Well, the past few months have certainly been quite the adventure. Filming started well an truly at the end of October with a godless wedding in St Augustine, Florida. It truly was one of the most beautiful and emotional weddings I’ve ever been to, not a dry eye in the house during the ceremony (which did not make it easy to keep things in focus while filming).
Afterwards we were off to Las Vegas where we met up with a group of atheists for the Light the Night walk, supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. We raised $2000! We had great fun walking around with our banner, stating “Good without God”, despite some of the rather nasty looks we got for it and the fact that some people actively shielded their children away from us.
Then back across the Atlantic for a few days, frantically organising the big trip that I was about embark on. And that’s where we are now.
To say that Hug an Atheist has taken over my life would be a bit of an understatement, but I’m loving every minute of it. There are days when my cheeks hurt from smiling so much. I’ve been meeting with so many wonderful and inspiring people, it’s impossible not to feel great!
In New York, I met with Dan Fincke from Camels with Hammers. We spent the evening talking about philosophy and religion, which made me reminisce about my days at university. The following day I went to New Jersey to interview Teresa MacBain at the American Atheists headquarters and met with another wonderful atheist woman to talk about raising children and being in a care giving profession as an atheist. I did manage to see a bit of New York too and went to the New York Atheists meet up with David Madison of 10 Though Problems in Christian Thought and Belief.
Off to Washington DC! I had a few days there, so managed to see quite a bit of the nation’s capitol. We took a tour of the Capitol, went to the House of Representatives where I wasn’t too happy about seeing “In God we trust”, Library of Congress where I was quite excited about seeing the Gutenberg Bible (hey, I studied art history, it’s an important piece of history), the Museum of Natural History and its Evolution exhibit where I had to restrain myself from getting into arguments with some ill-informed visitors, the Lincoln Memorial and of course the Jefferson Memorial, … And I met with Roy Speckhardt and Maggie Ardiente of the American Humanist Association! They are such an adorable couple, which I am sure you will agree with once I get round to putting some video clips online.
Boston, MA was next. I went to Harvard! I interviewed James Croft and Greg Epstein on the benefits of Humanist Communities. I talked with Zach Alexander on dealing with grief as an atheist. And met up with the lovely couple who’s wedding we were at in St Augustine to talk about love and marriage, and dealing with illnesses without believing in a “grand plan”.
Then, I interviewed another very inspiring girl on coping with disabilities without God. She’s only 16 and suffers from cerebral palsy, yet she is so incredibly thoughtful and thoroughly amazing. She wants to help other people with disabilities come to term with their disabilities like she has and live a full and meaningful live without wasting time on prayer or feeling sorry for themselves.
In Ohio, I was invited to a dinner with people from the local CFI group. A fun night, great stimulating conversations, delightful crowd. As I mentioned earlier, my cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
And that brings me to today, 12-12-12. In Grand Rapids, Michigan, where tonight I’ll be going to the CFI’s Solistice Dinner, after all, that’s the reason for the season!