Saying goodbye to an old friend **Updated**
**UPDATE** See bottom of page.
It’s with a heavy heart that I update the SASHA blog today. Here goes:
Once is too often; unfortunately this happens more regularly than that.
Dave, please mail my late dad’s book to me at [address removed]. I wish you the very best in life, but I have to delete you on Facebok. You take pride in making fun of the reason I have a peaceful spirit and a happy life. I have other atheist friends who are not so blatant. I just can’t deal with being made fun of constantly. I don’t find those types of posts even remotely humorous. We obviously are on opposite ends of the spectrum with respect to God. Humor me for one second here. If God exists, I will have to stand before Him at the Great White Throne of Judgment and be a witness against you. I do not want any part of that, Dave. I like you too much for that. No hard feelings. I just want peace and not sick feelings when I read posts. Take care and thank you, in advance, for mailing my dad’s book.
Hi [name removed]!
Thanks for your message. It makes me sad to hear that, although you like me, you’re not interested in being friends with me anymore. I make a deliberate effort only to criticize the beliefs themselves, and not the people who hold the beliefs with which I disagree. It was never my intent to cause you sadness or pain.
As you may have heard, I was recently hired as the new Director of Public Relations for American Atheists, a non-profit based in New Jersey that advocates for separation of church & state and civil rights for atheists. I’m actually moving to New Jersey this Thursday.
I apologize for the delay in responding; I wanted to find your book before I wrote you back, and I finally found it today. I will mail it to you as soon as I can.
If you ever change your mind and decide you want to be friends, my door is *always* open. I care about you and your family very much and I sincerely hope this isn’t the last time we speak. But if so, I want you to know that I think you guys are great, and I thank you for being such an important part of my life the past 13 years.
Take care [name removed],
I do not apologize for my views on religion. I think it is the single most harmful and deleterious invention humankind has ever come up with. In the words of Christopher Hitchens, it is without exaggeration that I believe religion poisons everything. I of course recognize that religion has some redeeming qualities—providing a social safety net, providing a sense of community—but there is no need for dogma or superstitious silliness in order to have these things. In fact, in my personal experience, Humanists do it better.
Until next time,
**UPDATE** She responded to my message saying that she would like to remain friends outside of Facebook; she just doesn’t want to have to see posts about atheism on her feed. I feel so much better now! It really is a huge relief to learn that our friendship has a more-solid foundation than I feared. Atheist readers, are you good friends with any very religious people? How do you handle it? Thanks in advance for your comments.
Dave Muscato is the Public Relations Director for American Atheists based in Cranford, New Jersey. An atheism activist, blogger, and public speaker, he is also a board member of MU SASHA. He is a vegetarian, LGBTQ ally, and human- & animal-welfare activist. Dave posts updates to the SASHA blog every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday; twice monthly for the Humanist Community at Harvard, and monthly or more on SkepticFreethought.com. His website is http://www.DaveMuscato.com
and don’t forget… other SASHA members! We are here for you, too!
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