One year ago today, I had a hair-brained idea to start a blog about what life was like for me as an agnostic atheist in my new small, coastal town on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. I chose April 20th because all up and down the beach, I was witness to people in prayer groups, standing in the gentle, turquoise waves, holding hands, muttering silent pleas for the recovery of the Gulf, on the first anniversary of perhaps the worst man-made disaster in the history of the United States, the BP oil spill.
With the looming mass of oil slowly drifting toward shore in the spring of 2010, prayer vigils were organized in desperation. Church leaders and their followers vocally implored the oil to stay off their shores. Prayer chains were formed, one stretching twenty-six miles and consisting of thousands of deluded local residents who thought that a human, hand-holding barrier of hope could ward off millions of gallons of American folly. Naive sentiments like the following frequented the local news.
"We're not ones to sit there and take it lying down. Were going to come and fight and this is the way to do it right here."
The [prayer chain] appears effective so far. Despite media reports, Mississippi's governor says very little oil has shown up in his state.
Yet the oil washed over the pitiful, orange, bobbing booms and hit the beaches.
I was angry one year ago. I was sad that people were walking past trash on the beach to sing songs and wave their hands in the air when instead, they could be spending their time on much-needed community reef restoration projects. They could have donated money to my friends who had gone out of business due to the loss of tourism, or volunteered as a oil spotter. Anything, but instead, they chose to show up on one particular day, have their faces seen on the local news, and pretend to make a difference in the name of their God.
After I cathartically cut my BP gas card to shreds and vowed to walk and ride my bike wherever I could from then on, I wrote my first post.
In one year of blogging, I have made wonderful connections and learned so much about all of you and myself. I have discovered that I love to write. You have reached out to me seeking solace and advice. You, fourteen year old Midwestern teenager ostracized by your devout parents, young mother shunned by her Christian mommies group, gay teen punished by your father and forced to talk to a pastor, and hilarious Southern Vietnam veteran who took the time to tell me you had a laugh at my words.
More than anything, I have been told that I have helped a few of you. And that rocks my socks off.
Even if it was a just a chuckle at a silly kitteh picture or the realization that you are not the only one who enjoys jokes about Mormon boys with unintended erections, I am glad beyond words that I put my pride aside and just started writing. It makes me happy, like dis much!
You’ll be pleased to know that, because of this blog, I have been offered a deal to write a Hollywood screenplay!
So far, it is the story of a mild-mannered blonde girl, who, by day, masquerades as a Hooters waitress who must stuff her bra to earn tips. She enjoys the sweet, wholesome things in life, like splashing in puddles, watching VeggieTales, and collecting rubber duckies. The picture of innocence and good, she exudes pure Christian values. She never questions authority. She vacuously asks questions like, “If we evolved from monkeys, then where did I put my Hello Kitty t-shirt?”
But by night, she transforms into a sinister, disgusting godless atheist scourge upon the planet. She drinks the blood of innocent Cabernet grapes, kills the mold on her shower curtain with bleach, dominates her pals on Words with Friends, and eats innocent baby spinach salads! She sheds her blonde, bubbly persona for the devious pursuit of reading books and asking questions. Since she has no moral compass, she freely commits heinous acts such as recycling, feeding stray animals, and donating money to charity! She confronts authority and seeks her own path in life. Oh, the humanity!
So, I guess it’s kind of a Jekyll and Hyde story.
Oh, and I forgot to mention. Her evil sidekick is a kitten in a roller skate.
So, anyway, thanks for a great year. Look for my movie, The AtheDitz, in August of 2013 at selected theatres near you.