Saturday, May 23, 2009

Deep Thoughts is five years old

On May 10th, Deep Thoughts turned five years old. I've written 3,271 posts covering a wide range of topics. My favorites subjects are photography, music, building an online Atheist community, and Hypocrisy. Of course, I post on just about anything that crosses my mind, which makes my blog somewhat of an oddity in the atheist blogsphere. But that’s ok, my blog is a hobby, not a profession.

I started on May 10, 2004 while in a hotel room in Berkeley. I was there to watch my son graduate. I had a few hours to kill, so I popped over to Blogger in an attempt to understand why everyone was so keen on Blogging. I chose the name Deep Thoughts as an homage  to Jack Handey. I’m a fan of his work. Like this one:

The beaver was probably the last thing God ever invented, because after he made it he just said “It don’t get no better ‘n that.” (Oh, yeah, I forgot to tell you, God is a hillbilly.

I still laugh like a kid when I read these. I think that’s why I love them so much. They are so stupid I can’t turn my eyes away. I am compelled to read another, and another.

I was attending graduate school at Pepperdine University back in May of 2004. I was a 40 something stodgy adult in a school full of razor sharp young minds. Hell, at one point I even met the daughter of a women I knew from high school. I was out of place and under a lot of stress, my blog became a release. It grew into a hobby over time.

My fourth post was about a Berkeley professor named Hatem Bazian. He made a public speech calling for an Intifada in America and I did not like it. It was the first post to generate a comment. A week later I received my first hate mail. Soon after, hate mail arrived droves.  My first death threat followed near the end of the month. I’ve collect about 50 in five years.

I came out as an atheist on June 14, 2004. Nobody noticed. I also started the Carson Ugly photography project with this photo. It’s been one of the things I love about blogging. I can take a picture and write about it. Few things give me more pleasure. I did not realize that people would not like my photos, the criticism is still hard to take. The criticism about my writing, although deserved,  I simply laugh off. I’ve worked hard to improve my writing skills since starting to blog. I’ve come a long way on a road that still has many miles to go.

I adopted a focus on hypocrisy after one Christian insisted that as an atheist, I had no moral grounding. Hypocrisy Watch grew out out of a desire to disprove the notion that Christians posses a moral grounding simply because they believe in God and use the bible as a magic moral compass. The notion is preposterous. 'I’ve accumulated 508 stories of debauchery carried out by religious leadership.  The evidence is so overwhelming that I no longer hear the argument. But I have another motivation for Hypocrisy Watch, one which I have not written about. I decided to focus clergy sexual abuse after being contacted by lawyers in a lawsuit against the church I attended as a youth. The choir director had molested six children from my choir. One committed suicide, several other suffered from long term mental health problems. I was spared. I think because, even as a young teen, I was man-sized and imposing. While the victims were smaller children from troubled homes. I was asked to keep quite “for the good of the church”. I said bullshit.

I don’t consider Deep Thoughts an atheist blog. I leave that to the serious likes of Atheist Revolution, The Friendly Atheist, and God is Pretend. They do a much better job maintaining a coherent focus. Rather, I am an atheist blogger who likes to help build the online atheist community. The Atheist Blogroll is a labor of love and my gift to my fellow bloggers. I am grateful for the help and support of my online fiends in this effort.

I have one question that picks at my mind. How long will I continue to blog? I don’t know the answer, but I hope it’s a long time.