The official blog of University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists, & Agnostics

Saying goodbye to an old friend **Updated**

**UPDATE** See bottom of page.

Hello all,

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_bio_pic4Dave 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 His website is

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and don’t forget… other SASHA members! We are here for you, too!


About Danielle Muscato

Danielle Muscato is a civil rights activist, writer, and public speaker. She has appeared on or been quoted in Rolling Stone, People, Time, The New York Times, SPIN, Entertainment Weekly, Billboard Magazine, and on MTV News, VH1, NPR, MSNBC, ABC, "The Real Story" with Gretchen Carlson, The O'Reilly Factor, Huffington Post Live, Huffington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Raw Story, CNN, CBS, and Howard Stern Danielle is the former Director of Public Relations for American Atheists. She is also a board member of MU SASHA (University of Missouri Skeptics, Atheists, Secular Humanists & Agnostics). Her website is Follow her on Google+ Follow her on Twitter @daniellemuscato Subscribe to her on YouTube at

7 comments on “Saying goodbye to an old friend **Updated**

  1. Hockey Bob
    February 24, 2013

    Are all theists this obtuse, that they can’t figure out the rudimentary tools Facebook gives its users to hide the posts, and amount of posts, that their friends create? It’s mind-boggling how many people have unfriended me, because of *their* inability to use Facebook. *faithpalm*

  2. imbrocata
    February 24, 2013

    Another example of ‘special pleading’; here we have someone breaking off nodes from the social network in order to please their faith requirements, much in the same way that JWs are required to give a person only so many chances before breaking off relations, and of course avoiding someone who has been excommunicated (even family members) like the plague. Scientologists isolate their members in the same way that many cults such as Hare Krishna’s and Moonies do, all of this for what sounds like good reasoning but is really a defense mechanism to preserve the insanity of that cult or religion (interchangeable, really). One would think that at the first mention of “..I am come to set father against son and brother against brother..” any rational and reasonable person would successfully identify that teaching as cultish and run for the door as fast as they can. Unfortunately, they have really good sounding reasoning to spring on the unsuspecting, and they never see it coming until the noose is already ’round their necks.

    • rocketkirchner
      February 25, 2013

      Imbrocata , you misunderstand the verse —”i have come to set a father against son , mother against daughter ..etc”. Jesus sees the abuse of power that happens in a nuclear family , so he was working to extend the family of humanity . WELCOME TO UNIVERSALISM.
      notice where the break is –the very axis of power between the generations . this is connected to his ”who are my brother and sisters and mothers ? those who do the will of God ”. actually , Christ is tearing apart the mythos of the family values crowd . it was so in the Med culture as it is today in so called happy christian amerika. all of this family values crap is just that. the family is a cult . Christ sought to break that into a new form of universalism which is all inclusive anti –cultic . he did the same thing with placing the poor over the rich , the famale over the male , et.c this is called ”Inversion theology ”.

      i would like to recommend a very insiteful work on this called –”Jesus -a revolutionary bio” –by Jon Dominic Crossan .

      However , i do happen to agree with you . i as a christian practioner of 38 years would never break off a relationship with someone becuase they dont believe. that is just silly and very inmature. why ? becuase we are not our ideas . we are all human . LOL

      • imbrocata
        February 26, 2013

        Sorry but that’s not the situation I’m coming from. When I say that this verse/passage is the subtext for what is going on in my life and in my parent’s/families lives – I have good reason to believe this to be true. Not least of which, it is my life and my experience with them. Thanks for your explanation all the same, I just don’t think we’re talking about the same things. How my family uses and views that verse vs. what you explain it really means or is talking about. In this case, I think we could both be right.. or wrong:)

  3. rocketkirchner
    February 25, 2013

    Dave , Humanist do it better ? what about the Christian Humanism of Erasmus, Thomas Moore, Thomas Merton , Dorothy Day , The Quakers , St. Francis of Assisi, etc. etc.. ?. There are different forms of humanism in history. One must be specific . New Jersy eh ? wow ! that is cool . you can cruise into NYC anytime and listen to some killer live music . All the best. LOL .

  4. Tony Lakey
    February 25, 2013

    She should have just hidden your posts from her news feed instead of unfriending you. That way she still has an easy way to contact you. I only ever unfriend someone when I want/expect no contact from them in the future, there are plenty of people that I am still facebook friends with but have hidden most of their posts from my newsfeed because I gain nothing from the presence of such posts but I am still able to use facebook as a way to communicate with them and invite them to events if needed.

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This entry was posted on February 24, 2013 by in Author: Dave Muscato, Reader Mail and tagged , , .
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