 😉

  • Hello! I’m a 30-cough year old female living in Chicago. I was raised in a southern baptist church, but left all of that behind in my early twenties. I don’t remember a specific trigger. There was just a moment when I said to myself, “Hey. This is dumb.” Because I had such an easy time letting it go, I find myself a little impatient with people who cling to religion. I found this blog about 6 months ago and it’s like a breath of fresh air! As my husband and I plan to have kids, I find myself more interested in the experiences of other atheists. I consider it research for my plan of raising atheist offspring. 🙂

  • Hey! I’m a tree-hugging, bike-riding, liberal atheist in VT. No, really :). We’re so spoiled up here.

    I was confirmed in the First Congregational Church in the eighties, but my mom allowed me to stop going after that. She said that once you’re confirmed, religion is your choice. Not that our church was all that conservative (insert anecdote here). I don’t think I ever hear of Hell until I met a Catholic kid.

    I’ve posted here a quite a few times, but, I try to keep it simple; I don’t think a comment area is a great place for discussions on complex issues.

    pax

  • Nordog

    No one is trying to beat anyone with the banhammer yet

    Yeah, my impression is that this is basically a case of, “hey, alot of folks have come and gone, let’s stop the party for a minute and introduce ourselves.”

    The part about being approved is like knocking at the door when you arrive at the party instead of just walking in.

    Or at least, that was my take on it.

  • Craig Evans

    Male / 48 / Pennsylvania,USA / degrees in Biology and Clinical Laboratory Technology.

    Found FriendlyAtheist and PZ and Panda’s Thumb and a host of other sites of similar ilk during my time of ‘deconversion’ away from ‘belief’. No sorrows that it’s gone.

    Taking a big step and am going to NECSS next month.

  • Bargain

    I am not religious, but I believe in and follow Jesus. I have been watching this site for maybe a month, and I have yet to see any real debate or helpful dialogue.

    I have friends who are atheists and friends who are agnostic, and we are able to talk about stuff without getting angry. I was hoping that would be how it is here, but it seems that the main function of this blog is the public is simply to state atheistic opinions and denounce all other opinions.

    But I haven’t been reading here for very long, so I am hopeful for some real engaging discussion.

  • doglovingirl

    Hi all,

    I’m a 49-year old lighthearted dog-crazy nurse; happily married to a fabulous guy (wish he had time to read this blog, he’s an atheist with great thoughts and logic), love to quilt and romp with dogs and read and hike and write the occasional funny poem.

    I’ve posted a few times under “Carol B” but recently got an avatar showing my gorgeous dog, hence the new name. Mostly I lurk; why post anything when Claudia and Jeff P can say what I think so much more eloquently? (I really admire you two!)

    Blacksheep, I like your posts too. Don’t say goodbye! I don’t think Hemant’s going to ban you. 🙂

  • Jeigh

    Ive been checking Atheist blogs and podcasts and videos for a few years now, just as a way to not feel so alone in a world of ugliness and exclusion and hate I see coming from the religious society around me.
    Of all the blogs I view, I always found this one to be the most accessible and ‘on my level’.

    However, I have come to realize that the Atheist community has it’s own set of judgments, exclusivity, closed-mindedness, and hypocrisy. These qualities weren’t apparent when I first saw Dawkins’ “Root Of All Evil”, the video that made me call my husband in tears, exclaiming how for the first time I had heard someone expressing my same views on the wonder, beauty, and magnificence of the universe…without weird religious dogma. I wrongly assumed that Atheists in general were more open-minded, less judgmental, and less hypocritical.

    I have never been and will never be religious, but I am finding that ‘Atheist’ does not describe me either. I want my life to be about celebrating the positive, and I find Atheism to be focusing on the negative…even by its very definition. Peace.

  • Bargain

    @Arkonbey

    You said:

    I’ve posted here a quite a few times, but, I try to keep it simple; I don’t think a comment area is a great place for discussions on complex issues.

    I agree with that. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding and chaos in this format. Is there any other format or website that you think is more helpful and/or is a better venue for these kinds of discussions?

  • dave

    Hi! I’m Dave. I read the site all the time, but only post occasionally. I’m an older (49) white guy born & raised in NY. Started out Catholic, slowly became atheist.

    Here’s a little story… When I first “came out” to two of my best friends (married couple), we got to talking about religion, atheism, etc. And I asked the wife, “Do you believe in god?” Her response, “Um. I don’t know”. I pressed her a bit, pointing out the difference between “knowing” and “believing”, but her answer was still, “I don’t know”.

    I thought that was interesting. It seemed to sum up a very common theme to me; that people seem very reluctant to give up their religion. Like they’re afraid to be labeled with the “A word”.

  • Eric

    Hi everyone!

    This is my first time commenting, but I’ve been following/lurking this site for about a year now. I’m 23 and about to graduate from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, IN for Visual Communication (a.k.a. graphic design/design). Only recently have I been more outspoken about my Atheism, but I’ve been a closeted Atheist since my senior year of high school. I was raised in a home where I was allowed to make up my own mind on religion and I thank my mother for that. I do not have a blog yet, but I’m working on it.

  • ACN

    The part about being approved is like knocking at the door when you arrive at the party instead of just walking in.

    Mine also. Additionally, it makes a drive-by troll actually have to invest in spawning chaos. They don’t like that.

  • gmenna

    Hello, unbeliever standing for rollcall. Here I am!

    Discovered Friendly Atheist via Bad Astronomy. (Thank you Phil!)

  • ephymeris

    Hi! I’m Kelly and I’ve been an atheist since 2000. My husband and I deconverted from evangelical christianity together and it’s great to be honest and logical together! We started in Lousiana but now we live in Colorado. I’m an occupational therapist and he’s a teacher at a local university. We’ve never been happier! We’re hoping to have a few little free-thinkers of our own some day soon 🙂

  • Kris

    I discovered this site several months ago and have been mostly lurking. I enjoy the blog and visit at least once a day.

    I’m 26 and have been living in Broomfield, CO after growing up and going to school predominantly in Texas. Although my parents both come from Catholic families, I grew up in a fairly god-ambivalent household. No real deconversion story for me.

  • Raleigh M

    I have been a reader for about a year now (thank you google reader!). I am 26 y/o african american father living in the buckle of the bible belt, Colorado Springs, CO. It’s tough being an atheist in the #1 place evangelical christians feal most comfortable. This blog gives me a bit of fresh air in lieu my location. Thank Hemant for keeping the blog alive!

  • Aguz

    I’m a female atheist from Argentina. I come from an agnostic family but I went to a Catholic school (that was actually pretty moderated). I usually lurk around here and very rarely comment. Currently I’m studying for a degree in literature.

  • Nakor

    @Blacksheep Just to help clarify, a policy like that is standard anti spammer practice. Spammers won’t bother pretending to be worthwhile posters at first, so even a simple policy like this one is typically enough to spare us from any porn ads and such.

  • Freemage

    I’ve been posting here irregularly for under a year, now, so I’ll assume I’m “new” enough for this thread.

    Early 40s, male Oak Park resident. I came here via Scienceblogs (not sure if it was Pharyngula or Dispatches), and when I got here I remembered reading articles about Hemant’s soul-selling, and thinking it was a clever idea.

    Raised as an Episcopalian in a church in the South Suburbs that really was the sort of community that Christians hold up as the ideal, I probably still would be if I hadn’t gone out into the real world and discovered the number of complete and utter hateful morons who cite the Bible in their justifications for hideous behavior. Unable to separate myself from faith-based thinking entirely, I’m a deist, and even go so far as to call myself a “Christian deist” (meaning I regard the Christ of the Gospels to be a decent read on morality and ethics).

    That said, I’m a rabid political atheist, believing in a firm and fast wall of separation, preferably one topped with spikes and barbed wire. Likewise, I’m a strong supporter of pure science education, with no hints of creationist blather. So I tend to view atheists as my default allies in the political spectrum.

  • Wm. Lemeshevsky

    Churched a Bible studying Calvinist and later confirmed a very devout Anglican; in 1977, at 30, I recovered from the evil addiction of religion and later joined American Athiests.

    I’ve been reading this blog daily for about 9 months. Very well done. Always worth reading.

  • Hello Hemant. Always enjoy your blog and twitter posts!

    -Florian

  • heebs

    Hello, long time visiter of this site. Atheist since birth. Went to school in an extremely Conservative Catholic town in east central Minnesota, and I managed to escape with my beliefs in tact. Love your blog!

  • Skippard

    Hello all

    I go by Skipp. I am 40 and have been through 12 years of RC grade school and high school. The beginning of my Atheism was in Freshman year of HS. The funny part is that I was taught by Jesuits who have a strong curriculum in questioning and exploring. So it is easy to say that the church itself taught me to become an Atheist.

    I also attended a Catholic college to finish undergrad but that was due to convenience of an online degree program while in the military. The only required religion class was a mostly unbiased World Comparative Religion class that was very enjoyable. It was was very similar to a World Mythology class I took at a different secular school.

    I work in IT Security and am quite surprised by small but noticeable fundie presence at the large security conferences I go to. It seems to me that it is larger than other scientific or technical fields. This is purely anecdotal, but I have been unable to find any real stats. Christian Hackers almost seems like an oxymoron.

    My regular reading list of Atheist blogs consists of the usual suspects: PZ Myers @ Pharyngula, Ebon @ DaylightAtheist, Greta @ GretaChristina and of course Hermant @ here. I have been lurking for a little over 2 years.

    BTW, I am a former Navy submariner and reside in Connecticut.

  • ANuRa

    Hey, I am a Spanish atheist who has settled in Switzerland. I am not that militant, more the passive type, but like to keep track about the news about atheism, religion and science divulgation. Yours is one of the blogs I regularly follow (funnily, the United States are overrepresented in my sample).
    My family is of Catholic background, but none of the children went through confirmation or attend mass. The major religious figure in the family is my father, who left priesthood to marry my mother in the late 70s. He is the hard nut that struggles most with me not being religious and tries to convince me every now and then that my position of finding evolution and religion incompatible reflects a “poor mind” and a “lack of perspective”. However, I am grateful to him because he gave us kids good lessons of religious tolerance: he worked for years as teacher in a junior school teaching Spanish to children that came from other countries, like Morocco or China, to integrate them in the normal classes. I remember enjoying Ramadan each year because he brought us those special honey desserts that the student’s parents gave him as gifts.
    I guess that my loss of faith has been only the natural consequence of my education. At university, I studied biologics and brought it so far that I am working on a PhD about brain evolution. The only think I can say about my work is that I enjoy it tremendously.

  • Tom

    Have posted a bit on the forum under ‘Tom of London’. I’m 16 and live in London, England, surprise surprise. I attend a Catholic school and was raised RC Catholic, but gave up my faith some three years ago. My parents were closet atheists, but didn’t really hold any strong convictions over the subject, merely raising me Catholic to appease their parents.
    I’m open about my atheism and am very outspoken. My RE teacher doesn’t like me very much :(. I haven’t had a bad time with faith. I wasn’t abused by the priest or forced to attend Church (except at Christmas). I just didn’t see the logic behind it, and the lack of scientific evidence, coupled with the sheer irrationality and sinisterness of organised religion put me well off the idea. It lead me to read a bit of Dawkins and other religious criticisms which consolidated my nonbelief.

  • Ashley

    Hey folks –

    Atheist here, 25, f, grew up in a secular/vaguely spiritual house. Mildly/moderately awesome person, can provide references.

  • Hi! I’ve been lurking here for about a year. Sometimes I write in my blog:

    http://mindfullymotheringtwo.wordpress.com/

    I enjoy reading your blog! I live in a small, conservative, Florida town. My hubby and I have two young kids. I’m 36 years old, in school part-time and a stay at home mom full-time right now. I have a small circle of friends who are also atheist, but many of my friends are believers. I just recently, within the last year, became comfortable with self-identifying as atheist even though I teetered on the label “agnostic” for a long time. Thank you for writing this blog, I really enjoy reading it.

  • Jack

    Jack 24 Bristol UK
    Comfortable Atheist.

