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.
I want to offer an explanation for my last post a few days ago, “In God’s Name.” It was an experiment to see if an implicit message can be more powerful than an explicit one, if it works at all. Clearly it didn’t and it was completely misunderstood. Oh well, that’s how experiments often go. Most of the atheist readers missed the point. That’s not their fault because the story was not intended for them. The target audience was those… Read more
At the end of their lives two Christians and an atheist came before God. To the first Christian God asked, “What did you do in your life, my child?” The first Christian said, “I praised your name by driving out sinners from our society. I reviled and shunned and beat and imprisoned and even killed those who did not believe in you as I did, and those who did not live by your word exactly as I did. I made… Read more
I like to dream up future scenarios with just one or two set conditions in the proposition and see where they might go as kind of thought experiments. It’s a game that any number can play, and the fun is in seeing how each person’s logic, imagination and present view of the world lead them to different conclusions. The great part is unless you live long enough to reach the future you envision, no one can prove you wrong. Though… Read more
It’s our earthly fathers with whom we have our father issues. It’s our earthly fathers who abandoned us or nurtured us, who ignored or paid attention to us, who abused or protected us, our earthly fathers whom we never knew, slightly knew, or knew all too well. We have felt for them love, hate, wonder, disinterest, trust, suspicion, generosity and jealousy. Our relationship with our fathers has always been complicated. Many children grow up with an absent parent and most… Read more
I got a Letter from God… …and it was really creepy. I’m not usually interested in posting the “religion sucks” kind of threads, but sometimes the outrage gets to be just too much to ignore. A few days ago this arrived in the mail: The envelope is covered front and back with gushy prayers and promises for my spiritual, physical and financial blessings, in all-caps with half of the words underlined in red. It is from the Saint Matthew’s Churches,… Read more