It’s been a week since I launched Hug an Atheist on Indiegogo. It’s been a week of ups and downs, mainly ups though.
We’ve raised $2563 so far, which is splendid! I can’t thank all our funders enough, the trust you have shown is really very touching! We’ve received donations from all over the world, not just the USA, amazing to see people care so much. At this rate, we will need to raise about $570 a day to reach our goal, I would say that is feasible. I’ve received dozens of heart-warming emails of support. With well over 2000 views on YouTube the Hug an Atheist clips has received nearly 200 likes and not a single dislike. Hemant Mehta, the Friendly Atheist, was kind enough to not only blog about Hug an Atheist but also contributed! So overall, I’m pretty happy!
But as was to be expected, it isn’t all a bed of roses. I mentioned in my previous blog post that as an atheist in Europe, I wasn’t accustomed with the kind of reactions American atheist tend to face. Well, I got a taste of it this week. With posting this campaign on my personal facebook page, I lost a few friends. I was expecting as much really, but amongst those who left me were a close friend and my own sister. Ouch. I know it’s only on facebook, not that earth shattering, but still, it does hurt. I mean, one does hope to at least have the support of family when embarking on a project like this, especially since they have known full about me being an atheist for many years. Oh well … On the plus side, out of all that I did gain a few new friends who are very supportive!
And finally, there have been the sceptics. “Nice idea, but how will this make a difference”. It is my hope, and the hope of the people who have helped out and donated, that it will help change people’s perception. The more positive information that is out there, the better. A documentary that doesn’t bash religion but only aims to educate can help create tolerance and acceptance. True, it probably won’t convince the most hard-hearted of Christians, but it can open the hearts of the average friendly believer (and we all know plenty of these) who are just misinformed.
And why am I doing this in the USA when there are countries where it is even far harder to be an atheist? I partly explained this in the previous post and on this website, I chose the USA because I find it ironic that a country founded on freedom of religion feels this way towards atheists. I chose the USA because I see how my friends are treated and I love my friends and want to see them treated with the respect they deserve. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about atheists in the rest of the world, trust me, I do! But one of the things one learns from studying history is to choose your battles carefully, and you don’t conquer the world in one battle either. So one step at a time, who knows where this might lead me.
Finally, another BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU to all the people who have funded and shared this project so far. I really do hope we make it, so keep on sharing!!!
And here’s a little incentive for all of you who are considering donating: for every $5000 we raise, all the names will go into the proverbial hat, and one funder will have their donation upgraded to “Dinner and a Movie”.