  • Aaron

    I’m a 25 year old atheist from Miami, FL. I taught middle school science for two years and am now trying to figure out what to study in graduate school — leaning toward Behavior Analysis. This past summer I read Hitchens, Harris, and Dawkins; The God Delusion pushed me over the edge into atheism. Hermant, you’ve got a great site here. I check it practically daily. As a fellow teacher, I’m impressed that you’re able to keep it updated as regularly as you do. Keep up the good work, and may FSM be with you.

  • Dan Murphy

    Hi,
    I’m 47, in St. Louis, and at least a third generation atheist.

  • terry830

    Former megachurch fundamentalist…now a 24 year-old freethinking scout helicopter pilot in the Army. Trying to be a secular presence in an often not-so-secular organization…

  • Monica

    Hi! I’ve commented once before, but thought I might as well introduce myself. I’m 27, live in the heart of Texas, and deconverted about a year ago. My husband and I were both brought up Catholic, starting having doubts along the way, and stopped considering ourselves Catholic by the time we were adults (long before we met). I made a brief stopover in deism before reading the God Delusion and taking the final step. Now I read several atheist blogs daily and have begun to see how much religion permeates just about everything in my life. I haven’t been brave enough yet to come out to my parents as an atheist, but reading others’ stories gives me hope that maybe someday I will.

  • Jess A

    Hi, I’m Jess, I’m from Long Beach, CA and recently (last 5 years or so) made the transition from Catholicism drop out to atheist and I’ve never looked back.

  • I’ve been lurking and commenting for about a year, but I’ve never introduced myself, so, hey.

    I’m a soon-to-be-21 psych student at Virginia Tech, raised Roman Catholic, atheist since, iunno, late junior high, early high school. I came out to my parents about it when I turned 18.

    I’ve just started writing my own blog (Girl of the Gaps) this year.

  • Hi Steve Bowen here. 53 years old from the U.K. I’ve posted maybe once before, but read most days. I blog as Atheist MC mainly on U.K relevant subjects.

  • Lost In The Bible Belt

    Hi! Have posted a couple of times as I only found this wonderful site recently. About me: raised in a conservative small church that had “broken away” from the “Church of Christ” inc. Struggled with beliefs all of my life, even became a lay bible “scholar” in my 30’s. And as many have, the more I studied the less I believed. I strongly believe in respect of a person’s personal faith or lack thereof in a diety. I do not believe in any diety, heaven, hell, and do believe that this life is the only life and best to love all you can while you can, be the best person I can be to myself and others and that works for me.
    So…am enjoying the site and commentary very much and am glad to be here.

  • Robert L.

    Ex-Buddhist here, all the way from Singapore. I used to just not give a damn about all the rituals that went with Buddhism, but deconverted fully after reading this site. I now no longer believe in ghosts, reincarnation or any of that stuff. As a side effect, I can now watch horror movies without suffering from irrational fear later (though the jumpshocks still get me).

    I’ve actually made a few comments, so technically I’m not a new commenter. Still, nice to say hi to the guy who’s probably been the most helpful to me in my journey towards atheism.

    Keep up the good work, Hemant. You’ve probably helped deconvert a lot more people than the ones who’ve mentioned it here, and that’s cool; you’re spreading reason one person at a time. Perhaps you could do a piece on religious tolerance in Singapore? I think the intolerant Christian religious right, radical non-Christian religious minorities and even the overly-hostile atheists in America have a lot to learn from us in terms of living together peacefully.

  • Liberty

    Hi there! I’ve posted a couple of times, but I might as well introduce myself.

    I’m a fifteen year old female atheist with a birthday in three days. I used to say I was more “spiritual” (whatever that means) than religious, up until about three years ago, when I realized it was bull and that I was an atheist. I wasn’t raised in a religious household, fortunately, and haven’t had to deal with too much bullshit.

    I live near Baltimore, I’m really into Darwin, and I’m going to visit the Galapagos Islands in a few months. I read the Friendly Atheist pretty regularly, as well as Blaghag, and it’s been great. I don’t comment often, but it’s nice to know there are other people who share some of my opinions about the world, since there aren’t many people in my little neck of the woods.

  • Katie’s mom

    I am a 45 yr. old atheist mom, wife and RN living in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. I was raised by nice parents in a Lutheran home. Never really believed. Started reading a lot about religion in the wake of 9/11 when I realized I could no longer be quiet and pretend that people’s religious beliefs were harmless. It scares me that some people in this world would destroy it in the belief that they get another better world after death. Joined a local humanist group about a year and a half ago when my family got sick of listening to me go on and on about this subject. It’s been great to have a community to belong to that shares my interests. I am a happy atheist. In the spirit of friendly atheism, this afternoon I’ll be giving a presentation at a local acute care hospital to the spiritual care staff on the topic of Humanism and Meaning Without God. Feeling a little nervous but hope it will go well.
    Diana

  • norickayer

    Hey, I comment once in a blue moon but I figured I’d introduce myself anyway. I’m a 19 year old lesbian going to a private (secular) university in Florida. I’ve been an atheist since mid-highschool. It was actually going to Confirmation class that made me evaluate my beliefs. It was the problem of evil and the ridiculousness of salvation by faith that made me give up on theism and religion.

    I lurk here, Skepchick and Unreasonable Faith. I haven’t enjoyed PZ’s commentary as much as of late- I’m not sure whether he’s gotten more aggressive or I’ve gotten less. For others interested in rationality, the website LessWrong.com has a great series of posts about overcoming cognitive biases.

  • CanadianNihilist

    I’ve posted before, been reading for longer but probably less than a year.
    I’m from British Columbia Canada
    I was raised Anglican, my father was Catholic. My parents are religious but I’m not sure if they just pay lip service or not. It can be really hard to tell as they believe in evolution and science in general and often skip church.
    I don’t read any other religious blogs. I have a youtube channel under the same name, one day I’ll put up some videos on it. It’s number 435 in my to do list.

    @Liberty
    Happy early B-day.

  • Amelia

    Hello!
    I’m from Nashville, TN, but go to school at Hope College in Holland, MI (though I’m probably transferring next year). I’m an atheist of only a couple of months…I think it was getting away from my evangelical Salvation Army parents and thinking for myself that did it.
    Anyways, I love your blog muchly!

  • I’m a university student in Ontario, Canada, about to graduate. I was raised an evangelical Christian and tried really hard to believe and do all the right things. I’m gradually coming to the conclusion that I really don’t believe it anymore, and I think I’m becoming an atheist, which is both terrifying and relieving. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile which gives me a bit of hope that I could actually be an atheist and a good person (that’s not really accepted as a possibility in the circles I grew up in). I blog occasionally at http://anonymouswonderings.wordpress.com/.

  • Jennifer K.

    Hi all! I’m Jenn. Been following the blog for a year or so. Freethinking, atheist, bisexual chick. That would be me.

  • Sheila

    Hi, posted a few comments before (most recently re: prayers before NBA games) but generally lurking. Read Friendly Atheist every day.

    Age 47, live in Oklahoma (glad to see a couple of others here also), where just about every person you meet is a fundamentalist xtian (Baptist, Church of Christ, Assembly of God, etc). The rarest of species would be your atheist!

    Raised in church of christ myself, went to christian university ((cringe)), and didn’t decide until I was 40 years old that maybe I should question the line of BS I was completely immersed in.

    Haven’t been to church in 5 years; close family and friends know I’m atheist and a few co-workers know. Even though I work for the federal gov’t, the vast majority of co-workers are fundies.

    My sister still sends me what she thinks are clever anti-atheist emails (just got the one about Einstein as a student persuading his evil atheist professor that there really was a god); no matter how many times I return them with the “FALSE” page from snopes.com, she still sends more.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. Thank you so much, Hemant, for this website and forum, and all the others like it out there. It’s very lonely being an atheist here in flyover country !

  • Amanda

    I’ve posted a couple times before but I am mostly a lurker. I’m a 23 year old woman living near Houston, Texas (for now, I plan to join my fiance in California once I graduate this fall). I’m in college; I study Psychology and History and hope to go to graduate school in History. I love science and math but I’m terrible at both. lol. So I like to instead study the history and philosophy of science.
    I’ve been an atheist since I was about 15 or 16 years old, but was “in the closet” until just a couple years ago.

  • Matt

    I’m a 39 year-old former fundamentalist Christian and Texan now living in the Chicago ‘burbs. I work in a public library, so the intersection of public policy and religion is near the top of my list of interests.

    My lame blog is called Hitchhiking in Svalbard, an ode to Hitchens, Douglas Adams, and Philip Pullman, 3 literary influences on my atheism.

  • I recently started lurking here and I love the posts and the discussion. I’m an atheist/humanist, but probably outside the mold because I do attend a Unitarian Universalist fellowship near me (San Diego area), so I am perhaps not as anti-religion as many self-described atheists. We have a large contingent of non-believers at my fellowship, but it really is nice to have the community and the opportunity to interact with people who are theists but who are much more open-minded and who generally care about the social justice issues that matter to me.

    I especially love the advice column here, as I have had some very painful conversations with family members who are not pleased with my lack of faith. I wish I’d found this site before I “came out” because I would have handled it differently. I’m glad others are able to get ideas about how to approach it and how to handle the aftermath.

  • Jachra

    Greetings, atheist from southern California, we met when I invited you to UCLA to give a speech for BASS!

  • roxanne

    Hello all!
    I’m Roxanne, I’m 35 years old, a Certified Veterinary Technician,and I live in South Florida.

    I occasionally respond to posts, but I mostly get my world-wide atheist news here on a daily basis. I also “steal” videos & topics and link them on my Facebook account to send my non-secular friends over here…

  • reparker

    Hola, everyone. I’ve posted a couple times before, but I only know that because my browser is remembering my screenname. I think I’ve been reading the blog for about two years.

    I’m a 19 year-old undergrad at Tulane studying biology (although I haven’t quite decided which area to focus on) and a bit of German.

    I grew up in Virginia, but I was born in Michigan so I didn’t have a Southern upbringing experience, if that’s even a thing. I didn’t grow up in a religious house, but I did go to church and bible study with my grandparents when they would watch my sister and I on the weekends. I honestly don’t recall what I thought of it all at the time, but I think I was what I would now call atheist by sixth grade.

    In middle school I went through a touch of the “wicca, mysticism, and spirituality stage” that it seems a lot of people go through as a transition between more mainstream religions and atheism.

    The blog reading that I do is almost all science-, atheism-, or skeptic-related, and I do read quite a lot of blogs.

    Big fan of the blog (and very sympathetic with the slow slide into less “friendly” territory).

  • Jill

    Hi. I’m a 40 something physics teacher outside of Philly. I’m a lurker. I’ve been reading for about 2 years, maybe. I’m half in/half out of the closet. I was raised fundamental evangelical christian and deconverted about 10 years ago. I’m out to a few people including my parents and my kids, but not to the larger community. I’m in love with Richard Wade (jk) so that is why I lurk, but also love you, Hemant.

  • Andi

    I’m a 40-something instructor of Physical Anthropology (Human/Primate Evolutionary Biology actually) at a community college in the Bay Area of California. I grew up Protestant but realized I was an atheist in college when I began to really think about these things. My husband is a 3rd generation atheist. (I envy him!)

    I love this blog, and I post on occasion. Thanks for all the great posts! (I follow it via Facebook.)

  • Jackie G

    Came across this site on Stumbleupon. Best day of my life. Proud to be from Northern Ontario (Canada) and “God” free!

  • bex

    Hi Tom in Leesburg/Ashburn I’m Becky from Leesburg!

    I was raised by two very religious, Southern Baptist clowns (yes, really and they did puppets too) and realized that religion sucked at a very early age. Agnostic for many years and finally said a few years ago, screw trying to hold on to a belief that I didn’t believe in.

    So I’m raising two 3.5 year old heathens (according to my not-so-gracious grandmother) without fear of god/jesus/whatever. But we do believe in Santa Claus! And the tooth fairy and the easter bunny. We plan on treating the god story like we do the Santa story.

  • Garrison

    I’ve been lurking for a couple of months now, so I appreciate the encouragement to come out from the shadows.

