Greetings and welcome to the Background Probability Blog! Seeing as I’m new here, a little personal background is in order. I’m a grassroots activist here in Oklahoma City, where the theocrats really know how to bring the crazy. Even if you know nothing else about Oklahoma, you probably already knew that. What you probably didn’t know is that our state boasts a vibrant and growing freethought community, with well-established groups in OKC, Tulsa and Norman, and new groups popping up all over the place.
I’m going to brag about my local group for a little bit, because they are what makes atheist activism really worthwhile for me. When we first started organizing atheist meetups in OKC, we’d hold an event just once a month and maybe a dozen people would show up. Nowadays, the calendar is pretty much full. For example, I’m drafting this post on a Monday and checking on the meetup calendar looking forward to the week: trivia night on Tuesday, downtown lunch on Wednesday, south-side lunch on Thursday, dinner in Norman later that evening, board game night on Friday, and Atheist Book Club on Sunday afternoon. That just leaves Saturday free for college football, which everyone knows is the only real religion around here.
So much for quantity, what about quality? Let me tell you how fantastically supportive these folks are. Just last month, my father passed away after a long fight against cancer, and my home filled up with all sorts of relatives from up north. I had mentioned to a couple friends in the group what my family was going through, and over the next few days we were positively barraged with food and emotional support: Amazing cinnamon rolls (made with love and butter), delicious lasagna, savory taco soup, hummus and pita chips, and all manner of cookies and snacks. It became a bit of a running joke in the household that yet another godless heathen had appeared on the porch bearing gifts. Everyone in my extended family was favorably impressed, and we never had to go to the trouble of trying to get both of my grandmothers and all my aunts and uncles packed into a mediocre chain restaurant, in the suburbs, on the weekend.
Why am I telling you all this? Not because these events are particularly exceptional, but because they exemplify just the sort of support that people routinely expect from their local church/temple/mosque, but was generally missing from organized atheism until fairly recently, at least in my own somewhat limited experience. I could not be prouder of what the Oklahoma Atheists have become, especially in the last few years.
Ok, so it seems I’ve blown my attempt at an intro post. Instead of talking about myself, I’ve talked about my friends and family instead. Then again, that should tell you something about what I value most. I’ll get around to properly introducing myself and my blog tomorrow.