I read on your blog that some people who were close to you have cut ties with you after they learned that you are an atheist. So much for the ‘love’ advertised as a positive of religion. But, as I think you know, there is a growing community of atheists, freethinkers, agnostics, non-believers, etc., and even in New York.
It was different for me, as I broke with religion in high school, and finally became an atheist at about age 19, in 1968. That was also a year of revolution around the world, and my freshman year at Columbia, where I became politically active in various struggles and movements. I also met the late Bill Epton, who lived near City College, and was influenced by him for some time.
Now, everyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I have been an atheist for over 40 years. But I still have lost friends and people with whom I wanted to work professionally over this issue.
A few years ago, I was discussing doing a TV project with a colleague and friend who had covered boxing on ESPN and other places. She had also been an anchor on CNN. We had a good preliminary series of meetings, and had gone to some fights together. One time we were meeting in a bar in Manhattan and continuing our talks, when somehow religion came up. I said I was an atheist and had been one for some time, and she suddenly would no longer even look me in the eye. She said she was a Christian, and then stopped talking about our project and proceeded to invite some stranger over into our conversation. It turns out that he was an interesting guy, a former track and field Olympian, a shot putter as I recall, but now all of a sudden all she wanted to do was flirt with him, and she generally wasn’t a big flirt. I heard back a few times from her by e-mail, but don’t think I ever saw her again...
wow, right? she'd rather make an ass of herself with a stranger than even look a respected colleague in the eye? i can't help but wonder how much "religious" discrimination happens to atheists that we never hear about. how many people are passed over for jobs because their facebook page listed them as a richard dawkins fan? how many projects, like eddie's, are dead-ended once a colleague learns the truth of who we are?
also, i know that most atheists are hardcore vaccination supporters, but why are theists the only ones legally able to claim an exemption if they were against a particular one? (not all of us who question the necessity of the shitload of shots children are required to get are afraid of autism, by the way. it's embarrassing that every rant against antivaxers only cites jenny mccarthy and autism as the reason they aren't blindly shooting their children up. as skeptics, aren't we supposed to research, assess, understand, and then respond?) *descends soapbox*
anyway, many thanks to eddie goldman for contacting me and sharing his story. remember to check out his blog, and follow him on twitter. (btw, like his pic? it was done by this guy)