    I’m a 24 year old enrollment counselor at a small, public, liberal arts college in Colorado. I’ve always thanked my parents for my secular upbringing even though they have a pretty ‘woo-woo’ spiritual world view. They have been very supportive (although slightly confused) of my newfound atheist views.

    Keep the great content coming!

  • Allan

    Hello all!

    I’m first year doctoral student studying linguistics in California. Parents were very liberal and decided to let me find my own religion so I wasn’t really raised anything, although my mom did take me to church a couple times growing up. Was agnostic, then atheist, and now I just say I’m a secular humanist.

    Blog was suggested to me through greader and once I started reading, I couldn’t stop! Keep it coming Hemant!

  • walkamungus

    Hello from Connecticut! (“If people from Texas are Texans, people from Rhode Island are Rhode Islanders, and people from Wyoming are Wyomingites, what do you call people from Connecticut?” “People from Connecticut.”) I’ve commented a few times.

    44-year-old lifelong atheist. I was taken to Sunday school as a child but never believed any of it, although it was fun to sing the songs, eat the cookies, and get the occasional sparkly souvenir, like a white plastic cross with a purple tassel and “HE LIVES” in gold letters. (He lives? Well, it was pretty obvious that he didn’t, especially since he was dead, and it was a good story but so “made up.” I was a scary little rationalist even as a kid. Maybe starting to read before age 2 had something to do with it.)

    How could any deity come anywhere close to the amazing stuff the natural world gives us daily?

  • LeAnne

    Oookay, fine! I’m LeAnne. I’m a 20 year old sign language interpreting student and from Nebraska. Grew up in a pretty decently religious household with liberal parents. Started rejecting religion all together in college, although I had doubts as early as 10 or 11 years old.

  • Mmmmmmm

    [slowing stepping out of the shadows…]

    I’ve been lurking since I found your church surveys from the “ebay atheist” project. Fascinating! I particularly appreciate your positive approach, and watch avidly for posts related to people coming out, dealing with residual fears, or dealing with a still-believing spouse.

    Raised fundamentalist, read the Bible daily all my life, attended church at least 2x a week, knew all the “right” answers – I was definitely a “real” Christian. Always struggled to sense a connection with God, though, and finally realized about 2 yrs ago that’s because there’s no one there to connect to.

    I’m still afraid of Hell sometimes, and still afraid to call myself an atheist lest I be struck down, but no problem saying I don’t believe in a personal God or in Christianity.

    I live in Texas (not in Austin, unfortunately), so not a supportive environment for coming out. I’ve told my husband (still Catholic – that’s very hard), one sister, and a few friends, but otherwise don’t feel safe coming out. Years ago, my parents flipped out over me becoming Catholic even though I was in my late 20’s and on my own (I was “following Satan”), so how would they respond to the A word??

    I still go to mass with my husband at his request, but I oscillate between internal stewing and just letting my mind wander. I still really enjoy all the friendships I have at church, and don’t want to give that up. I’m sad to have lost the shared religious experience with my husband, but can’t will it back into existence.

    At the same time, I feel a great weight lifted off my shoulders since I no longer have to rack my brain to figure out why I’m not getting any response from God!

    [ducking in case any lightning’s headed my way]

  • Hi there, I’ve been “lurking” for a month or more now. I am an agnostic. My latest brush with religon was creating facebook controversy by calling people out on linking Bible verses to what is happening in Japan – which created a rift with my super religious cousin and aunt. I blog at http://drunkauntie.com and am still trying to get a “feel” for it.

  • I didn’t realize you had a commenter approval policy in place, or I would have commented already!

    I live in South Bend, Indiana (home of the Fightin’ Irish!) and am a microbiologist by trade (although I stopped working about three years ago). Although raised in an Assembly of God church, I eventually came to the conclusion that none of that was for me…or even believable.

    My blog is called Nutwood Junction. I just recently wrote an entry about PCR.

    Cheers!

  • AyaSka

    Lurker, female, not yet turned 29 for the first time. Norwegian, living in the UK. “Atheist for all intents and purposes”, I guess would be my label. 😛

  • Chad

    Hello, I’m another lurker who has only made a few comments so far. I’m a pilot from the Canadian prairies and have only identified myself as an atheist for a bit more than a year. I plan to “come out” on Facebook for A Week as doing my part to raise awareness, and am a bit nervous about the potential fallout.

    I grew up as a Christian, and thankfully my mother fostered my love for reading and thinking. My interests led me to devour apologist texts and follow the Creationist/Evolution “debate.” I eventually had to read the opposing arguments and go to the original sources that apologists frequently quoted. I had tried to make the faith my own; to replace the childhood obedience with evidence and reason, but most of you could have predicted how that would turn out!

  • Hello, Crommunist here. Black atheist, blogger about race/racism, free speech, religion, LGBT and women’s issues. From Vancouver, Canada.

    Love the site, started reading regularly about 3 months ago.

  • maria

    hi, my name is maria, i am 22 years old and i study law and economics in spain
    in my country theres a growing secular community or at least spanish people are least interested with the jealous father in the sky!! thats why the pope is coming in august, but not many spanishs are going, theres more people of italy and usa that are going to see the pope and our government is using public funds for the visit 🙁
    im a descendant of guanches and spanish sephardic jews who were persecuted by the spanish inquisition, cool huh?? not really…we had to change our surmane to cruz which means cross in english
    also, i was baptised and had the first communion, but guess what?? my parents are agnostics and my bother and me are atheist since way before my communion (who doesnt like lots of presents and make happy her grandmother??)

  • Steven

    Hi all, I’m a 25 year old Atheist from New Zealand and read this blogs 3-4 times a week. I was raised a Christian and grew out of it when I was about 15.

  • Jiji

    Name is Jiji (manhunter79 on youtube), 31 years old, female, born and raised in Bulgaria. My country was part of the communist bloc and was officially atheist. I was raised as nothing in particular, and encouraged to ask questions and read any books I like. I grew up an agnostic who never really thought of religion as anything other than a harmless habit some other people had got into, but slowly changed my mind after I got my education in McGill (Canada) and was made aware of Hitchens and Dawkins. Thanks to their lectures and debates, I’m now an anti-theist, and ended up on this blog a few weeks ago via youtube. It’s been fun.

  • Margy

    Hi, everyone. I comment occasionally, but mostly, I just lurk. This site is an oasis of sanity that I enjoy dipping into when the world starts closing in on me.

    I am a 60-year-old married female atheist who lives and works in Silicon Valley (Northern California). I went to RC schools for 12 years and was very devout, but by the time I was out of my teens, I’d become so disillusioned with the RCC that I quit going to church and never resumed. I was still a theist until about ten years ago, when it became undeniably clear to me that belief in a god was merely superstition. My husband was already an atheist long before we married, but we did not discuss religion much because he didn’t want to influence me.

    When I finally let go of theism, I initially felt bereft, as though I’d lost my best friend. Now, however, it is a great relief not to be burdened by “god’s plan.” (“Why did the hurricane hit?” Oh, it was god’s plan. “Why did the husband beat his wife?” “Why does the puppy mill flourish?” “Why is Dick Cheney still alive?” It used to drive me nuts.)

    I no longer have to justify “having faith” in ideas and concepts I can’t prove. I no longer have to defend a “loving god” who sends tsunamis to destroy innocent people and afflicts four-year-olds with leukemia. I can’t tell you what a relief it is!

    I look forward to many more hours exploring this site and basking in the wisdom of my fellow travelers.

  • Jeff Sherry

    Hello,
    Life long atheist and non-supernaturalist that remembers school prayer when going to grammar school in CT. Ex GardenStater, nutmegger, Michigander, Hoosier, Mountaineer.

    I guess I could be considered a lurker, rarely post comments, but often post your columns on my FB page.

    It is troubling to rarely meet atheists in the flesh.

  • GregP

    Hello!

    Just another recovered Catholic who enjoys your blog, keep it up.

  • Lorenzo Canales

    Hello from Orange County! I’m a 26 year old software developer in the middle of a pretty religious and republican area. Thanks for providing a fair, honest, and friendly perspective on atheism. Your website is the first place I send believers for some solid education on just what atheism and humanism are.

  • Jason in Birmingham

    Greetings,

    My name is Jason and I am from Montgomery, Alabama. I am currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB).

    I have posted once but for the most part I am a lurker (my apologies). In my defense, your posters are brilliant folk and I rarely have anything to add before I am beaten to the post by another with greater eloquence.

    I have been an atheist since I was seven, the first time i was witnessed. When my would be saver failed to explain how Jesus could be a god without having a planet named after him, it was pretty much over.

  • Dave

    I come here to remind myself that I am not the only one who can see thru the BS. Thanks for all of your hard work and wonderful insight. A special thanks goes to Richard for the extremely thoughtful responses he gives to all of those that reach out for his advice.

    25/m/Naperville, IL

  • ungodlynews

    Hi all. I’m Michael. I am a 40 something yr old parent, residing in the state of Wyoming. I tweet as @ungodlynews, and enjoy my occupation as an OR nurse. I am a member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and support humanist causes and separation of church and state. I spent my formative years in the Lutheran church, but reason and science eventually steered me happily to atheism.

  • Dr. Cuddles

    Hi, atheist for about ten years now in the great state of Georgia.

  • Lion IRC

    I’m new.

    Hi all.

    Hemant Mehta is a breath of fresh air in contrast to extreme anti-theists and I have lately started reading and enjoying this blog/forum.

    (But I think he should retract or clarify his reference to praying for the Japanese earthquake victims in the “Why is Religion so untouchable” OP because it looks and feels like a cheap shot coming at the exact same time this human tragedy is unfolding)

  • JustAGuy

    Your’s was the first website I stumbled across when I turned into a “militant atheist.” My wife’s words. Truthfully, reading a few atheist blogs is as radical as I get. I live in Texas. Any atheism is considered radical down here.

    I recall the very day I realized I was an atheist. The day. It was the day I was “confirmed” as a Presbyterian. On the drive home from church, my parents asked me about the confirmation. All I remembered was that I didn’t believe a word of it. Oops.

  • SWare

    I’m Sally. I’m 37 and have been a happily recovered catholic (baptized against my will as an infant), Presbyterian, Baptist, Lutheran, (basically tried all these for at least a little while) for the past five years.

    I lurked here for a couple of months before recently beginning to post. This is a great site and I occasionally share it on my facebook knowing that many of my religious friends will see it. Hey, if I have to see their, “thank god I’m so blessed, blah, blah, blah” posts then they should be able to handle a Friendly Atheist post on occasion.

  • I’ve commented a couple times here. I’m 20 years old and from Memphis, TN, and I’ll be studying computer science and math at the University of Memphis this fall.

    I’m a strong advocate for science education, and oppose the ID/creationist movement.

    I became an atheist when I was 13 while studying ancient religions and thinking, “If these gods aren’t real, what makes the one I believe in so special?” A few days after that popped into my head, I no longer believed in the Christian god. That’s the condensed version anyway.

    I also like to play video games and I’m a huge fan of heavy metal music. Death metal may not be popular, but it’s one of my favorite sub genres.

  • malendras

    Hello! I’m just throwing my name out here. I may or may not have commented before. I’ve been atheist for about 5 years and I live in New York City. Woot!

  • Randallphobia

    Hi,
    I’d heard of your site & been linked to an article or two, but have only been reading steadily for a little over a month. It’s a great site. I’m hooked.

    I grew up with a father who claims to be a Christian, but I’ve never seen him in a church for anything other than weddings or funerals. My mother is a Christian leaning agnostic. They allowed me to explore religion on my own. Going to the Church of Christ with my cousins from 7-9 grades made me an atheist. My parents’ response was that it’s my life, & they raise me to make my own choices.

    Though I’ve never exactly made my atheism a secret, it’s still rough in Texas. I’ve been given the finger for my several Darwin fish, but you just smile & show the “Christian” charity that the hypocrites are supposed to be showing you.

  • Angus

    Hey, my name’s Angus. I’m a journalism student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO, and an officer in our recently-SSA-affiliated Secular Students and Skeptics Society. I’ve been a self-identified atheist for roughly 6 years, but I wasn’t raised religious in the first place. I also write my own blog denouncing irrationality where I find it.

