Monday, March 22, 2010

Randi comes out

So the incomparable James Randi has come out of the closet. Good for Mr. Randi - that's pretty awesome. It still, surprisingly, takes guts to do that. I'm sure his family, friends, and close professional associates already knew it, but for the general public to know is a much bigger deal in many ways.

I find it saddening that we're here in 2010 and people still find ways to attach importance to sexual preference. It should, in an ideal world, be no big deal...

Last summer, I took my kids to an outdoor mall. As we're walking up to a store I note a couple of teenage boys holding hands and laughing. I point them out to my kids to say "that wouldn't have happened when I was a teenager, how awesome!" and they looked at me like I was nuts. They didn't see anything but two people who enjoyed each others' company on a date to a mall. I was filled with pride and hope for the future of the country when they told me that... but this dissipated rapidly as they tell me stories of other kids in school who still throw racism, sexism, and homophobia around. Still, it's better than it was 20 years ago. Those kids would likely have been harassed at the least, maybe kicked out of the mall, and very likely assaulted by other kids.

The atheist movement can learn a lot from the GLBT movement and James Randi's example. We need to be OUT. We need to be very clear that we're here and growing in numbers. We need to let people know that the people in their neighborhoods are atheists - the lawyers, the construction workers, the bankers, the stay-at-home-moms and dads, the teachers, the police. The GLBT movement has been effective through their OUT campaign in removing much of the stigma of sexual preference and culture. Hopefully the atheist movement can do the same. Letting people know that they KNOW us will help. Taking the time to let people know that not only do we not sacrifice babies (mmm tasty.... NO WAIT) and that we are, in fact, moral and good people will have the same effect. We still might not be able to get an avowed atheist elected president anytime soon, but we can at least get started on that path.

So thank you, James Randi, for being an inspirational figure. I hope we all can learn from your example.


  1. i love Mr. Randi and this is great news! very happy for him. the comparison to atheism is apt.. many of us are in the closet for some of the same reasons as GLBT and there are some good lessons to be learned, but it will take time. our "one nation" is still very much "under god, indivisible,"... hmm, i know there's some other words after those but they seem to have been forgotten.

  2. oh also babies are very tasty OM NOM NOM

  3. “There is more news from the James Randi Educational Foundation. After his recent coming out as gay, now the Amazing one has another shocking revalation:…” read more:

  4. Crystal Night, Atheists!


    Have I said this before?

    PULLING THE PLUG on atheism


    Einstein puts the final nail in the coffin of atheism...



    atheists deny their own life element...



  5. Dear DM:

    You're cute.

    An atheist.