Richard Wade is a retired licensed Marriage and Family Therapist living in southern California. At Hemant’s suggestion, in 2009 he began writing an advice column called “Ask Richard.” He publishes his responses to email letters from people of all viewpoints, not just atheists. These usually deal with challenges or conflicts stemming from believers and nonbelievers living or working together. He tries to reduce unnecessary conflict and suffering on all sides.
He has spoken as a “guest atheist” at several churches to dispel the misconceptions and false stereotypes about atheism and atheists. His goal is to prevent the same unnecessary strife and hardship in families and friendships that he has dealt with in hundreds of “Ask Richard” letters. With accurate information, loving and respectful relationships do not have to be ruined by this difference in beliefs.
He is the President of the Santa Clarita Atheists and Freethinkers, who provide a safe haven and support for non-believers in the area as well as participate in several community outreach activities, charity work, interfaith events, and political activism.
Dear Richard, Okay, I had to take the bait when I read your blog post. I am an atheist, and my boyfriend (who I live with) is Catholic. Normally, it is not an issue. He is not a devout Catholic, he never wants to go to mass, he doesn’t pray, he even told me he’s really not sure there is a god. However, he gets really offended if I say anything bad about Catholicism or religion and thinks I don’t… Read more
Richard, I would like your advice on the following: I’m an atheist, my wife is a fairly liberal cafeteria christian. Recently her good friend, an evangelical christian, committed suicide. No note was left, no reasons were given. At the funeral, 3 of the speakers blamed her death on “Satan” as his evil thoughts caused her to take her own life, and said that she was now in heaven. The entire ceremony spoke of her entrance to heaven, but I know… Read more
Hi, Richard. I have a lot of Christian friends who ask me to read their religious books – some fiction and others (pseudo)scientific or evangelical in nature. I feel very pressured culturally to take these books as it would be quite rude to refuse. The problem arises when it’s time to return the book and the lender says, “How did you like it?” The blunt truth would be to say, “I hated it – what a waste of time!” but… Read more
Dear Richard, I recently found myself in an awkward, social situation. I was sitting in a public place with a small group of people who all knew each other, at least well enough to match names to faces. Some around the table were theists and some were not. One person mentioned a news story about suicide bombers, and another began to rant about how all the world’s ills were caused by religion. No one else at the table wanted to… Read more
I don’t know how much expertise you have when it comes to Islam and the Middle East, but here goes. I’m in the very beginning stages of what I suspect will develop into a relationship with a guy from Saudi Arabia. He spent some time in the U.S. as a child, seems pretty westernized, isn’t super-religious, and is aware of my stance on religion, my feminism, and my Jewish heritage. I’m not going to lie, though. The whole thing still… Read more