    My blog: unreasonablydangerousonionrings.blogspot.com

    The SSaSS website: ssassatcu.blogspot.com

  • walkamungus

    @Jason in Birmingham:

    I have been an atheist since I was seven, the first time i was witnessed. When my would be saver failed to explain how Jesus could be a god without having a planet named after him, it was pretty much over.

    OK, this is totally the best “deconversion” story I’ve ever seen here!

  • the_gwen

    I am a total lurker! I have been lurking around for a little over the last 6 months and haven’t posted anything before. I am 28/f/Toronto, ON Canada. I am just finishing a degree in psychology and applying to grad school next year. I come from a superstitious family and after dating someone of a different faith I realized its all crap!
    Love this site and a bunch of others, I follow you on Twitter too! I’ll try to post more 🙂

  • Hello everybody; glad to see some new names and some “old”. I am 38 years old, and a software developer here in the Phoenix, Arizona area. The link in my name goes to my website. I have a ton of hobbies, the majority of them revolve around computers and robotics.

    I don’t know when I became an atheist (as an aside – I hate that term, as it is a definition which defines those by the opposition’s terms – but I refuse to use Dawkin’s term of “bright” because it just sounds too trite for me); the slide towards it probably began after I stopped going to the Baptist church my parents took me to when I was in grade school (around the 5th grade). That was when I got my first computer, and at the same time I dropped out of scouting, too. I would probably consider that period being “agnostic” now.

    As I went thru middle school then thru high school, I slid back into another form of “woo” via various means (I enjoyed a lot of D&D and various fantasy fiction); there was incense, crystals, etc. Later I identified with being “solitary Wiccan”; this lasted into my early 20s, up until the point I met the woman who became my wife.

    She was (at the time) a Seventh Day Adventist; I was beginning the slide from “woo” and Wicca back down to agnosticism, then finally into full atheism. I don’t know where, when (or why) the full transition occurred; I can’t pin it on any singular conversation, thought, or book I read. Likely a big part of it had to do with ideas and thinking about artificial intelligence, perhaps.

    My wife at some point made her own transition to atheism, most likely due to arguments I made when we had various conversations and such (lol, one time in our early days, she prayed over dinner – which was Burger King)…

    That’s my basic story; I don’t tell it much, because there isn’t much there. I don’t define myself by my non-belief, but I certainly don’t like it when others try to push their beliefs on to me, as if I haven’t given it any thought, or that I am somehow wrong. I do enjoy having civil conversations and discussion about religion and other philosophical matters with others, when I can.

    Right now, I’m reading Godel, Escher and Bach (it’s long been on my “to read” list), and really enjoying it (prior to that was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – which was an enjoyable read, but I am still not sure what to make of it). One of these days, I need to attempt reading my copy of the “House of Leaves”…

    Anyhow – howdy, all!

    🙂

  • mr_j_mir

    G’day, 24 from New Brunswick Canada, couldn’t remember if I had commented before or not, I’m more of a lurker. I’ve read random articles on here in the past, and became a weekly follower in the past 6 months, and a daily follower in the past two.

  • Hey, I’m a government drone. Been an atheist close to fifteen years. Tried to pretend I was Christian for for a couple of years, but just couldn’t do it. It was how the conservatives and religion interacted that finally completely drove me away.

    I make sacrilegious duct tape art. and I have a fake Gov. Walker tweet

  • MaryD

    Amazing there are atheists out there, they just lurk apparently!

    Even more amazingly out of 199 posts, (a record?), ONLY two people say they are gay, which works out at 1% which agrees nicely with a recent survey in the UK. Normally we are in the 98% region here, which is strange as homsexuality has as much to do with atheism as playing golf does.

    Oh, and as for me, this god thing has never made any sense to me. If god created the universe it has got to be like a master gardener being given the whole of Texas but just cultivating one little flower pot.

  • Norbury

    Hi, Think I may have posted once or twice before. Generally read this blog (and a few others) on my rss feed on my phone, with my little baby girl asleep on me – as she is right now – so looking at full site is a bit tricky and hence I v. rarely read the comments. Was raised C of E (cake or death?) and got confirmed. I’ve even been made a godfather a couple of times, which I view as an honour more than a religious thing, but haven’t christened either of mine. My dad is pretty religious, and I have a cousin who’s a vicar with the Church of Ireland, so I keep a fairly low profile within my family, but I’m quite outspoken elsewhere.

  • Teera

    I am a currently 32-year-old atheist female in Sacramento, CA. I started questioning religion as a child (I went to a VERY religious preschool/kindergarten, then to public school), but only realized that I was an atheist towards the end of high school. My home was mildly religious, and I only recently realized that my father is also an atheist (although I don’t know if he identifies himself as such). I am in the materialist school of thought, in terms of everything that happens has a material explanation, nothing supernatural. However, there is no “wrong way” to be an atheist… if you don’t believe in any deities, then you are an atheist by definition.
    I waver between militant and mild, depending on my mood and the situation. I am not closeted, but neither do I shout my (lack of) belief from the rooftops.

  • Dr. Drey

    Hi Hemant,

    I don’t post here often at all, but I do read every day. I tried posting once or twice and it didnt show up… now I know why.

    Anyways, I am a medical student in my second year. I am currently in Brisbane, Australia and will be moving to New Orleans next year to finish my 3rd and 4th years. I was old enough to remember being baptized and thinking just how friggin’ weird that was. My parents were never particularly religious, and we almost never went to church, but we did go to Greek Orthodox (we are Bulgarian) festivals and those were fun with great food. In college I was wondering about god and thinking myself an agnostic. I had long discussions with a Muslim roommate and friend of mine and for a while had myself convinced (independently) that not believing in god was as much based in faith as believing in god. It was only in the past 18-20 months or so that I really began to educate myself on the topic and realized how wrong that thinking is. I am now confidently an atheist. And sometimes too much an anti-theist (a la Hitchens).

    In any event, I doubt I will post here much – I spend a lot of time posting at science based medicine, neurologica, and respectful insolence – but just in case, figured I would say howdy.

    And thanks. We need to keep the movement strong and show people that atheists are not horned devils out to get you. They can be people like me – studying hard to be a doctor because we care about humanity and suffering, despite fervently disbelieving in god.

  • SwimsWithSharks

    Greetings! I think I’ve posted once or twice before, but might as well introduce myself. I’m a future shark scientist, biology lover, Goldfish-snack addict, and atheist from the estranged pocket of the Midwest known otherwise as Eastern PA. I’m currently a junior in high school, and I plan to fly far away from here to get my Bachelor’s and Master’s in marine biology. I’m very lucky to be an atheist who not only has a loving and relatively accepting immediate family, but a group of friends who almost all share my religious opinions! Though I’m never going to be a Christopher Hitchens or a YouTube atheist (though I’ve watched just about everything they have), I do plan to join a secular group if one exists when I go to college.
    Keep posting awesomeness! I have the Friendly Atheist site up in a tab pretty much all the time! 😀

  • Robert Bowlin

    Steering committee member of Greater Worcester Humanists for 3 years. Regular member on ” Center of Mass” skeptic podcast. Regular visitor.

  • Sherry

    I’m a thirty-some mom and math teacher in Charleston, SC. I’ve been reading this site for a few months now. I grew up crazy evangelical Christian, and I’m not sure what I am now. Deist, agnostic, atheist? I very much enjoy reading your blog– always something new to think about!

  • Emma

    I’ve commented a couple times, but what the hey. I’m Emma, and I’m a student at Reed College. Planning on being a math/comp sci major (at Reed, comp sci is part of the Math department).

    I must say, it’s been an eye-opening experience, reading this blog. I grew up in a very secular family and town. It never occurred to me that terms like “coming out” or “in the closet” might apply to atheists. I certainly never thought about that way with my family.

  • @Bargain: No, I haven’t.

    I’m actually not sure if some issues can be discusses properly on the internet. I feel that many issues need to be hashed out face-to-face.

  • Lancothis

    I’m 34, male, live and work in San Diego, California.

    I don’t comment much and I barely ever read comments. I just read articles & blog entries and take from them what I will.

  • BoomerChick

    I lurk (occasionally comment) from Annapolis, MD, graduated from U of MD (behavioral science) back in the 1970’s, and believed in god for about as long as I believed in Santa Clause, tooth fairy, Easter bunny and flying terrapins (U of MD grads will get that last reference).
    My husband is an atheist too.
    I find it difficult to voluntarily reveal my atheism to most people because so many are judgmental. However if asked I respond honestly. So far I have not found many like minded individuals except on these islands of hope… internet blogs and websites.
    BoomerChick

  • Chelsea

    I’ve only commented a couple times, so I guess I’ll introduce myself.

    I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and am a student at the University of Alberta. I study Psychology and Philosophy (double major) and work part time in retail.

    I attend meeting of the University of Alberta Atheists and Agnostics, and just recently went to my first meeting of the Greater Edmonton Skeptics Society. Haven’t been to Society of Edmonton Atheists yet.

    I was raised relatively secular but dabbled in Christianity a bit in my adolescence. Ultimately I was too liberal for Christianity and the faith slowly melted away (my parents raised me feminist and freethinking, so it was hard for all that crap in the Bible to stick). I probably deconverted from Christianity in grade eleven or twelve (about four years ago), but only started identifying as an atheist about 1.5 years ago, which was around when I started reading this blog. Friendly Atheist was one of the first atheist blogs I started following, and it was monumental in bringing me into the atheist fold!

  • Tom

    Hi everyone,

    I am a recent atheist, having been raised as a Catholic, and am still adjusting to my new world view. The turning point for me was reading Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. There were many other influences but that book has changed my life.

  • JR

    Hello,

    I am Jacob, 17 from England. To be honest I havn’t had any bad experiences at all because of my atheism. Most of my mates are, and its no big deal. I only really have gotten into the whole atheist scene because thegoodatheist.net podcast was on my suggested podcasts on itunes.

    I do subrscribe to the “don’t be a dick” mentality, but it can be tricky when the odd crazy religious nutter is all up in my face. Anyways, nice to say hello instead of lurking about like Mr Dark from rayman 😛

  • Hi – atheist as long as I can recall. Raised by reform Jews but I called BS on that early on, though I went through the torturous nonsense of a bar mitzvah.

    My wife is a recovering fundamentalist Christian who is now more of a nondenominational theist. She’s not a creationist, thank goodness. Her family on her mom’s side remains amply represented by rural biblical literalist fundamentalists who pray for all kinds of vague nonfalsifiable stuff like “clarity” and “comfort”. Oh, and they pray for “safe travels” which I always find logically absurd.

    Love the blog, keep up the good work!!

    Brian

  • Malky

    Hi ex catholic and very happy I do not live in the USA (UK is where I am). From what I have seen I don’t think I could cope with the amount of apparent religiosity you have there.

  • Hi Bob! (LOL AA meeting over) I’m a 47 year old male living in the bible belt – North Carolina, near Charlotte. I was born and raised in Canada and raised in a Catholic home, attended a Catholic school until I was 13. I realized I am an atheist the year I was confirmed at age 12. I told my parents and got little reaction but they allowed me to attend a public high school. My family is agnostic/spriritual and gave up on all religion but they still live in Canada. I’m surrounded by christians, mostly southern baptists, and I feel trapped on an alien world here. I’m the only atheist I know personally so I quietly pretend to fit in so as not to draw the attention of all the baptist zombies who want to eat my brain. I have you and others on the web to thank for my daily dose of sanity. I’m a closet atheist except at home and on-line when I can. I’m an educator and fear for my job and a few friendships, if I was open about it. I just avoid the topic of religion when I can, accept at home where I vent to my poor wife almost daily.

    I’ve been reading your blog for about a year and a half and have posted a few times in the past six months. I enjoy the opinions I read here.

  • I guess I’m a lurker? I’ve posted once or twice before, but I don’t really post often. I’ve been an atheist since I was 13 (I used to be a bible thumping evangelical Christian). I live in Chicago, and I write a blog about the environment, public health, international relations and atheism.

  • Jay

    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog as a news reference site for a while now, and it’s been quite enjoyable. Having never really been a theist of any sort, and having been raised in a free-thinking environment, it’s quite enlightening to read of the experiences of others who are recovering from faith. If anything, seeing the harm done to people in the name of religion has motivated me to become far more vocal in my opposition to the irrational doctrines of religions everywhere I encounter them. I’ve recently started writing a book based roughly on the perplexing experience of first “meeting religion” as an adult. In any event, thanks for writing your very excellent and frequent posts!

  • Jessica

    Hi! I’m from Chicago- grew up in Burr Ridge which is pretty close to where you are (Naperville, yes?) I’ve never specifically believed in anything- I remember going to church a couple times with friends or grandparents and thinking “this seems pretty dumb…” I didn’t label myself as an atheist until junior year of college during an early American lit class when we read “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and finally said to myself “Yeah this is dumb.”

    I’m an apartment leasing agent in Lakeview and this site is in my daily rotation of things I need to go through before I can get my day started!
    I’m trying to find groups in Chicago to join or speakers to see, if you know of any to point me to.
    Love this site and think what you’re doing is pretty awesome!

  • Guffey

    Hello from Colorado! Mostly a lurker… posted maybe 5 times total. I had been reading your blog almost daily for about 3 years, then I quit a few months ago during that ugly conference crap – just couldn’t stomach that. But… I must have missed your blog… because here I am back reading, and look forward to reading more. Thanks.

  • Pat

    Hey there! I’ve been a lurker for a long time. I commented on a story a while back, but other than I’ve been pretty much mute for the whole two years I’ve been reading this blog.

    I’m a 23 year old male atheist (surprise!) who will be finishing his Bachelor of Physics in May. I live in Bozeman, Montana; the culture here is an interesting mix of progressive, utilitarian frontier values and regressive, religious frontier values. You may have seen us in the news… there have recently been bills introduced here that support the criminalization of homosexuality (not gay marriage, just being gay in general) and secession from the union. Needless to say, my politically active friends and I have been pretty busy since the november election that handed control over to the repubs.

    My hobbies include science, philosophy, politics, and engineering. I maintain a blog about these things here. I am generally an outspoken atheist, and am often labelled as militant. This is frustrating since I’ve yet to condone violence against a person simply for being superstitious.

    Anyways, I enjoy your blog and always look forward to updates. Keep up the good work!

  • OverlapingMagisteria

    Hi! I’m a mostly lurker, but occasional poster. I was raised Catholic, lost interest and faith around high school, then found and married a wonderful Catholic girl.
    My screen name refers to my enjoyment of the sciences and at how it tends to overlap in jarring ways with religion. If your wondering why its misspelled, its because the forums here at friendlyatheist had a character limit, so I had to drop a letter.
    Keep up the great site Hemant!

  • Michelle

    I lurk mainly but have posted a few times.
    I live in California in a surprisingly conservative and very religious town. In between feeling alone (hahaha) I work full time, am married and have two boys that I am raising in a non-religious household. I enjoy this site, enjoy the very smart and articulate posters here and recommend this website often. Thanks!

  • Rickster

    42 year old from Omaha. I grew up very active in a Presbyterian church and was involved in ministry for a while playing in a christian rock bad (nothing big time). I “saw the light” in college and gradually became a non-believer in any of the organized religions. Only in the last couple of years have I really considered the term “atheist” when describing myself.

    Ironically I work at a jesuit/catholic school in instructional technology and actually spend a bit of time designing online religion courses. Conflicting? Yes, I guess but reading Friendly Atheist helps keep me sane.

  • Gravity’s Wings

    Hi, I’m an 18 year old physics student in Rochester trying to eradicate stereotypes about my generation. My entire family is very liberal Christian, I’ve been an atheist since before I was 10, and lurking since I was about 16. I love your blog!

  • martha

    I started reading here maybe a couple of weeks ago. I am a 55 year old retired lawyer from Minnesota, but pretty much now a perpetual traveler. Being a lawyer, I can’t keep my mouth shut so I’ve posted most every day that I’ve read the blog. Not yet sure that I have had much to add!

    I’ve always been rather agnostic in my views, after all, how can anyone be certain? (Though in my late teens early 20s I was more of a believer, but with a rather amorphous god concept). In the last few years I have become more definite in my views as the god hypothesis doesn’t make much sense.

    Now I’ll push “submit comment” and see if I am still being moderated. 🙂

    EDIT: I’ll be damned, I am no longer held up for moderation.

  • Hello!

    My name is Larry and I’m a writer-problem.

    *insert “hello Larry”‘s*

    I’m from the desert of California and write poetry about decay and the natural environment blending with the urbanites.

    I’ve been lurking this site for awhile and have posted comments on occasion. It’s actually one of my main sources of entertainment and information in the morning.

    Anywho, nice meeting you all. Keep up the good work on the blog Hemant.

  • fsjayhawk

    I’m a 41 year old American male. I work for the US government and am currently posted to Canada. I never believed, despite my mother’s occasional efforts, and was asked not to come back to Sunday school at the age of five for asking too many pointed questions. I have been out socially since college but I generally avoid the subject of religion at work because it is not a subject for workplace discussions. I supervise and work with quite a few very religious people so when the subject does come up I try to get them to understand they can’t assume everyone else shares their beliefs. My wife is also an atheist and we are raising two pre-teen freethinkers. I’ve been lurking for a couple of years. Keep up the good work.

  • Black Swan

    Hi All!!

    I am a 43 year old wife, mother, business owner and life long atheist. In college I tried my best to be a believer, but it just wasn’t going to happen.

    I’ve been lurking around (actually I comment on the Facebook page) for a couple of months now. I love this blog because it isn’t militant atheist, which is no better than militant religious. I am an avid reader on various religions and my husband and I feel it is important to teach our children about what other people believe. Because we live in a country (USA) of such diversity in belief systems, knowing how others believes helps us all relate and understand people better. And we think it is important for our children to have enough knowledge to come to their own conclusions on religion when they get older. That said, at 9 and 14 they come up with their own very compelling reasons for atheism that we hadn’t thought of :-).

    Cheers to all!

  • brenna

    MWF 36 mother of 2 boys with one more on the way. Raised a-religious, encouraged to go to any church I was interested in while mom is Catholic-ish. Atheist since high-school… raising my boys to be free-thinkers and questioners.

  • Lesa

    Mostly been a lurker, but I comment occasionally…f/23/Santa Cruz CA. I majored in biology and physics in college, and love science, but that actually has nothing to do with how I became an atheist…I read the Bible in one of my freshman college classes and was so horrified by the Old Testament I completely threw in the god towel, so to speak (not that I was particularly Christian before, but if you’d asked if I believed in their God, I would’ve said yes). I told my family a few years ago but they’re all Catholic and I’m pretty sure they thought I was kidding. We’ll see what they say at my very obviously secular wedding in a year or to…should be interesting, to say the least. 🙂

  • Alexina

    Hello, my name’s Alexina, 8th grade, living in VA.
    Atheist since 5th grade, the rest of my family is Catholic. (Except my dad, I have no idea what he is. I think he may be agnostic, leaning towards Christianity.)

  • Joseph_N

    Hello there! My name is Joseph, I’m 21 years old and I reside in South Texas. I am a college student, double major of communication and finance. I’m also an atheist. I began following your blog about a year ago and since then it has become my number one source for atheism on the web (reddit being #2).

    I first began to question religion and the existence of any sort of deity when I was about 17 or 18. I struggled with it for a couple of years before I finally came to the conclusion that I no longer believed in a god. At first, the realization scared me, I felt like I was all alone. But once I started following this and a few other websites, as well as studying the works of Hitchens, Dawkins and Harris, I knew that there were others out there like myself.

    This is the first time I’ve ever posted something on here, always been a lurker. I wanted to say keep up the good work!

  • Kate

    Hello!
    I’m a happily married 35-year-old living in Southern Illinois. I was raised in the Mormon church but left 3 years ago because I couldn’t believe it any more. I’ve been a lurker for the past year. Thanks for your blog Hemant!

  • Erin Kinsel

    Hey all, I’m a lurker, haven’t posted until now. I stumbled upon this site last year and have enjoyed the posts and appreciate the topics. I’m in Shallotte NC, smack dab in the middle of the bible belt. I’m proud to say that my 13 year old son is a fan as well. As a mom of three it’s tough to find like-minded individuals, so I’m trying to raise some good ol’ freethinkers!

  • Amarantha

    I think I’ve commented before, but my ultra-lurking arse can’t be entirely certain. So Hi, Hemant 🙂 Wow, hundreds of posts already as the lurkers come out of the woodwork. Maybe you should nick Jen’s idea and take a census.

  • 29/F/WA — I mostly lurk, but occasionally comment if it’s something I feel strongly about, or if I have a question.

    Currently a student, my blog should be available if you click my name.

  • dc

    I’ve posted a few times in the past 6 months that I’ve been visiting the site. I’m a 43 year old homemaker in Alaska, homeschooling my three kids.

    My husband and I were both raised SDA, which we left 3 years ago. We transitioned out to an evangelical non-denominational church, then left that last year. I’m an atheist and he’s agnostic.

    I occasionally visit the Unitarian Fellowship here when the topic interests me. They’re a bit too spiritual for me, but it’s been an overall pleasant experience.

    I learned about your site through Dale McGowan’s books on parenting Freethinkers.

  • Bryn

    Sup, I’m Bryn from Chicago. I’m approximately 13.75…ish. I’ve probably commented here before, but I’m not sure.
    Anyway, I made the conscious decision to be an atheist when I was about 12 or so, and have been skeptical of religion ever since I was 9- ish. I never really knew why I believed what I did, which was probably the one largest cause of my atheism… It all started out quite innocently, at an Easter vigil at the church I used to go to. The pastor was all like, “So, Bryn, why are you a Christian?” I really didn’t know, so I made up some crap about the fine- tuning argument that I didn’t even begin to really believe. So, I thought the question over in my head, and I never really could quite come up with a satisfactory answer. A new laptop for my 10th birthday, some Gnu atheist books, and plenty of atheist- y websites and Youtube videos later, and I was an atheist. Not much else to say. Oh, and if anyone’s bothered reading this whole comment, thank you very much! Here’s a cookie! 😀 *gives you an imaginary cookie*

  • Sinfanti

    Howdy. I’ve been reading F.A. for about a year and have commented occasionally.

    I’m a 38 year old Chicagoan who has lived in England, Japan and currently Taiwan. I grew up Catholic thanks to my mother, who truly is wonderful. Despite never having any bad experiences with Catholicism during my K~12 in Catholic schools, I always had doubts about religion as a whole. Reading Douglas Adams’ Salmon of Doubt helped me to cross the line from agnosticism to atheism.

    This is a great site and I’m glad to be a part of this virtual community. Thanks Hemant.

    Sinfanti

  • Hollynoats

    I’m Hollyn! I’m 25 and I live in the Portland, OR area with my boyfriend and our 2 cats.
    I’ve been an atheist since I was about 16 and I thank my mom’s conversion to Catholicism when I was 13 for making me realise what crap it all is.

    I discovered this site about 7 months ago, after reading I Sold My Soul on Ebay.
    I may have commented a few times, but probably only if I was feeling feisty. 🙂

    I don’t really have an active blog anymore, so I spend most of my internet time on facebook.

    I’ve found being open to a universe without god opens the mind’s eye wider than any life eternal could ever possibly offer.

  • Margaret

    I’ve been lurking for several months now. I’m a 35-year-old mom near Dallas, TX. I’ve slowly realized that I’ve been an atheist for awhile but I hadn’t wanted to admit to myself. I still attend a very liberal Methodist church with my family — mostly for the community and that I see them doing more good than harm. I’ve only really “come out” to my husband (and now y’all – hi, internet!), who is really a deist but likes to be involved with the church community too.

    I really enjoy the blog and the comments here. I still haven’t decided if I’ll declare my non-theism IRL anytime soon. Being religious is a pretty big deal here in Texas, especially among the people I’m friends with. Plus, being a Christian is part of the persona I’ve built up here. Fortunately, being science-minded is a bigger part of my persona, so maybe it won’t be a big surprise when I do.

  • PJB863

    I’m Phil. I’m agnostic/strongly skeptical. I come here for my daily dose of sanity. I even post once in awhile.

    Born & raised in DuPage Co. Illinois by lukewarm Catholic parents who eventually became atheists, moved to Oak Park, IL after school (big cultural difference). Moved to rural Florida at age 42, and back to Illinois at age 50 – about a year ago. Now residing in rural DeKalb Co.

    Mostly Admin/IT careerwise, with a 15 month foray in to law enforcement while living in Florida. Also gay, so I’ve been dealing with irrational, delusional, invisible-friend-in-the-sky zealots for years.

  • Time sure flies! I remember introducing myself on the 2009 lurker thread.

  • Hi gang!

    My name’s Al, I’m in central North Carolina, relatively recent arrival here, just haven’t commented yet. I have a blog (linked in name) dedicated to critical thinking, nature photography, scientific curiosity, and dripping sarcasm. I’ve been an atheist since early twenties (so over twenty years) and a rabid one a little less so 😉

  • ChrisP

    Chris here, commented once, I believe, though perhaps I am mistaken. 22, knowingly an atheist since 14, actually one from about 11. Born in S. Fl, only left there for college, and then only to central Florida (it is like a whole different state). Probably will keep lurking for the most part, no offense intended.

  • Jesus

    My dad was a pastor, my grandparents missionaries. All of my aunts and uncles and cousins are devout right-wing religious nutjobs and some are currently pastors/ministers/missionaries or all of the above. All are deeply involved in the church, playing piano, offering sermons, singing in the choir, holding events. I am frustrated by their existence but more by their views.

    If you want to know what it’s like to live in a massively large family that are all deeply religious and post Facebook comments like “What a glorious day our Lord has provided us with. Let us pray that He continues to give us beautiful weather. Oh and please pray for Mary, she has bronchitis. I know He will see her through it”, feel free to ask. I’ll be happy to give you a sad commentary on real religious families.

    I did not become an atheist until I was 16 and didn’t start hating religion until much later. Now I breathe fire over it. I love this site and check it every single day when I get home from work. Keep up the great work.

  • Ariel

    Hello! My name is Ariel. I’m 18 and am currently attending high school in Oklahoma. I found this website through tumblr. I have recently come to the realization that there are no gods, and it makes me very sad for the majority of the human race, still trapped under the spell of dogma. I feel like the ignorance of the people I’m surrounded by is as heartbreaking as it is frustrating.

    I went to church all of last year and it pretty much served as a tipping point after being on the fence all these years between faith and reason. The more I really started going in-depth on the scripture, the more it sounded like an elaborate, drawn-out ruse. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen to more people as they get older or start studying scripture.

    I am hoping to connect with some like-minded students when I attend college in the fall. Until then, I feel like I just have to keep my mouth shut and stay out of trouble.

  • Kari

    Hi! I’m Kari. I was raised by a Pentecostal mother/atheist father(mom’s now agnostic. They’re still married, though!). I’m an atheist(however, as much as I claim they aren’t real, I still believe in ghosts, just a tiny bit, probably because I love scary movies). Religion fascinates me, though! I find it so interesting studying the history of world religions.
    I’m a Women and Gender Studies major at Oakland University. I swear a lot. I blame it on the fact that I’m dating a sailor, but I just like to swear. Don’t worry, though. I’ll try not to swear here.

  • sam

    Though I’ve only been a regular reader (regular as in feed reader regular)for a few months I’ve been coming here from links for at least a couple of years, and all of the people who posted those links were secular homeschoolers that I’ve met online. That has little to do with any of this story though.

    I’m Sam, I’m a restaurant cook, and I live in Knoxville with my kids and their dogs when they’re not at their mom’s. Maybe it’s a little off topic, but she and I are still married even though I’m gay and have been out for about four years. We plan to get a divorce eventually, but it just hasn’t seemed quite worth the trouble yet. We’re doing our part to ruin the sanctity of traditional marriage.

    I was raised fundamentalist Baptist and attended school, kindergarten through high school, at the Christian school that was part of our church. We were the family that was always there and was always as involved as possible. I honestly thought, growing up, that the vast majority of people were just like us and that there was this tiny slice of humanity out there that was “the world.”

    The seed of atheism began to germinate in my mid teen years when a church member was praising god because the church member’s father had been in an accident, totaled his car, yet walked away unharmed. Of course it was because of god’s grace that the father wasn’t hurt, and I wondered to myself if it wouldn’t have been more graceful to not allow the father to be in the accident in the first place. A couple of years passed before I read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for the first time, and that sort of settled it for god.

  • Cents

    Hi Hemant and all,
    I am a 62 year old male Canadian atheist living in South Surrey near White Rock (known by the locals as Wrinkle Rock based on how old the people are who live here.) It is one of the prime residential locations near Vancouver BC where Canadians from all provinces come to die (i.e. it is a major retirement area as it is close to the border – shopping! and the climate is mild – by Canadian standards – with great Vancouver ocean and mountains – looking forward to further climate improvements thanks to global warming).
    I was a science student in university in Montreal (Concordia) taking math and physics and then moved to Vancouver in 1974 where I subsequently became an accountant. I have been retire for over 5 years now and just got back from a 2 months holiday in Punta Cana in the DR.
    I admit I am having a damn good life living in a relatively sane and non-violent and prosperous part of this one planet we all share.
    I was born to non-religious Jewish parents in Montreal and lived in the Montreal East end for over twenty years (as a result felt the racist an bigoted views of French Canadians and others against the “Christ killers”. Oh the Pope just said it was all a mistake not all the Jewish people were responsible for killing a figment of the Christian imagination. Well for that, I won’t blame all you Catholics for raping all those children either.)
    I have never been pushed towards any religion but did have to go through the horror ritual called a bar mitzah. I had a very Jewish last name and so I changed it before I married so my kids would have to put up with the racist taunts growing up.
    Except for a quick look at Christianity (lasted less than a week) when my born-for -the- first-time brother became a Pentacostal and then married one (this was after his nervous breakdown – where he saw Jebus).
    I have been more vocal in my Atheism after reading the God Delusion, God is not Great, listening to Sam Harris, Dennett, Pat Condell (yes I like Pat) and visiting regularly the Dawkins, Myers, Coit, Atheist Media Blog and your websites as well as others.
    My wife who was brought up a Anglican is still a moderate believer (I don’t push my atheist views excessively most of the time – my adult kids are tired of hearing it – X, my wife once called me an evangelical. I tried to tell her that was an oxymoron but I didn’t win that one either).
    I “believe” religious belief is a delusion primarily due to brainwashing of humans when they are young. The hope for the future is blogs and internet to get teh word out. Look what it did for the uprising in Egypt. The crap that is peddled as religion cannot be hidden from the scrutiny of the internet. I believe the future is dependent on science and rationality and there is hope for the future while humanity lives. I have a secular humanist world view and although I haven’t joined any atheist, skeptical, humanist groups in the Vancouver area I am giving strong thoughts of doing so this year when I can find time between the travel to the Galapagos/Machu Picchu in July, Tuscany in September and my youngest daughter’s wedding in Playa del Carmen in November.
    I have enjoyed reading your relatively mild views (what else would you expect from a “friendly atheist”) although I definitely more a gnu atheist as you can gather from my previous comments. I also enjoy reading the comments in the blogand appreciate all voices against religion and for rationality. Keep up the good work!

  • I’m a long time Silicon Valley atheist. Now getting more involved in the local Secular and Humanist communities. Mostly read the main entries here, not too much into reading all the comments, but will add my two cents occasionally.

  • Karthik

    Hi all. I am a 26 yr old male, originally from India and currently living in the SF bay area.

    I was raised as Hindu, but religion was never really a big part of my life. I finally outgrew it in college and I considered myself agnostic. Sometime after college, I read Richard Dawkins’ wonderful book “The God Delusion” and I have called myself an atheist since then.

    I have been reading this website regularly for the past 2 yrs. I resent that most people see atheism as something negative, and this site gives me a sense of solidarity and comfort. Thanks Hemant and keep up the good work 🙂

  • Mitchbert

    51/m/Tacoma. WA. Been reading your blog for a couple of years. Atheist for 30 years or so.

  • Evie

    Greetings from someplace extremely close to Toronto!
    I’m generally considered to be pretty damn intelligent for someone so young (I’m 14), and a lot of people are surprised by my outspoken atheism. You could argue that my parents “indoctrinated” me, as my mother is an atheist and my father is what some people would call a militant atheist. He’s got a lot of personal issues with religion, as he was raised Catholic and resents being lied to all those years. But the fact of the matter is that my parents only told me everything they knew about science, evolution, and how the universe was formed, and when I asked about God they just said that they didn’t believe, but I could if I felt like it. I never did, nor did I believe in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I’ll never know what it feels like to really believe in something, but that’s alright with me.

    I absolutely love your blog. It’s nice knowing that there’s such a huge community out there, and I almost feel guilty for having it so easy compared to many other atheists.

  • Phil314

    Greetings from Canada!

    31/m I’ve been lurking for a while. Raised Anglican, but from a young age I was taught to think for myself and to find my own answers. And before my 12th birthday I realized that I did not believe in anything supernatural.

  • Hey,
    I’m Mark, a 21 year old lifelong atheist in New Zealand. I’ve been reading this blog for around a year now.

    I usually follow your posts via an RSS reader, so don’t see any of the comments, but after this I’ll probably try to read (and possibly write) them more often.

  • Alayne

    My name is Alayne and I’m a high school student in Minnesota. I don’t really know when I became an atheist, but I’ve been following this blog for a while. I was never super religious or anything and neither were my parents. My extended family is very religious for the most part and that’s where I struggle. But, I plan to move far away for college where I can have more freedom. I hope to gradually get more involved with secular and liberal causes.

  • gmb

    I’ve been a daily reader (lurker?!) for about a year now. I really enjoy your site 🙂

  • Bones

    Hi! I’m a 21-year-old woman from North Carolina and I’ve been lurking here for almost a year, I think. I was raised in a strict Christian household and now identify as agnostic. I just started a blog at http://gunsforeyes.wordpress.com/ . Nice to meet all of you! :]

  • Zazzles

    I’m a 21 year old atheist in Thousand Oaks, CA. Honestly the biggest thing that this blog has taught me is how lucky I am that my atheism was such a small part of my life. I grew up with multiple Christian/Hindu friends, but for the life of me can’t remember a single unsavory encounter with them, or their parents over my atheism. Both of my parents are agnostics and don’t really care enough about religion to make a big deal over it. After reading some of the stories of what people have had to go through “coming out,” I realize just how lucky I was to grow up in a family and community that was so easily accepting of my beliefs.
    I have been reading the blog for a little over a year now, I think it is a great way to stay caught up on what is happening, and feel sad/happy/enraged about whatever is going on. I am hoping to become more involved in the atheist community, as I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated at some of the injustices carried out in the name of religion. I would not call myself a militant atheist, or a particularly extreme one, but I have zero tolerance whatsoever for any form of limitation or rights or discrimination over religion, an issue which is just plain embarrassing to still be struggling with in our modern world.

  • Hi! I’m Reve, and I’ve been a regular visitor here since… last summer, I think? I originally came across the site via WWGHA or someplace like that a while back, but didn’t start following it until July or so. I’m mainly a lurker, but I really enjoy your blog.

    Anyway, I’m female, from Oregon, a musician and currently a high school student. I was raised in a nonreligious household, so I’ve been an atheist all my life — it’s only the past couple years, though, that I’ve actually thought about it much and taken an interest in religion and atheism.
    Now it’s a subject that I’m really pretty interested in and like to try to be knowledgeable about. 🙂

  • G’day!

    My name’s Scott & I’m from Perth, Western Australia. I’m in my thirties, and after attempting to start an atheist/skeptic blog I decided to stick with publishing/retweeting stuff through twitter as my effort to disseminate good information. I occasionally nudge facebook contacts with the on scientific correction. I think I’m a reader, not a writer 😉 Although one of the reasons I didn’t keep up the atheist blog is that I maintain a technical blog for work – just too much for me. That and there are so many good blogs to consume out there already.

    My circle of friends here are typically atheist, some formerly religious. I think they’re all basically skeptics too, but don’t really know about the ‘movement’.

    I think it sucks atheism is considered a minority or fringe group and some people think it wise to keep it secret.

    Everyone keep up the great work!

    Scott.

  • oh, missed one – I’m a software developer 😉

  • Cthulhu

    Hello, my name is Adam and I am an 18 year old, liberal, gay, atheist from Wisconsin. Hopefully going to be leaving the state that Walker destroyed soon. Enjoy reading your blog quite a bit. Been an atheist since about the age of 15.

  • Benjamin

    Benjamin, from MD here. Lurking is more or less my thing, but I’ll chime in on a thread now and then.

    Does this have anything to do with the DDoS business over at Scienceblogs?

  • Fred

    Fred, from NZ. Lurking is good.

    Been atheist since around 12 or 13 when I started to ask question and wasn’t ‘quite’ satisfied with the answers.

  • Maike

    Hi, I’m Maike, 23, from Germany and I study science journalism. I was raised catholic and realized I was an atheist only about a year ago. I’m still afraid of telling my family, especially my parents and grandparents, because religion and faith are so important and self-evident for them. ‘Atheist’ is just not an option and they use this word in a very derogatory sense. I guess they’ll find out sooner or later, at the latest when my boyfriend and I won’t get married in church in a couple of years…

  • Claudia

    Wow I had no idea there were this many lurkers Hemant! I haven’t commented till now because you did reserve the thread to new people and my pain-in-the-ass self could never be confused for “new”.

    Still I want to say for myself that I’m very impressed by how many and how varied the folks are here. Also to the Spaniards specifically: Bienvenidos a mi compatriotas 🙂 Espero veros en los comentarios alguna otra vez, a ver si combatimos este mito que los españoles somos todos unos católicos amantes del papa.

  • Dawn

    Hi, I’m Dawn from New Brunswick, Canada and I call myself a Catholic Atheist, because although I don’t believe there is a god, catholicism is still part of my culture. I celebrate Christmas and Easter with my kids (although they don’t know the religious meaning of those holidays) and who I am is influenced by the fact that I have a catholic heritage.

    I started having doubts about my religion when I was 9 or 10. I went to confession one day and I asked the priest: if Jesus had been stoned to death, would the symbol of church be a big rock instead of a cross? He essentially told me that little girls shouldn’t ask questions like that. That went against everything my scientific dad always taught me, that one should question everything and that “why” was the best word there was. That started the (on-going) process that lead me eventually to atheism.

    One of my prouder moments as an atheist mom was when my 3-year-old son was playing with a friend of his. They were pretending that the cat was sick, so the friend said: “Let’s pray so the cat gets better”, and my son answered: “No, let’s do something that works and give her medicine.”

  • Hi, I’m a 48-year-old novelist. I was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist cult and educated entirely in its schools. The teachings of the cult never made any sense to me at all, but at the same time, managed to instill in me a great deal of abject terror. I don’t think I got a good night’s sleep until I was about 22 because I was kept awake by nightmares about the coming “time of trouble” (the Sadventist cult is apocalyptic). I always wanted to be a writer, but it was discouraged because Sadventism teaches that all fiction is evil. When my first novel (a horror novel) was published in 1984, I was living in the Sadventist village of Angwin, California. When word of the book got out, old friends stopped talking to me, I received anonymous threatening phone calls, my tires were slashed, someone smeared dog shit inside my car, and finally, I was shot at while driving a route I took regularly. I moved. My parents told me I’d brought it on myself because I’d always loved comic books, novels and horror movies. Three cheers for religion.

    I am now a happy and content atheist — but it’s taken me until middle age to get here. I frequently write for the blog Atheist Oasis (http://www.atheistoasis.wordpress.com) and have finished my first nonfiction book, THE UNITED STATES OF JESUS, about the ongoing attempt to transform America into a totalitarian Christian theocracy. I love the FRIENDLY ATHEIST blog and am a regular reader.

  • Misty

    34-year-old mother of two in Indiana; I work for a software company. I have been reading for a couple months – your blog is my current favorite.

  • Traziness

    Hallooo! I’m a soon-to-be-hitched/f/accountant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
    I’ve been an atheist as long as I can remember -asking questions never got me any answers and the books in the library were full of bullskevitch. My parents baptised me Luthern (small Norwegian town) but I complained about being lied to when they sent me to Sunday school so that was the end of all the fluff.
    I’ve never been able to choke down read any bible but I read Charles Templeton’s Farewell to God in my early 20’s and enjoyed it immensely!
    Mom had a near death experience on the operating table and told me all about what the pearly gates looked like and what the gate keepers said to her. I thought that was pretty nice for her.
    I accidentally fell in love with a fundy (or close to it) and as soon as I got my silly butt out of that one I’ve been visiting here every morning for some comraderie and for the occasional chuckle.
    I’m now happily engaged to another atheist! Thank you SO MUCH for this blog. Thinking is good! 🙂

  • I’ve been reading the blog for about a year but I don’t think I’ve ever commented. I’m a 24 year old web designer and part time retail drone, originally from Massachusetts and currently stuck in New Hampshire.

    I was raised in a family of non-practicing Irish Catholics who only go to church when someone dies or gets married, and I think I was about 15 when I started considering myself an Atheist, although I’m not sure I ever really believed in God.

  • Silent Service

    I know I don’t qualify as a lurker but I’ve never really introduced myself or been approved of by anybody in authority. 🙂 Certainly my employers don’t really approve unless you hit them over the head with a large voting bloc.

    Hi everybody. My name is *** and I am a 45 yo retired Air Force NCO. I’m married with kids, and my wife is the most wonderful person ever. She knows I’m bi and accepts that my sexuality is as much a part of me as my non-belief. We are both non-believers, though I would say she is more a deist and I’m more an atheist. No I don’t post under my real name. I still work for the government and even with the end of DADT happening as we speak; I wouldn’t go public because we all know there are more than a few ways to get rid of somebody you don’t like.
    Thanks for letting me hang out in your electronic playground, Hemant.

  • Gandalfe

    Not sure if I’ve commented before…

    Raised by an Episcopal priest, I was expected to follow in his footsteps. (I’m actually a 6th generation Priest’s Kid.) I tried to suspend my disbelief in my early 20’s, going to church regularly, but, while I enjoyed the sense of comfort the ceremony gave me (and still does, on the rare occasions I go with my father to church), I was never able to really forget the sense that it was just, as MC Hawking says, “Straight-up fairy stories even children don’t believe.”

  • Dan

    Dan from Columbus, OH. I’m an Account Executive / Management Services Analyst. Atheist for as long as I can remember. Grew up in a non-religious household, but parents would take me to any church if I asked.
    I’ve posted responses a couple times. Sent Hemant some news stories. Actually got a chance to meet him at the Lauriol Plaza restaurant after the Jon Stewart rally back in October.

  • Joe

    Hey there! I’m up in Ontario and I’ve been a reader for awhile. While I did go through a brief phase of ‘being Christian’, I suppose one can only delude themselves for so long, and fortunately, rational thought got the better of it.
    I believe that the best way to get the religious to question their beliefs is to get them to really read their own holy books, so I blog at gospelofjoe.com, where I’m reading through the Bible and putting it into layman’s English, one chapter at a time.

  • Pureone

    Rochester mn, Lab technician, freethinking guy.

  • Carrie

    Hello! I’m a college administrator, originally from New York, but now live in an uber Christian community in rural Indiana. I have been a non-believer for 20+ years. My parents never took me to church, although I was confirmed as a Lutheran because you know…all my friends were doing it! I attended two different Catholic colleges which only reinforced my disbelief in religion. While in NY my atheism was never an issue. While my mother gave me a hard time about not having my son baptized, I made it clear that it made no sense for an atheist to have their child christened! So my son and I now live in a region full of Pentecostals, Evangelicals, Mennonites, Amish, Quakers, and all around Jesus freaks. I’m not “out” to many of the people I work with because their small mindedness would never allow them to accept me as a moral individual without religion. I started reading atheist blogs when I suddenly felt like a marginalized person for the first time in my life. Thank you for posting such well written, eye opening pieces and for helping me keep my sanity in this crazy little town! I will lurk no more!

  • Doug

    Been keeping up with Friendly Atheist for a little over a year now. Found it through stumble upon and I try to add any new articles I can.

    I’ve been an atheist since the end of high school after being confirmed as a Lutheran (only lasted about a year). I’m an mechanical engineering student from Iowa State University hoping to work for a Nuclear Power Plant when I graduate.

  • I posted yesterday – didn’t go up. Thought I’d try again.
    I’ve commented once, maybe twice before. I enjoy this site. You present what I fondly hope is the attitude most people prefer: respectful, moderate discussion.
    One must respect other points of view even if one disagrees with them, allowing one proviso. The root of all morality is that we do not treat others as objects. To rant and rage at someone is to show that you don’t feel they or their ideas are worth considering. You dehumanize them.
    I suspect ranting also hides a fundamental insecurity; they are dehumanizing themselves by refusing to honestly reflect on their own ideas.
    Knee-jerk reactions are easy – hence site moderation.
    As per who I am, I’m from Oregon. Raised ‘social’ christian, tried being actively christian in college. Was really great at first – a sense that I didn’t have to figure things out any more. Somewhere, somehow, there were ansewers even if I couldn’t find them. Couldn’t keep it up. Part of it was the terrible seriousness of religion. Gods should be able to take a joke. Mostly it was just honesty. I couldn’t let a god get away with behaviors and excuses I wouldn’t allow others or myself.
    Being atheist is harder than being religious, but at least you know you’re actively trying to figure out yourself and your world.
    I blog at: http://thinklovesurvive.wordpress.com/ on this and other topics and whimsies.

  • Rohan

    I can’t remember If I’ve ever posted here before, but I’m a 30 year old Canadian, living in Canada’s version of the bible belt

  • Hey.

    Long time reader. Lifelong atheist raised in a atheist household in the UK. Now live in Brighton, the most godless city in the UK.

    I’m rather a militant atheist, can be quite intolerant of religion. More generally I’m a skeptic in all the usual areas

    I tweet a http://www.twitter.com/peel_acres

  • mcarp

    Hi Hemant. I’m relatively new, and mostly a lurker. (I’ve maybe left 2-3 comments.) I enjoy your blog as a way to keep up on events and happenings. In addition to lurking, I generally only check once or twice a week and I only rarely read all the comments.

    I am a computer programmer located in Boise, ID. I’m in the process of extricating myself from the religion I grew up in (complicated by family, including wife). There is a small group of atheists here in Boise and I’m trying to get connected with them. (So far, I’ve had conflicts with their get-together dates and times.)

    Keep up the good work.

  • The Aardsnark

    Hello, I’m in the Seattle area. I’m a new reader — new to this blog and atheist/freethinker etc. blogs in general. I was not raised religious, but I’m not really “out” to most people. In the past I’ve said I’m not religious, and have thought to myself that I’m non-theist. I’ve only recently started identifying as atheist. Labels! What fun. Great blog! I look forward to being a regular reader.

  • I lurk here quite a bit, but imagine I would like to comment a few times and such.

    Hi 🙂

  • Lauren

    I’ve been a big fan of Friendly Atheist for a couple years now. Lifetime atheist – never baptised (thanks Mom!) I am 29/F from the South Bay, Los Angeles. I am a pretty fun loving lady with friends from all walks. I just had to sell a friend today at lunch on the fact that not all Atheists are fantatic god-haters! (Why would we hate what doesn’t actually exist?) She listened – I think! (:

  • Priscilla

    I’m from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee. If anyone remembers it, I was the one who sent the letter to the FFRF regarding the illegal prayer at graduation and sporting events in Hamilton County in 2010. I’ve been an atheist since I was a little girl, but didn’t come out until my Sophomore year of high school. I am searching for ways to get more involved in trying to stop the nonsense going on in schools and government.

  • jacqui

    Hey! I’m agnostic. I’m the president of a freethought group at my college. Big fan of this blog! 🙂

  • Not sure if I have introduced myself, so here goes:

    Live in the PNW, longtime atheist, writer (mostly SF/F/H), amateur genealogist, former programming director for a major SF/F con, day jobbe as a disaster preparedness instructor (FA, AED, CPR, HazMat, Fire Extinguishers, BBP, organizing, etc), retired FF/EMT, I know The Ultimate Answer, and I am one of those independents that they are always claiming will be on their side though usually I am not.

    ‘nuf said? Am I in yet? Do I get to learn the secret handshake? Will you send me my official Friendly Atheist decoder ring?

  • Angelo

    Hi, My name is Angelo, and I’n from the Caribbean island of Aruba (“Satan’s Island” according to some American fundies who have blogs)I’m a 33 year old nonbeliever working with Christian Catholic kids. Did I mention that I’m gay too?

    I was raised as a Catholic, though mom and dad neglected my Catholic education. It was grandma who insisted and forced me to go to church on Sundays.

    I became a nonbeliever on my 25th birthday. I discovered how the religions and spiritual groups are taking advantage of people’s misery, selling hopes and false promises. Spiritual groups are very active here, offering expensive workshops for a better life, while preaching the Love and the Universe and other ideology from nutcases like John-Roger and L.Ron Hubbard.
    The Catholic Church only supports you while you are in good health and things are going good with your job. But when things go bad, the Church is the first one that shuts the door in your face.

    There were reports acussing other Christian denominations like the Maranatha Church and Seventh Day Adventists of being involved in faux marriages. That means they arrange immigrant women from Colombia and Dominican Republic to marry with Aruban men for work permits or passports, and more Church members.

  • Lgirl

    Lgirl Here from Dartmouth NS.
    Stay at home Mom of 2 girls.
    Atheist since I was about 10 and asked my Brother a few questions. It is an adventure raising my little free thinkers. both have had moments of discrimination (by other children) in school.
    Your’s is my fav. atheist blog.

  • Hey Richard, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time now. I live in a tiny town in Michigan where I am pretty sure everyone is Christian. I am grateful for your site as it make me feel not so alone.

  • Hello, I am Raúl from México, born in the border and currently living in Mexico City, 40something (argh) male, fanatic hippo lover and collector, this my nickname.

    I think I came to this blog from Blag Hag, which in turn I found in a retweet from a lady friend about Boobquake (oh, the mighty internet!)

    I am in what I call semi-lurker mode, commenting every now and then.

    I’ve been raised a catholic by mom and grandma, both being strong believers.
    I think I believed as a kid, but starting having cognitive dissonance at age 9 or 10.
    Did my first communion at 13, and I was the nightmare of my cathechist. I told my mom I would not attend church at age 16. She was sad, but let me be.
    At 17, a girl I was infatuated with invited me to a spiritual camp, so obviously I accepted (the things you do for love). After being subjected to the most blatant psychological manipulation ever (and seeing my dream girl flirting with one of the volunteers) all my remaining links with catholicism broke and I became an agnostic.
    To this day I thank this girl for taking me there!
    From there I was an agnostic by definition and an atheist in practice.

    Even though mine is a mainly catholic country I don’t have real problems with my atheism. Middle class people are not really militant or strong believers, and being an academic I have found like souls. Still, there are several privileges that faith have here, and that are taken for granted without a finch: Xian “official” holidays, Xian Xmas decorations, school prayer, etc.

    If any I have become more open and “militant” in my atheism. One of my best friends now is catholic because it “feels good” (indoctrination is powerful) but we have managed to have very rich discussions, and agree to disagree (though she had to agree on my points, you see? She’s smart!). Probably her mother will blame me if she deconverts!

    Though an eskeptic, I have a fascination for esotherism. Hey, you can be an atheist and still hypothesise some other maniac theories! Since such speculation mainly occurs when drinks are abundant, I think I’m safe.

    Now, if I could control my hippopotamus addiction. I own more than 500, and the collection keeps growing!

    Cheers

  • Thirty-something, black bisexual woman, and atheist, among other things—I’m Miki. Funny, I’ve always known I was bisexual, but it took me a minute to figure out I was atheist. I love this blog and the regular commenters.

  • Nancy N

    I’m in my mid 50s, live in Colorado, and have been married for almost 32 years to my high school sweetheart, who is also atheist. We have one son (now 22) who we raised without religion, although we did give in to pressure from my in-laws and had him baptized. Some of my husband’s family are pretty far off the deep end Christian, but his parents were on the liberal end of the spectrum, at least when we met and got married (they’ve gotten worse over the years, unfortunately).

    My mother took my sister and me to church once in a while when we were little, but I think she was probably pretty much agnostic even then. Now, she’s atheist. My father was always atheist, although I never knew it until after I was grown and never discussed it with him until shortly before he died. So, anyway, I never experienced the heavy indoctrination that so many have to break away from. I was shocked when I found out that some people take Genesis literally. I’m not sure how I got into my teens, growing up in Kentucky, without learning that.

    I flirted with actually being religious in my teens, but it never really took. I decided to read the whole bible and didn’t have too much trouble until I got into Paul’s letters. I was able to dismiss the awful and/or ridiculous stuff in the Old Testament as myth and legend, but the blatant sexism and misogyny of the letters in the New Testament really, really turned me off. I gave up before I got very far into Revelation. It was just too insane.

    Well, that’s probably more than enough information to introduce myself.

  • Danielle Mae

    I became an atheist when I went to Sunday school and the books about god were the same as the ones with fairy tales, only with lamer pictures. ^-^ Much credit to the God Delusion and other proud atheist websites like these for helping me build my own opinions and theories. I go to Stumbleupon and search “atheist” when I get bored. Phoenix, Az 🙂

  • P.

    Oh hi! I’m from Mr. Mehta’s math class, actually. Some of his speech kids found this blog and I started following it out of curiosity. I’m vaguely religious; I was raised Lutheran and I believe in God, but I feel more and more uneasy calling myself a Christian based on the way so many other Christians just preach this message of hate instead of one of love and tolerance. My blog (in the website above!) is called The Cult. There are five of us who run it… it’s mostly just creative writing, our views of stuff, etc. We were trying to put ads on it and give the proceeds to charity but the ad company delisted us because we didn’t get enough traffic… fail.

  • heironymous

    No blog, no religion, no motor car, not a single luxury… wait.

    Don’t know if I qualify as a lurker – but I read a lot and post rarely.

    40-year-old recovering RC living in Vienna, VA (married, father of two) – but I move around the world every few years or so. I don’t want to be too out, b/c the next stop is Cairo – and I don’t know how they handle the non-believers so well in Egypt…

  • Candide

    Hello, all. A male, college-aged, and forever-questioning lurker here.

    I grew up in a very irreligious and politically progressive family in a very dry and dusty corner of the American Southwest (you know, the one state that’s in the news for legalizing racial profiling, wanting to secede from the union, and letting anybody carry a gun…)

    My parents always pointed to the moral failings of religion in general (and Christianity specifically) and just taught my brother and I to get through life hurting as few people as possible.

    However, (long story short) I’ve fallen in love with a fundie girl. She’s got a brain (which is why I love her), but she’s so otherwise brainwashed that I can’t believe that what and how she’s been taught is even legal (well, given the political jurisdiction in which I live…) I digress.

    I’ve actually being going to church and reading to Bible to try and understand what makes these people tick. How can a thinking, rational adult be a monotheist? How can one rely on a text that is so contradictory, inconsistent, and in many places — violent and sexist?

    I come here to counterbalance what I hear/read elsewhere and maybe pick up new ideas. Sometimes I just read FA for entertainment and to keep myself from falling into complete despair over the state of the world.

    Keep up the good work Hemant, Richard, and all of the commenters/lurkers on here.

  • Your special friend :)

    Hi! I enjoy stalking you! 🙂

  • I’ve been lurking for 3-4 years now but never get around to commenting. I’m Amanda, I’m located in Southern California, and I’m starting my Biology Ph.D. program in the fall!

  • Pax

    Hi,

    I’m 22 and living in VA, engaged to an Atheist which made me start to read some Atheist literature and consider my own beliefs. (I’m still considering). I was raised Catholic, but my Baptist mother taught me to ask questions and form my own opinions if something didn’t make sense.

    I’ve enjoyed the site and love hearing other folk’s opinions.

  • Self-professed Lurker from Aurora, CO (a suburb of Denver). Atheist. Enjoy your blog very much!

  • Josh

    Whats up guys. Josh here -Atheist- I’m a 20 year old Mechanical Engineering (commuter) student. And a Athlete specializing in triathlons. I’m smack dab’ in the middle of the bible belt. (Marietta, GA) I have a highly religious family. My immediate family is ‘religious’ but they never go to church they just associate themselves with it because of tradition. I’ve been to church my entire life. I’ve been baptized(pentecostal), been to church camps(through friends & family), been to nearly everything church related. At first it took me a long time to contemplate life without God, but the more I reasoned the more I figured that there is not a god. That was maybe a year or so ago. I’ve always questioned what they believe and never settle for their simple answers. Such as, “It’s just faith” or “Well, ‘God’ works in ways we cant understand.” Only recently have I become very much irreligious. After watching some documentaries – Bill Maher’s “Religulous” and “Jesus Camp”. After Seeing the so-called “brainwashing” and irrational and (for lack of a better word) dumb statements these people give to continue believing in their fairy tales. I’ve become very against religion. I blatantly question what my parents believe and mostly – they’re fine with it, but here comes the catch.. “As long as no one else in the family knows”. I wish I could represent “A week”. It would only be a matter of hours before someone in my family spread the word and then…..I would be immediately kicked out of my house no questions asked; followed by being put on the “HE’S A SATANIST DO NOT ASSOCIATE” list. (Yes, my family is that ridiculous). Either that, or an army of exorcists would show up my house.

    It’s good to know that there are other people out there that think with reason and not emotion. It’s awesome that this a place where we can all come together and just be people without religion and do just fine :). I’m surrounded by delusional people here in this bible country, daily. It’s a much needed relief to read what everyone has to say – and motivates me to spread the “A-word”. Thanks for this website, it’s really awesome!! 🙂

  • Hello! I’m Kate, a 25 year old from Denver, CO. I found your sight after you did an interview with John Smulo a few years ago. This was the first Atheist sight I ever read and have been a devoted reader ever since. It helped open my eyes to a whole new way of thinking/viewing the world and religion. Thanks! And now that I’ve posted a comment here, maybe I’ll start adding my two cents more often!

  • Diane

    Hello from Canada 🙂
    I’m a recent university graduate from Edmonton, Alberta – and have been so happy to find online communities of atheists, since the topic rarely surfaces around here and I sometimes felt alone with my thoughts. Never brought up with faith, but I think my parents felt they were doing me a favour by exposing me to Christianity as a child through summer camps (read: it was scarring). Happy to understand myself and the world a lot better nowadays!
    -D

  • Hi all,

    I am 34, male, engineer, and I live in Chile, SouthAmerica. Reading this blog from some time ago and never commented.

    I was raised catolic, lost the faith been teenager, but eager to find my espiritual side; Then I explored oriental religions, but most for curiosity, until a day I heard about a kind of strong & miracleous experience from some uncle and aunt, and I bet all the money to the christian god in an evangelical church…

    But I always have been pretty rational; I didn’t want to believe, but I wanted to know! So I investigated the bible, read Ehrman, Sagan, Dawkins… And after a hard internal conflict between what I wanted to ‘believe’ vs what I really think, finally I am coming out as atheist.

    I have a Spanish written blog, if some of you read Spanish and want to lurk there: techpurri; by the way, if you know a folk called Jack Chick… I wrote there
    an analysis of a comic he wrote against evolution (also in spanish). I hope to transcribe it to English some day.

    Best!

  • Cheyenne

    I am 18 and have been an atheist for as long as I can remember. I’ve been reading for less than a year, but I greatly appreciate how well you handle the letters and comments posted. I only lurk, but I love reading about your friendly, friendly escapades. Great blog.

  • Me

    Hello,

    Not sure if I ever commented but I read each and every single post.

    I stopped believing in religion 7 years ago . I was born in a Muslim country and to a Muslim family and it took for me to come to Canada, meet people from many religions and then spend 3 years reading, learning about other religions to finally decide that it’s all a myth.

    I feel so free and I am transferring this freedom to my 2 little girls.

  • Longtime reader (lurker?) from Ireland, now based in London.

    Raised Catholic, but left that all behind me long ago.

    Love the blog!